Before - Exterior painting Berowra

How to Prevent Paint Surface Chalking

In order to reduce paint surface chalking we first need to understand what it is.

What is Paint Chalking

Chalking is the fine powder that forms on a painted surface. A small amount of chalking on a newly painted surface is not a concern. But excessive or continual chalking is a bad sign.

The Causes of Paint Surface Chalking

Chalking is caused by one of the paint constituents breaking down. This breakdown can be caused by several situations as shown:

  • If the paint is thinned too much it will tend to chalk into fine powder.
  • Cheap paint that is already too thin will tend to chalk
  • A porous surface will soak up paint, or part of the paint constituents, and soon start to chalk. This is common with surfaces that have not been given a primer / undercoat.
  • A dirty surface can cause chalking. This tends to occur with other problems like blistering paint.
  • Strong ultraviolet light (UV) or long term exposure to UV will cause the paint to break down, leading to colour fading and often causing chalking.
  • Some solvents will cause chalking if left on the paint surface. This includes stronger cleaning solvents.
  • Coastal environments, with moist salty air, tend to have more chalking problems than stable dry environments.

How to Reduce Paint Surface Chalking

As mentioned newly painted surfaces tend to have a little chalking, which is not an issue. By following these steps you can ensure that your new painting project will have less chalking issues.

  • Choosing a quality paint
  • Applying a good quality primer to a well prepared surface.
  • Not thinning paint for external application.
  • Applying lighter colours that are less UV absorbent.
  • Using inorganic pigment colours that do not react strongly to UV.
  • Regular washing and cleaning of external paint will greatly reduce chalking problems.

A surface that already suffers chalking will eventually need to be repainted. Clean the chalked surface with Trisodium Phosphate and wash with water. Repaint when the surface is completely dry.

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