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Indicators Of A Bad Paint Job

Key takeaways:

  • A bad paint job is frustrating on many levels: it looks bad, doesn’t protect your surfaces, and has little staying power.
  • Several indicators of a poor contractor include skipping surface preparation steps, using inferior quality paints or thinning paint to increase longevity, painting in unsuitable weather conditions, and unacceptable workmanship.
  • Think you have a bad interior paint job? Look for signs like the wrong type of paint for the wall being painted, stains or other flaws visible through the paint, blistered or streaky mottled paint, wrinkled smudged, cracked paint.
  • Think you have a bad exterior paint job? Look for air holes, running or sagging paint, and a chalky, powdery layer of white pigment walls with blisters.

You’ve heard horror stories about bad painters and all the problems that had to be corrected after they “finished” the work with unsatisfactory results. A poor paint job is frustrating on many levels.

For starters, it looks bad and serves as a continual reminder that you paid for one thing and received something very different. Second, a poor paint job does not protect your surfaces; your paint will not provide the necessary layer of protection. Finally, terrible paint has little staying power, which means you’ll have to pay for another paint job sooner than you anticipated.

 In this blog post, ABP CONSTRUCTION will show you how to spot a bad paint job and give tips on what to do if you encounter this painting situation.

What Are the Causes of Bad Paint Jobs?

Bad Preparation

A good painting job starts with proper surface preparation. This usually involves sanding down rough edges, filling in cracks and holes, and priming the surface before painting. If your painter skipped any (or all) of these steps, the final product wouldn’t look great.

Poor Quality Paint

Some painting contractors (the bad ones) scrimp on paints to earn more money, or they price significantly less than rivals. The issue is that if your painter utilizes inferior paint supplies, you will wind up spending more. In certain circumstances, the paint is diluted to increase its longevity. While thinning paint has a function, incompetent painters will merely do it to save money, resulting in poor quality.

Bad Weather Conditions.

Quality painters adhere to specific criteria that dictate when they can and cannot paint. Most oil-based paint, for example, is designed to be applied at temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, latex paint is best applied at temperatures ranging from 50 to 85 degrees. When these principles are broken, the outcome is inadequately cured paint, which does not adhere properly.

Unacceptable Workmanship

Suppose you’ve ever seen a wall painted with wavy lines or a ceiling drip all over it. In that case, you know what unacceptable workmanship looks like. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many homeowners who hire incompetent painters. These types of painting mistakes are not only unsightly, but they also show a lack of attention on the part of the painter. If you notice any of these issues with a painter’s work, it’s best to move on and find someone with experience to do the job.

Warning Signs for A Bad Interior Paint Job:

Sign 01: The Paint is Inappropriate for the Wall

A bright hue in the bedroom or a difficult-to-clean matte paint in the bathroom may be a mistake on the homeowner’s side. Still, it also shows that the painter ignored the color consultation.

A true professional painter assists clients in selecting the best colors and finishes for each space. When the painter fails to give this assistance, the homeowner is left to make their best judgment about the paint, and they may make a poor choice.

Sign 02: Stains or Other Flaws Can Be Seen Through the Paint.

These are indications that the painter either did not use primer, applied too little, or applied the incorrect type. Primer fills up tiny surface defects on the wall, allowing the paint to go on easily, dry with an even finish, and last years longer than it would.

Sign 03: Blistered, Streaky, And Mottled Paint

An unskilled painter will rush to apply the fresh paint, skipping the crucial process of cleaning the walls of dust, debris, and grime. Fresh paint on a dirty or damp wall may not adhere properly, resulting in blistering, peeling, streaking, or mottling.

Sign 04: Wrinkled, Smudged, And Cracked Paint

If you see these issues, the second coat of paint was likely applied before the first coat dried. This is especially apparent when the paint cracks in a scaly, snake-skin pattern called alligatoring. However, alligatoring is a natural effect of aging in extremely old oil-based paint. Wrinkling frequently results from using oil-based paint in temperatures cooler than 50 degrees.

Warning Signs for A Bad Exterior Paint Job:

Sign 01: Air Holes

Tiny air holes on the wall are an obvious indication of the bad paint job. The holes usually occur when there are too few coats of paint applied. The small air holes will spring up, revealing the naked walls. To avoid this, ensure the painter applies more than one coat of paint and does not skimp on the task.


Sign 02: Running or Sagging

Paint falling or running down the side of a house may indicate poor application.

In some circumstances, this is due to humidity, while in others, it might be due to inadequate application preparation and technique. 

Sign 03: Chaulky Paint

Chalking occurs when the paint begins to degrade. The paint will leave a white, powdery layer, the color will fade, and the pigment may be wiped gently with a finger brush. Long-term sun exposure can cause this, but when it happens soon after painting, it typically means the paint was thinned too much or the wall was not well cleaned before painting.

Sign 04: Walls with Blisters

When a surface is not thoroughly cleaned & primed, or paint is coated over a damp surface, blisters can appear shortly after the paint is applied but can also appear the next day. The majority of blisters will split open, revealing the surface underneath.

Ending Note:

Painters that are reliable and trustworthy would guarantee their job. So, the best way to fix a terrible paint job is to choose only a professional offering such warranties.

Suppose you want your painting job to run well, complete on time, on budget, and endure a long time in Southlake. In that case, you need a professional painting contractor such as ABP CONSTRUCTION.

We use the finest quality paints and industry best practices to guarantee that your home appears at its best. Our painter also helps in color consultation. So, get a free estimate and start your painting journey.