What Makes Latex Paint Bubble When Rolling on Wood?

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Preparing the surface beforehand will help improve the paint job.
Preparing the surface beforehand will help improve the paint job.

Painting a surface is an inexpensive and generally easy way to change the look of a room or item. Unfortunately, several factors can cause bubbles to form on the latex paint, ruining an otherwise perfectly fine do-it-yourself project. With the right preparation, however, you can successfully roll the latex paint on the wood without bubbles forming.

  1. Dirt and Debris

    • If you do not properly clean the wood surface and merely try to paint over dirt and dust, the debris will cause bubbles to appear in the latex paint. You can combat this problem by thoroughly cleaning the wood surface with a mild soapy solution and rinsing the surface completely with cool water. When cleaning, refrain from oversaturating the wood, which will cause more harm than good.

    Moisture

    • When excess moisture is on the surface, it disrupts the paint's ability to adhere properly to the wood. This will cause bubbles to appear just seconds after you have rolled the latex paint onto the wood surface. By simply making sure the wood is completely dry before applying the paint -- and not painting when the humidity is high -- you will reduce if not completely eliminate the chance of these bubbles forming.

    Not Priming

    • Priming is an important step in the painting process that many people overlook. Priming does require extra work, but the effort pays off. Priming provides a better surface for the latex paint to adhere to. In addition, priming will prevent stains from bleeding through the paint. Not priming the wood surface may lead to bubbles in the wet paint as well as the paint cracking and peeling in the future. Several latex paints have a primer built in to reduce the amount of work in the painting process.

    Improper Rolling

    • Applying the paint too quickly to the wood surface will result in bubbles appearing in the paint. In addition, rolling the paint roller in opposite directions will increase the chance of bubbles forming. When applying the paint, move the roller slowly over the wood in a uniform manner. Furthermore, always remove the excess paint off the roller before applying it to the wood surface. An excess amount of paint on the roller nap will increase the probability of bubbles appearing.

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