Painting a surface is one of the most satisfying activities for many homeowners. Unfortunately, it can also be frustrating when paint bubbles or blisters. This is typically caused by one of three things: painting over latex paint, improper surface preparation, and excessive moisture exposure. In this blog post we will explore each cause in greater detail as well as how to stop paint bubbles!

Why does paint bubble or blister?

Painting a damp, dirty, or hot surface

How to Stop Paint Bubbles

So lets say you have a water damage. Even if the water seemed to have only touches the baseboard or bottom of the sheetrock, their still is a problem. Sheetrock acts as a sponge, even if you can’t see the moisture its likely there. If paint is bubbling cut the sheetrock back about 6 inches off the floor all the way around the affected area. Put a dehumidifier in the room and seal up the doors and windows, then fire it up. Moisture level will determine how long this process takes. after 24 hrs check the level in the sheetrock with a moisture meter.



Applying oil-based or alkyd paint over latex paint

How to Stop Paint Bubbles

Latex Paint won’t allow other paint types to stick it. Initially it will look fine however upon drying you will experience bubbling. For sheetrock applications you will need to use latex paint over latex paint in order to get the best results.

Improper surface preparation

How to Stop Paint Bubbles

If sheetrock repairs have been done  you will need to use a primer to paint over these areas. If you just paint over them you can experience bubbling and most likely “flashing”.

Flashing is when you look down the wall and you see a spot where the sheen is different, Producing a dull or splotchy finish


Exposing latex paint to moisture shortly after it has dried. How can you fix bubbling problems? Make sure the surface is clean and dry. Apply primer-sealer over any stains and let them fully dry before priming with an acrylic based product like Zinsser Bulls Eye 123. Prime new joint compound with water based elastomeric primer prior to painting. Avoid painting in hot or humid conditions for better results! Let your first coat of paint completely dry before applying additional coats – this should take 12 hrs or so depending on conditions.


If you want to know what causes paint bubbles and how to stop them, we’ve got your answer. We can tell you exactly why they happen so that it doesn’t happen again in the future. Paint bubbles are caused by moisture getting trapped between layers of drywall or plasterboard, typically during construction when building up walls with new materials on top of old ones. The best way to prevent this is through proper installation techniques like taping off all joints before painting and ensuring there isn’t any water around for a few days after application. Kennedy Kitchens and Baths has been installing kitchens since 1991! Schedule an appointment today at 706.888.8832 if you need more information about our painting services send us an email at

stop paint bubbles