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Started pressure wash and Chlorine bleach (usual prep) October 2, dry winds heat 75 and 3 days to start job. (8% moisture upon start) October 5th with 4 employees starting priming Bullseye 123 colorized (70%) acrylic (Ph balance is 11% now). Full prime done. 24 hours dry. First coat Superpaint Sherwin williams. 2 days later second coat. 2 days later bubbles. At first we thought moisture was wicking up from the clear (but dry, installed 1992 heart redwood vertical grain). Then it started forming on other types of wood on 4 by 8 trelias beams, so not the wood.
Sent primer and paint to different labs for analysis. not paint or primer.
Bought Peel & away product instead of using heat guns for removal of affected areas.What should I use now? They suggested using at the paint store a slow drying primer but I have used shellac on one area with recoats and bubbled again. Also used cover stain and recoated 2 times and bubbled same place. ANY SUGGESTION WOULD BE GOOD NOW!
Thanks, Michael Northern Calfornia
 

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All joking aside. I know you are probably frustrated here are a few questions and if you can provide a pic.
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What does SW say?
Did you send a wet sample?
Or did you cut a piece out and send that to the lab?
Did you use a independent lab or a SW?
 

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I am always amazed at the lack of understanding behind these bubbles from most painters. That said - the reason why a finish bubbles like this, is because there is problem with adhesion of the older layers of paint. Now it could be an intercoat adhesion problem between a paint job done 17 years ago and one done 9 years ago. Or typically all the way down to the wood. And sometimes you can paint multiple times before the 'hair' that broke the camels back comes to haunt you. What's happening is the new layer of paint is exerting a tremendous 'shear' force on the older layers of paint and when there is a 'weak' spot - boom you have a bubble. And by shear force, you can experience directly first hand this phenomena, take that skin firming lotion women use on their face and apply it to your own - you feel your whole face feeling really tight. That's what the older layers of paint on a home feel when you apply a new layer of paint. And this force is exasperated by using multiple thicker coats of paint and/or Durations like technology. In these instance a 2nd, 3rd tier quality paint is actually better.

You can scrape the bubbles and spot prime and spot paint and hope for the best. Personally I have it written in my proposals that I am not responsible for this condition and show in great detail what causes it. In coming years you will see more and more of this happening. As painters become even more whorish in their ways, they tend to do things that sacrifice quality. One such manuever I have been seeing more and more of is painting when overnight temperature conditions are not conducive to a full cross-polymerization of the latex resins. Sure it may be ok, and you may never see any symptoms - but now you have lossed any blister resistance and setup the next painter for failure.
 

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From what reps have told me, if the bubble is round, it is always moisture related. If it is not round it could be some other cause, such as the scenario Plain described.
 

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How well was the Chlorine rinsed? Is there a chloride contamination? Chlorides will absorb moisture and expand causing blisters. What is under the blister and what does it smell like? Just some thoughts.
 

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From what reps have told me, if the bubble is round, it is always moisture related. If it is not round it could be some other cause, such as the scenario Plain described.
It's not true - I've done many moisture meter readings - and the result is never a moisture problem.

Here is one scenerio that bubbled on me. House was 80% resided, I know the contractor - total hack. He puts up good quality cedar clapboard - but unprimed. He then paints the wood directly with latex house paint. I come 5 years later to repaint it, the stuff was coming off in sheets when I put my pressure washer to it - after soaking up all the moisture. And the areas that didn't pressure wash or could get scraped off - you'd see those areas bubble out in the high noon sun.

Another favorite of mine was a shingled cape. It had been painted with Moore's Cottage red paint in the past. Come to find out - that below it is a worn cape cod like grey finish that wasn't even washed when it was painted - all those debris that accumulate under the shakes were painted in!!!!!!

So as I painted - it lifted the older layer right of that interface. Had the home been decently pressure washed, let alone priming - it would have had half a chance.


And another one that bubbled - but I knew it would so the I got the guy to pay me for a double scraping and double pressure washing - and the result was very little bubbling. But here was the scenerio - another cape, this time clapboard. Had evidence of a primer plus 2 oil based coatings, about a 50 year old house. Then there was a latex paint job on top of it - and then a second latex paint job a friend of mine put on. This was now the critical juncture - it had survived up to this point - but a 3rd coats was going to create a huge mess. The first latex paint job was installed directly over a 'failing' oil type finish - it wasn't thick like older alligatored homes - but was dusty and chaulky. And as you pressure washed it - the latex paint kept peeling and peeling - it took forever before I could find a place where it was ok. It peeled exactly like those older generation latex paints painted directly over unprepped oil painted doors - you know you can just scrape it off with just your fingernails.

Thankfully a Scraping - pressure washing -scraping - pressure washing - sanding was enough to really get most of the weaknesses off. But it will prove to be a failure in the future.
 

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And this force is exasperated by using multiple thicker coats of paint and/or Durations like technology. In these instance a 2nd, 3rd tier quality paint is actually better.
Very good point with the thicker products on older siding. Durations and other self priming paints are great on newer jobs, but pre 1960, forget about it. Resilience or Acryshield works well on older Victorian style homes for trim. Superpaint on body. Duration can bubble up.

I find that houses that bubble usually have poor runoff areas. Crappy gutters/down spouts. sides with no soffitts/eves and no real areas of gutters. The guys in the Northwest, hopefully, know to stay away from the smooth large board cedar siding from the 1970's.....guaranteed bubbler in the PNW.

Bubbling is a tricky beast to best.....this video will help all of you with your bubbling problems.......
 

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Great this old post, just helped me with a problem one of my painter is having. Painted 10 year old cedar, prepped, applied coverstain 1st day, one coat of duration extra satin in a dark custom gray on second day, than second coat third day. Says bubbles keep forming and doesn't think moisture is an issue and my guess, its not.
 
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