08:31AM | 07/06/06
Member Since: 03/04/03
44 lifetime posts
Site conditions are 26 year old house with drywall walls. Appear to have only two prior coats of paint, both coats appeared to be "flat" paint.

I needed to remove a 6'x8' section of drywall around/next to the entrance door to install a new, larger door. Reframesd, put back NEW drywall, taped and plastered. Then I used two coats of quality primer for latex based paints.

The finish was perfect up to this point. The primer covered well and there were no problems.

After 16 hours of dry time on the primer (next day), I applied two coats of "eggshell" finish latex paint.

Over the OLD drywall, I have some blistering, or more like bubbling in the paint. It started with a cluster of small bubbles which appeared to be almost like trapped air (picture pancake batter when you whip it up and pour it on the pan). Some of these joined with each other or grew to about 10-15 quarter (as in pocket change) size bubbles. A few popped and now look like dimples. Some others simply dried and are now like shells.

I will sand the bubbles flat and plaster/prime/paint, just curious if there are any theories on cause? Especially given that the primer went on fine and that this ONLY happened over the existing drywall, not over the new drywall.

Any help is appreciated.




04:51AM | 07/09/06
Member Since: 03/25/06
39 lifetime posts
If I understand what you've written, there are two coats of flat paint with no primer on the old drywall. If that is true, then thats the problem. Paint is not meant to be used without a primer (some have labels that say you can and I've never had anything but problems with them). Some builders will cut cost on the painting of a house in such a way that the only way a painter can make a living is to use the cheapest paint that can be found and cut it with as much water as possible leaving a finish that causes this kind of problem. When a new coat of latex is applied, the old paint is releases from the drywall (especially on the joints and nail or screw heads),

The best solution I can reccomend is to use an oil primer such as CoverStain from Zinnser. Oil primers arent "wet" like a latex is and won't allow the old paint to expand from getting "wet", and it will seal the surface and keep the new latex paint from penetrating through to the old paint. It's a pain to clean up after and it stinks like heck, but I'm sure you won't have a repeat of the same problem.

Hope that helps.

Bruce Ridenour


07:54PM | 04/07/14
Member Since: 04/07/14
1 lifetime posts
I'm having a similar problem, but perhaps not exactly. I peeled multiple layers of paper off my guest bath wall, and should be brought up on charges for the damage done. I murdered the walls! I had someone come in to repair them. He basically skim-coated to a fine smooth surface. But had bubbling issues along the way. After fixing and re-skimming multiple times we thought it was ready to go. I bought my primer and when I was done rolling it on, I stood back and decided to do another quick roll or two over a few areas. That's when it happened. Bubble, bubble, bubble. Not everywhere, but in the most visible areas! I was just reading about a primer called Gardz by Zinseser. But I am not sure I can use it on top of what's there now. The instructions were to put it on the drywall, then skim coat. My concern for using the CoverStain, or oil-based primer, is that the room has no windows and is a really small space. But even if I fix the few small areas that are bubbling now, I am afraid that there will be more after I apply a coat of paint - from what I am reading from my research, there is a strong possibility that will happen. Help! I am on running out of time for the project. Thank you so much. P.s. - I am not really sure how to fix the bubbling yet either! My handyman is not able to come back.


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