10 Wall paint defects that can ruin your walls, house, and prestige. Know what they are and how to prevent them.

Let’s admit it: walls would look horrible to look at if there were no paint on them. Paints not only make them lively and attractive but also acts as a protective shield against regular wear-and-tear, decay, corrosion, and weathering. And like everything – living or nonliving – they deteriorate with time. Sometimes a lot sooner, and a lot worse way than expected. Leaving our walls, and by extension the home, exposed to decay, deterioration, and disintegration. 

In the words of famous strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, “Knowing your enemy is winning half the battle.” So here we are bringing to you the 10 common defects in wall paint you must know about and guard against. 

  • Blistering and Peeling

  • Fading

  • Grinning

  • Chalking

  • Flaking

  • Wrinkling

  • Flashing

  • Saponification

  • Alligatoring

  • Mildew

Let’s go through these wall paint defects one by one. 

Blistering and Peeling

It is perhaps the most prevalent and one of the most unpleasant wall paint defects you can find. 

When your wall develops a swelling or several of that on it – it is known as Blistering or Peeling. These swellings or bulges are created by air bubbles that form between the wall and the paint. The bulge is either formed due to trapped moisture or trapped gases. We call it Peeling if the cause behind this is moisture. In case the reason for the swellings is trapped gases formed due to the presence of excessive oil and grease matter in the paint. To remind you again, both (Blistering and Peeling) are one and the same look-wise and the only differentiating factor is how they came about. 

Now that you understand what they are and why they are there, what’s the way out? We suggest you use porous paints like emulsion paints instead of non-porous ones like enamel and oil paints. Think repainting the walls is a bit too much to ask? How about hiding those blistering/peeling with wall art?  


You were so excited to shift into the newly built home. You had selectively chosen the color theme of the house based on personal preference and Vastu. Just a few months into the home and you can see the wall paint faded at patches. You are dejected! 

What is fading? When the color of the wall wanes or dwindles in intensity, we know it as fading. Yes, it is the same as the fading you experience in your clothes over time. Exposure to natural elements such as sunlight, heat, cold, rain, air, moisture, etc. is the primary reason for fading or discoloration. 

You can easily prevent it by using quality paint that comes with weathering-resistant pigments in it. 


Grinning means smiling in a way that shows up your teeth. Now picture paint as your lips and wall as the teeth for a moment. Yes, you get it now! Grinning in wall paint means the paint is exposing the wall – or part of it – it is meant to cover and protect. 

Why does it happen? Grinning is caused by a number of reasons such as uneven application of paint, excessive spreading, applying fewer coats than required, or using an undercoat color that doesn’t gel. 

Steer clear of the shoddy paint or painters and you will have no Grinning staring into your face. 


Remember the days of childhood when most of the houses had limewash paint? One swipe across the newly painted wall and you had the lime powder stuck all over your palm. We have moved a long way from those days and paints but the problem of chalking still persists. 

When the paint comes off the wall surface in form of powder, we call this wall-paint defect ‘Chalking’. UV rays weaken the bond between the adhesive and the paint pigment within the paint over time resulting in Chalking. If it happens even when the paint is new, blame the poor quality and application of your paint and primer. Use good quality oil-based distemper or emulsion to keep this problem at bay. 


When the paint becomes detached from the wall it is applied on, we call it Flaking. And it looks ugly, really ugly. It arises when the adhesive that binds the wall with the paint becomes weak. The paint layer that detaches from the wall is really fragile and can break easily leaving the inside of the wall exposed. 

Make sure you clean and clear the wall thoroughly with abrasive paper right before putting the paint on it. 


Obvious by the name, wrinkling is the formation of wrinkles across the wall. They look bad in patches but when they are splattered across the whole area they can come across as a modern art pieces. 

Why does it happen? A thick coat of overlapping paint sometimes shrinks and forms wrinkles. A great way to avoid it is to let one coat of paint dry off properly before applying the next coat. It also helps to keep the coat proper – neither too thick nor too thin. 


It is as serious a wall-paint defect as the name itself. Definitely one of the worst of all wall-paint defects you can come across. It happens when the painted surface is exposed to chemicals such as alkalis. 

What it looks like? It makes your walls look extremely dirty and dilapidated. In this defect, the paint peels off the wall, and soap patches are formed. One quick look at it and you will feel like some acid has been poured over the wall to get this effect. 


You must have seen an alligator, either in a zoo or jungle or in the book at least. One of the defining features of an alligator is its scales. Now imagine those same scary-looking scales on your walls that we call Alligatoring. 

Did you apply a new coat of paint on the old one? Or maybe the undercoat was not done well enough and thick enough? Both cases offer a perfect invitation to the defect known as Alligatoring. The solution lies in using a high-quality oil-based primer as an undercoat. 


Have you ever witnessed the Halo Effect on any wall? Where patches on the wall shine brighter than the rest of it in presence of light at certain angles. Somewhat like a mirror reflecting light. This wall paint defect is called Flashing. 

Why does it happen? Chances are you have painted the wall using two different tools – a roller on day one and a paintbrush on the second day. You are prone to flashing defects if the paint is applied differently on the wall. Make sure you use the same equipment to maintain uniformity and nip any chance of flashing in the bud. 

Is there a solution? Yes, but it’s neither easy nor simple. You have to repaint the area edge to edge – either vertically or horizontally – all the while making sure that the wet edge is maintained. 


Last but certainly not the least – and in my personal opinion the worst of all wall paint defects. It looks so horrible that you will find it difficult to co-exist. When your wall develops sick-looking dark and dirty patches on it, we call it Mildew. It is caused by a fungus that grows in warm, moist, and dark surroundings. And if you don’t take measures to redress it, the grey patches will engulf the whole wall. 

How to prevent it? Just make sure you keep the wall surface dry and clean before applying paint. In case these fungi do come along, kill them by washing the wall with a bleach solution.  


As long as there are walls, we will be putting paint on them. Wall Paints are used for decoration, providing durability to the structure, and in today’s time for Vastu. 

Walls are made of materials that naturally absorb moisture while the paint is meant specifically to seal out moisture, dirt, dust, allergens, and a lot many harmful infiltrators from getting into and thus damaging the porous walls. Hence we must be extra careful while choosing the right paint for our homes. It must be selected based on many factors such as the type of wall surface and the climate of the place.  Hope this blog provided help and information you were looking for. Happy Painting!

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