Causes of Paint Failures in Exterior Walls

Paint failures in exterior walls is a common phenomenon. There are many types of paint failures in exterior wall surface but the most common cause of the paint failures are Weathering, Moisture, poor surface preparation, improper paint application and use of lower quality paint.

Paint failure

Paint Failures Due to Weathering 



Chalking is the formation of white chalking powder on the surface of the paint film. When paint weathers, the paint binders loses their functionality. Sunshine and moisture decrease the hold of binders on pigments. Chalking of paint is more common with thin paint coatings or a very light colored paint.

Chalking Rundown

The whole chalking phenomenon disfigures whole painting surface with the chalking rundown.


Fading is the lightning of color on the exterior walls. it generally occurs due to excessive exposure to sunlight. Weathering causes chalking which ultimately results into fading of paint.

Paint Failures Due to Moisture



Blistering is the type of paint failure which is always related to moisture present on the wall surface. Application of a paint coat over a damp or wet surface, the paint is still in drying phase. If rain or heavy due occurs before complete drying of paint blistering takes place.


Mottling is the color variation occurs due to uneven distribution of metallic flakes. colors like silver which have coarse metallic particles, mottling is a very common phenomenon when the surface temperature is too cold or humidity is too high Mottling takes place.


Peeling is the most common type of paint failure. Moisture is the main cause behind peeling of paint. Due to moisture paint fails to properly adhere to the wall surface. Water particles that are present in the atmosphere as well as moisture present in the interior walls travel through walls and accumulate on exterior wall surface are the main causes of moisture present on the exterior wall.

Paint Failures Due to Poor Surface Preparation



Poor surface preparation is the main reason among many other reasons behind cracking of paint. If the paint is applied on the wall without removing the previous layer of the paint coating,  if the paint was spread too thin on a rough surface, and painting is done without priming the wall cracking occurs.

Wax Bleeding

Wax bleeding occurs due to weathering of exterior hardboard siding. The siding is made up of paraffin wax for better water absorption which sometimes leads to dirt pick up and growth of mildew.

Paint Failures Due to Improper Paint Application



Cracking in the paint which resembles like an alligator is called alligatoring. If solvent based enamel is applied over a water based primer, application upper coat without drying of inner layer results into alligatoring.


Paint coating on a moving part, like a door or a window frames, extends the cracks into the paint coatings enables the moisture to penetrate the crack and cause flaking.

Paint Failures Due to Poor Paint Quality

dirt pick up

Dirt Pick Up

Dirt, dust particles, and/or other debris often accumulates on a lower quality paint. Soil splashing, pollution, flying dust collects on the exterior walls. Sometimes, the dirt resembles like a mildew.


Use of lower quality paint causes Black, gray or brown patches occur on a paint film when it is in the damp area or receives very little sunlight.
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