When paint blisters down to the original primer or bare wood this is indicative of the original primer on the house failing. As it fails the primer starts to crumble and it can no longer hold the layers of paint to the siding of the house. Many of the homes in the older neighborhoods of Portland have this issue, as the original primer or paint may be up to 100 years old.

There are a couple ways to deal with this:

  1. You can have the paint stripped (using heat or chemicals) of the entire house, or selectively from just the bad areas. This process must be done by an EPA-certified lead contractor, and proper precautions must be taken to ensure that your home and property are protected from lead paint chips and dust.
  2. The failing paint can be scraped off the bad areas of the house using a specialized paint scraper. While this method is less costly and achieves the result of creating a firm surface for the new paint to bond to, the finished product is not as smooth as with paint stripping. Please note that older homes almost always contain lead-based paint and due to EPA regulations, cannot be sanded. Be wary of any painting contractor that suggests sanding off the old layers of paint.

The best method to ensure that future paint layers will not fail is to completely strip off the paint,  but this is usually a costly and time-consuming process. We have had great success with selectively stripping the areas where the paint has failed, this minimizes the chance of further blistering or peeling in those areas. Many of our clients will have us strip the areas that are the most visible (ie. the front porch or side of the house not covered by landscaping), and simply scrap the areas that are less visible. Weinmann Painting is an EPA Lead Certified Contractor and adheres to the proper precautions for the removal and disposal of lead-based paint.