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Old 04-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #1
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Painting plaster and lathe walls

My house is approximately 100 years old. I've painted my rooms at least twice in the past ten years, and am fairly certain that I painted with water-based Benjamin Moore and/or Sherwin Williams paint.

Yesterday, I tried to touch up the walls with custom-tinted Behr paint and when the paint dried, it created many bubbles between the top coat and the original paint beneath.

Today, we sanded and painted again using Behr Ultra (Paint & Primer) combined, but this happened again. I've never had this problem and don't know what could be causing it? It rained all day yesterday. Could that be the problem?

We've tried putting Zimmer water-based primer on top of the newly painted walls, which we sanded first, but now that is bubbling. What should we do to fix the problem? Thanks so much!


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Old 04-29-2013, 04:29 PM   #2
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When you say bubbles do you mean large silver dollar or larger areas, pencil eraser size or tiny pinhead sort of size bubbles? Were they worse when they first appeared and then they got better as the paint tried to dry? Better still after a day?

Are the bubbles showing on all walls or only on those with exterior surfaces or say above the fireplace mantel? Are your exterior walls insulated? One theory I have based on it happening to me numerous times to me over the years is moisture got to the other side of the plaster past chimney flashing or from condensation in the exterior walls (gutters clogged and leaking on the house side?) and is outgassing or just trying to evaporate through the interior surface. You mentioned it had been raining heavily? Was the room you painted in especially humid?

Did you wash the walls with anything after you sanded? Any chance there was anything stuck to the walls that should have been washed if you did not? Any chance you used a household detergent that may have left a residue that might now be blocking adhesion?

Why did you switch paint brands if SW and Ben Moore had worked well? The price difference may soon cost you although I will not jump to that conclusion since the primer is causing you problems too. I assume you mean you used a Zinsser primer though. I have never heard of Zimmer.

Meanwhile, here is the Ben Moore page on the most common causes of paint bubbling and blistering....


Last edited by user1007; 04-29-2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Added Ben Moore URL
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