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Poor Print Resistance

Poor print resistance is the tendency of paint film to take on the imprint of an object that is placed on it (e.g., a shelf, table, window sill, or countertop with books, dishes, and other objects).

What Causes It?
Using a low-quality semi-gloss or gloss paint can lead to poor print resistance. Also, putting a painted surface back into use before paint has fully dried can lead to this problem.
How to Solve It
Use only top-quality acrylic semi-gloss or gloss latex paint. Low-quality latex semi-gloss and gloss paints can have poor print resistance, especially in warm, damp conditions. Acrylic latex paints generally have better print resistance than vinyl latex paints. Fully cured alkyd paints also have excellent paint resistance.

Make sure you allow for the recommended “cure” time for the paint before it is put into service. Cool or humid conditions require more curing time.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Poor Flow and Leveling

Poor flow and leveling occur when paint fails to dry to a smooth film, which results in unsightly brush and roller marks after the paint dries.

What Causes It?
Using lower-quality paint can lead to this problem. In addition to the quality of the paint, a number of other things can cause poor flow and leveling:

  • Applying additional paint to “touch up” partially dried areas.
  • Re-brushing or re-rolling partially dried areas.
  • Using the wrong type of roller cover or poor quality brush.

How to Solve It
Top-quality latex paints are generally formulated with ingredients that enhance paint flow. Brush and roller marks thus tend to “flow out” and form a smooth film.

When using a roller, be sure to use a cover with the recommended nap length for the type of paint you are applying.
A high-quality brush is a must, since a poor brush can result in bad flow and leveling with any paint.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Picture Framing On Drywall (Hatbanding)

“Hatbanding” describes a coating with an excessively heavy textured look.

What Causes It?
When you use a brush, it can occur with excessive cutting in of walls, corners, trim, and ceiling areas.
It can also occur when you use a nap roller cover that
is too long, which will produce a heavily textured look compared to brush-applied cut-in areas.

Hatbanding also can occur when you apply a wet finish coat over areas that are already dry.

How to Solve It
To prevent hatbanding, use a technique called feather-edge brushing, which will leave a coat of paint of about the same thickness as the coat you apply later with a roller.

With feather-edge brushing, your brush should leave a thin, feathered edge of paint that will merge into a smooth layer of new paint.

When you use a roller on smooth surfaces such as drywall, use roller covers ranging from ¼-inch to ½-inch nap, depending on the sheen of your finish coat.

When using a roller on surfaces that have already been cut in with a brush, turn your roller sideways – about 90 degrees – and apply a thin coat of finish on the previously cut-in areas.

Make sure to roll your finished coat back into the drying paint. Remember also that properly priming drywall will help prevent hatbanding from occurring.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Mud Cracking

Deep, irregular cracks that resemble dried mud form in dry paint film.

What Causes It?
Mud cracking occurs when:

  • Paint is applied too thickly, usually over a porous surface.
  • Paint is applied too thickly to improve inherent poor hiding (coverage) of lower-quality paint.
  • Paint is allowed to build up in corners during application.

How to Solve It
To repair mud cracking, first remove the coating by scraping and sanding. Apply primer and repaint, using
a quality latex paint.

Mud-cracked areas can also be repaired by sanding the surface smooth before repainting with a top-quality latex paint. This type of paint is likely to prevent the reoccurence of mud cracking, because it is relatively more flexible than alkyd paint, oil-based paint, and ordinary latex paint.

Quality paints have a higher solids content, which reduces the tendency to mud crack.

They also have very good application and hiding properties, which minimize the tendency to apply too thick a coat of paint.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Lap Marks

Lap marks are the appearance of a denser color or an increased gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application.

What Causes It?
Failing to maintain a “wet edge” when applying paint or using low-solid, “economy” paint can both lead to the formation of lap marks.
How to Solve It
When painting, make sure to maintain a wet edge by applying paint toward the unpainted area and then back into the just-painted surface. This technique (brushing or rolling from “wet to dry” rather than vice versa) will produce a smooth, uniform appearance.

It is also wise to work in manageably sized areas, and to plan for interruptions at a natural break, such as a window, door, or corner.

Using a top-quality acrylic latex paint makes it easier to avoid lapping problems because higher solids (pigments and binder) content makes lapped areas more noticeable.

If the substrate is very porous, you should apply a primer or sealer to prevent paint from drying too quickly and reducing wet-edge time. Alkyd paints generally have superior wet-edge properties.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Foaming and Cratering

Foaming and cratering frequently occur when bubbles (foaming) form. When the bubbles break during application and drying, they result in small, round concave depressions (cratering).

What Causes It?
A variety of problems during paint application can cause foaming and cratering.

  • Shaking a partially filled can of paint.
  • Using low-quality paint or very old latex paint.
  • Applying (especially rolling) paint too rapidly.
  • Using a roller cover with the wrong nap length.
  • Excessively rolling or brushing the paint.
  • Applying a gloss or semi-gloss paint over
    a painted surface.

How to Solve It
All paints will foam to some degree during application, but higher-quality paints are formulated so the bubbles break while the paint is still wet, allowing for good flow and appearance.

Avoid excessive rolling or brushing of the paint or using paint that is more than a year old. Apply gloss and semi-gloss paints with a short nap roller, and apply an appropriate sealer or primer before using such paint over a porous surface.

Problem areas should be sanded before repainting.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Cracking and Flaking

Dry paint sometimes cracks or flakes through at least one coat due to aging, which ultimately will lead to complete failure of the paint. In its early stages, the problem appears as hairline cracks; in its later stages, flaking occurs.

What Causes It?Cracking and flaking can be caused by the following:

  • Using a lower-quality paint that has inadequate adhesion and flexibility.
  • Overthinning or overspreading the paint when applying it.
  • Inadequately preparing the surface, or applying the paint to bare wood without first applying a primer.
  • Excessive alkyd paint hardens and becomes brittle as the paint job ages.

How to Solve It
To solve cracking and flaking, first remove all loose and flaking paint with a scraper or wire brush. Then, sand the surface and feather the edges.

If the flaking occurs in multiple layers of paint, you may need to use a filler.

Prime bare wood areas before repainting. Using a top-quality primer and topcoat should prevent a recurrence of this problem.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Caulk Failure

Caulk may lose its initial adhesion and flexibility, which will cause it to crack or pull away from the surfaces to which it is applied.

What Causes It?
Using a lower-quality caulk can cause it to crack and pull away from the surface. Also, using the wrong type of caulk for a particular application may cause it to fail. An example of this would be using latex or vinyl caulk in areas where there is prolonged contact with water or considerable movement of the caulked surfaces.
How to Solve It
Use a top-quality water-based, all-acrylic, or siliconized acrylic caulk if you do not anticipate prolonged contact with water. These caulks are flexible enough to adapt to minor fluctuations in the substrate, stretching in gaps that widen slightly over time.
They also adhere to a wide range of interior building materials, including wood, ceramic tile, concrete, glass, plaster, bare aluminum, brick, and plastic—even in areas where moisture is present.

Note: Silicone caulk should not be painted.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Burnishing

Burnishing occurs if the gloss or sheen of paint film increases when subjected to rubbing or brushing.

What Causes It?
Burnishing may be caused by the use of a flat paint in highly trafficked areas, where a higher sheen level would be desirable. In addition to the paint, frequent washing and spot cleaning may also lead to burnishing.
Sometimes, objects rubbing against the paint can cause this problem (furniture, for example). Finally, using lower grades of paint with poor stain and scrub resistance can lead to this condition.How to Solve It
Paint heavy-wear areas that require regular cleaning (e.g., doors, window sills, and trim) with a top-quality latex paint. This type of paint offers both durability and easier cleaning capability.

In high-traffic areas, choose a semi-gloss or gloss rather than a flat sheen level. Clean painted surfaces with a soft cloth or sponge and non-abrasive cleansers; rinse with clean water.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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Blocking

Blocking occurs if two painted surfaces stick when pressed together, such as a door sticking to the jamb.

What Causes It?
Blocking can occur when insufficient time is allowed for the paint to dry before closing doors or windows.
Using low-quality semi-gloss or gloss paints can also lead to blocking.How to Solve It
Use top-quality semi-gloss or gloss acrylic latex paint. Low-quality latex paints can have poor block resistance, especially in warm, damp conditions. Follow paint label instructions regarding dry times. Acrylic latex paints generally have better early block resistance than vinyl latex paints, or alkyd or oil-based paints; however, alkyds develop superior block resistance over time.

Applying talcum powder can relieve persistent blocking.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.