7 Signs Your House Painter Did a Poor Job

No…this time, you’ve decided to go ahead and hire a professional house painter!

It’s worth the cost, right? After all…they’ll do the job fast…no muss, no fuss…then you can sit back and relax and enjoy your beautiful new room.

Well yes, this is normally how it will go.

But sometimes things can go wrong…especially if you went with the cheapest bid.

If you decide to contact the company and have them come back and fix their mess – and to make sure it doesn’t happen again – it helps to know what went wrong.

Common reasons why a paint job can fail:

1. No wall preparation

If you see wall paint streaked on the outlet covers and window frames, chances are good the walls weren’t prepared.

Walls need preparation to ensure that paint sticks well and leaves a smooth finish.

To do this, a painter will repair minor cracks and dents using spackle or putty. Then, he will sand it smooth, clean and then let dry before painting over it. 

If the wall is in good shape but has a high gloss paint, he should sand it well, then clean it and allow it to dry before painting begins.

2. Flaws and/or stains can be seen through the paint

When stains or other flaws can be seen underneath the paint, then it’s likely the house painter failed to use primer. 

Primer corrects small surface flaws to provide a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. It also helps paint to dry evenly and to last longer than it would otherwise.

Also, a wall that has been water-stained needs one or more coats of a sealer-primer. This will prevent the discoloration from being visible through the new paint. 

3. Roller marks and/or drip stains

Roller marks indicate that the painter failed to keep his roller edges filled with paint, allowing the edges of the roller to get dry. 

Conversely, the drips show that he overloaded his brush or roller with paint.

4. Newly painted walls are easily damaged or look faded and discolored

If sponging dirt from the wall causes the paint to easily flake off, the house painter used only one coat of paint when the application called for two or more. 

Some lighter paints can work well with only one coat of paint. However, most paints will need two or more applications to get the full depth of the color desired.

5. Blotchy, blistered or streaked paint

The wall was either painted when it was wet or it wasn’t cleaned before being painted. 

Walls should be well cleaned and allowed to dry completely before applying paint. 

If you see peeling or blotchy paint the painter failed to clean it well before putting on the new coat of paint.

Wet walls won’t let the paint adhere evenly to the surface, which leads to streaks and blotches. As moisture escapes the wall it has to go somewhere, so the result is blisters of paint caused by painting a wet wall.

6. Wrinkling, cracking or smudged paint

Drying times will be affected by temperature and humidity levels, so after applying the first coat of paint it needs to dry thoroughly before adding any more coats.

If you see scaly, snake-skin looking paint on a freshly painted wall, this kind of flaw reveals a painter who was in a hurry.

Wrinkled paint can happen if oil-based paint is used when a room is less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

7. Chalking paint

White, powdery film on the wall?

This is called “chalking”

It happens when a painted wall is exposed to the sun for a long time. 

But if it happens on a newly painted wall it could be:

  • ⬥ the paint was mixed too thin
  • ⬥ and the wall wasn’t cleaned well before being painted
  • ⬥ the underlying high-gloss paint wasn’t sanded before being painted over

It can be frustrating to pay for a professional painter, only to be disappointed with the results. But, if you know what went wrong, you’ll have the ammunition you need when contacting the company to resolve the issue.