What causes a latex paint to bubble after it is rolled onto the wall?


I did some minor repairs to a room prior to painting, and after wiping the walls down with a damp cloth I rolled the paint on (latex satin finish) and after a short time bubbles appeared in various places. Some were very small, and others may have been the size of a dime! I had previously painted this wall about 2 yrs ago with the same type of paint.

9 Responses

  1. Air circulation. I'm an amateur who had the same problem. Followed all the advice from the internet and the guys in the paint section: paint at the "right" room temp, "right" humidity, new roller, make sure the surface is clean, dry, primed and at room temperature. Ended up painting the same hallway six times, changing things up each go round because of all this (ultimately) useless advice.

    All the painting created an orange peel effect, so I had to do a mud skim coat and sand it all back down to recreate a smooth surface. Finally asked myself why this hallway was blistering so much more than all the other rooms I had painted. The difference was it didn't have vents or sufficient airflow. Painted the sixth coat with a fan (on low) aimed down the hall, drastically fewer bubbles. Put the fan on the bubbles that did appear, and by the time the paint dried they were gone. Has to do with moisture/solvents trying to evaporate/escape from the paint, presumably the air movement helps the process. Hope this helps someone.

  2. Whenever it has happened to me down the years…it usually was dust still on the walls. Maybe there was dust still left even after you wiped down.

  3. Steven Gerrard sounds like he has it. I had a lot of bubbles in a small bathroom where I am sure the air flow is not good for painting. Thanks, Steven

  4. What you have to do is to get a pin and poke the bubble lightly. Then use a hair dryer to blow dry the moisture out of the bubble. Then lightly use your finger to message the bubble as if you are trying to stick the paint back on the wall. Please note the paint that I used is a water base type. After that the wall is perfect. Light brush touching up may required. The cause is the moisture behind the new coat of paint. To fix it is to get the moisture out of the bubble. Hope this help.

  5. So yeah, I just popped like a million bubbles with a pin then lightly massaged each bubble individually. I also played some soft music and lit a few aroma candles during the massage process. I think this is what did the trick. My wall has turned out beautifully. Thanks for the tip.

  6. Thank you guys! I'm renewing a room; new drywall, primed a wall from a day before. So as I just finished painting the walls, I felt the humidity raised up and an hour after it started raining while I just almost finish the ceiling I start noticing the bubbles….Like the guy did I poked every single of them and gave them a rub and it worked. Now I just need the second layer. GL

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