The most widespread cause of flaking is moisture, either in the surface or deposited during painting. If moisture is in the under-surface at the time of painting, heat will draw it out and the paint will blister or tend to crack or flake. Alternatively, moisture may have been introduced at a later stage through cracks or breaks in the paint film.
Painting wet or damp surfaces will also promote flaking because the adhesion of the initial coat is impaired by its inability to penetrate the moisture-laden surface.
Condensation on the surface may also leave a film of moisture that will impair adhesion. Painting should not be done under wet or frosty conditions.
Other reasons for flaking, which particularly applies to PVA’s are:
Old paint that has deteriorated is never a satisfactory foundation for new paint. Whenever the old paint is suspect, it should be removed.
Another cause of poor adhesion is failure to clean off dirt, grease or salt and form release agents from the surface.
Flaking may be due to poor preparation or to the accumulation of many other coats of paint, some
of which may have been applied many years previously. The use of under-bound or unsuitable
primers can also give rise to flaking.
Substrate: Masonry, gypsum plaster, masonite/hardboard and woodwork
Solution: Remove all the coating which is peeling; ensure that this is done to the point where a clean and sound surface is exposed.