Bubbling Paint on Walls & Ceilings


I bought paint for ceiling from b q began by stirring the paint as normal and started painting ceiling with a new roller the paint does not go on as expected (flat and Smooth) But bubbles appear cannot seem to smooth these out I suspect paint is problem?

regards Ron


Hi Ron

I think the problem is likely to be with the existing surface rather than the paint?

You will usually see bubbles appearing where the existing paint is not adhered sufficiently to to surface. This can be caused by damp or, more recently, because the surface wasn’t properly sealed before painting.

This is becoming quite an epidemic with new-build properties. If the problem is minor then you may find the bubbles will dry flat after a day or so? More severe bubbling may necessitate scraping the loose paint off the surface before going any further.

If the problem is isolated to a small area you can sometimes get away with using a brush rather than a roller as this causes less disturbance to the surface and less problems with bubbles.

All the best.


Kay – I have a couple of walls in my house where it looks as if the plaster wasn’t allowed to dry out before it was painted and is now causing the paint added at a later date to flake and powder. READ MORE…

You could try using a lining paper applied with a strong ready-mixed wallpaper adhesive to give yourself a decent surface to paint on.

The only other way is just to keep scraping off any loose paint and keep re-doing until you end up with a solid finish. Not the answer you wanted, I know, but it is a curse of modern housing I’m afraid.

Helen – Decorating our kitchen. On a certain wall its like the paint is coming off as soon as we paint the new colour on. We painted it yesterday with watered down white emulsion but that’s still not helping. Surface isn’t damp. House built in the 80’s. Cant go over where we have already tried painting as both brush and roller seem to be removing the paint we have just put on. First time decorating the kitchen as not long bought the property. READ MORE…

OK, there are a number of possible causes. The most likely being that the original paint surface has not stuck to wall and any pressure simply causes it to come away, taking any new coating with it. To remedy this you’d need to remove as much as the existing coating as you can before attempting to redecorate.

Another is that the plaster, or whatever the wall is finished with, has become very dry and friable and will need treating with a penetrating sealer – but this would be a risky solution to suggest without being certain.

One safer option would be to line the wall with a decent grade lining paper stuck to the wall with a heavy-duty ready-mixed adhesive. This would give you a good surface to paint on assuming, of course, the adhesive will stick to the wall where a regular paint will not?

Sorry I am clutching at straws here. 🙂 If you have anything further that would indicate the source of the problem please let me know?