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Paint Blocking: The Best Method for How to Fix and Prevent It

Do you notice paint cracking between your door spaces, windows, or sills? What about the trim or connecting walls in your bathroom?

These issues and more could be the product of a painting issue called paint blocking. I will discuss the meaning of paint blocking, what causes this paint issue, and ways you can prevent it from happening.

Preventing paint blocking

Stick around to learn about high-quality primers and sealers built to cover and protect your surfaces. Then find out my top recommendations for excellent waterproofing paints.

What Does “Paint Blocking” Mean?

Paint blocking occurs when fresh paint is painted on another layer of fresh paint before it’s ready. When the second layer of paint dries, it sticks together instead of to the applied surface.

If you were to remove a piece of loose paint, the underneath layer will come along with it or adhere to the other surface it rubbed against.

What Causes Paint Blocking?

The most prominent times paint blocking becomes an issue is if two walls are joined or connected. Another time it’s a problem when two different colors of paint are near one another.

Moisture and Humidity

Moisture in and around a paint can also cause paint blocking issues. Paint sticking happens when humidity causes two layers of paint to stick to one another and then remove themselves from the surface.

Not Allowing Paint to Dry Properly

Painting too early over fresh coats of paint can cause paint blocking, especially when the other coat of paint wasn’t allowed maximum drying time. Likewise, using slow-drying or oil-based paint can cause paint blocking. Even though the paint appears dry to the touch, wet paint can get trapped between the building surfaces and the top coat of paint.

Painting over wet paint can cause paint blocking to occur

Applying Too Many Coats of Paint

When two painted areas rub together before they are thoroughly dry or cured, it can cause poor block resistance. Another cause of paint blocking is excessive coats of paint. Always follow the paint label instructions to ensure the right amount of paint coats are being used.

How to Fix Paint Blocking

Begin by practicing excellent prep work to fix your paint blocking issues. First, scrape and sand down any areas where it’s needed. Then use a high-quality primer such as Peel Stop or Peel Bond. Once your primer has had the proper time to dry, you’re ready to apply high-quality paint to the areas.

Sanding paint blocking off before repainting

Paint Types Best for High Moisture Areas

Latex Paints

Acrylic paint with latex is excellent for high humidity areas because they tend to dry way quicker than other types of paint. Look for a future paint with waterproofing or moisture-lock.

Alkyd Paints

Alkyd paints are my top choice for areas dealing with moisture and humidity. They carry long-term moisture resistance thanks to their hydrophobic materials and ingredients.

How to Prevent Paint Blocking

Moisture Testing

First, test moisture levels in your home by watching the accumulation of water droplets that collect around your window seals. Then, if needed, use a hygrometer to help you learn your space’s humidity and moisture levels.

Using a hydrometer to prevent paint blocking

Allow paints to dry according to the entire label recommendations. Even if paint appears dry or you touch it and seems dry, paint can still have a “squish” and need full drying time underneath. Choose the right paints that handle weather situations, all ranged temperatures, and correct moisture levels for that space. High moisture needs to have an included moisture lock technology.

Tips and Dry Time

Never scrape fresh paint against fresh paint like that of a window sill, window, or a door with a wall behind it. Instead, allow sufficient time for your paint to dry!

Even after it’s dried, failure to allow the paint to cure can also cause paint blocking. Curing will enable paints to give off their best results. Never use cleaners on uncured painted areas and keep them from moisture and humidity as much as possible.

Latex paints will dry in a day or two but need two to four weeks to cure fully. For long-lasting results, always follow the exact directions located on the back of your paints. Use Vaseline to cover areas not easily removable, such as metal knobs and hinges. Vaseline helps prevent paint blocking while the paint is drying and curing thoroughly.

Recommended Products for Preventing and Fixing Paint Blocking

In most cases, the best choices are to prep, prime, and paint over paint blocking. Here are my favorite primer and paint brands that will fix paint blocking issues.

BEHR Premium Plus

BEHR Premium Plus Interior and Exterior paints are among the best paints on the market for the price. You really can’t beat the quality. Visit here to see a total breakdown of why you need to consider choosing BEHR Premium Plus for all of your painting projects.

The durability is unbeatable, but please remember this specific paint is best for indoor use.

BEHR Premium White Urethane Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel Paint

Next, I really like the qualities found for humidity, moisture, and overall avoidance of paint blocking in BEHR Premium Alkyd Semi-Gloss Paint.

Alkyd paint is one of the best types of paint to use around moisture due to its built-in long-term moisture resistance. I fully trust all products made by BEHR. In all my painting experiences, BEHR is my go-to brand. This alkyd paint also doubles as working for both interior and exterior spaces!

BEHR Ultra Scuff Defense

BEHR Ultra is another excellent interior paint with many durability features and qualities built into the paint itself. Ultra can handle just about anything thrown its way.

BEHR Ultra Scuff Defense is great for walls that need to be able to endure extreme conditions. In one of my other posts, I walk you through a complete review of the differences between BEHR Ultra and BEHR Premium, so make sure to check that out.

Benjamin Moore AURA

I think you’ll really love the qualities found in Benjamin Moore paints. Benjamin Moore AURA Waterborne is an excellent interior acrylic paint featuring color lock technology. This paint will give you a long-lasting smooth finish and seamless touch-up to any interior space. AURA also has a superior block resistance to scuffing and burnishing and offers perfect mildew resistance.

Repainting window trim after removing paint blocking

Top Primers for Paint Blocking

Peel Bond

XIM Peel Bond is a high build bonding primer and sealer that corrects most painting issues. Peel Bond will help you cover and prevent future problems and create a waterproof seal that can handle a new fresh coat of paint.

Peel Stop

Zinsser Peel Stop is another excellent primer that covers problem areas while carrying low VOC levels and odor. I like the fast-drying properties in Peel Stop; it usually takes about thirty minutes to dry completely between coats.

Temporary Fixes

Latex paints can become tacky, especially when they don’t offer waterproofing abilities. In addition, some paints just don’t hold up in extreme moisture over time. However, you can try using household items to seal the problem areas for a short time. These items can also prevent sticking and further paint damage until you repaint.

Wrapping Up How to Fix and Prevent Paint Blocking

Now that we’ve looked more into paint blocking, its causes, and ways to prevent or fix it, I hope you feel confident about how to choose the next steps to correct this painting issue. Maybe you could catch these problems before they even begin!

No matter the situation, I highly recommend you look into these products to help you deal with paint blocking correctly! Make sure to check out more common paint problems and solutions to find all the answers you need.