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Paint Problems

We recently restored a 1850s farm house in Georgia. Where we could save them we repainted the interior wall boards, but about half had to be replaced. Now just a few weeks after painting it is beginning to blister and peel.

Before we started the renovation we first pressure washed the wood (yes this was indoors but when we started working on the house it had no wiring, no sheetrock or insulation, not much flooring and little roof so the water did not hurt anything). Then a few months later we scraped cleaned and scraped the wood where it needed it and then calked cracks and holes then put on a good coat of primer followed by two good coats of paint.

The paint is only blistering on walls that had old paint on them; walls that got new boards are not blistering. Under the blisters you can see the old paint, not bare wood. Some of these are interior partition walls some are against the outside that seems to make no difference. We also repainted the exterior at the same time and so far no problems there.

The original wood is old Georgia pine. The replacement wood we put up is a combination of new t&g pine and some old recovered (1880s) pine that was recently planed so there was no old paint on it. None of the previously unpainted replacement wood that was painted the same way, at the same time is peeling.

My questions are does anyone have an idea as to what went wrong? How would you go about fixing it? And we paid a painting contractor a whole lot to do this, way more than a normal paint job to get lots of caulking and thick coats. We let the painter choose the paint. Would you go after the contractor on this?

Any learned advice will be appreciated.

Hank Bauer
Re: Paint Problems

Could the 1850 paint have been HIDE Glue ( Rabbit paint )and lime paint?
Pressure washing may have left the glue on the wood.
Open one of the blisters and see if it is stickey behine the paint.

Re: Paint Problems

Thanks, I have no idea what the old paint was. The house was last occupied about 25 or 30 years ago so the last paint would have probably been at least 40 years old, maybe a lot older. The first paint was no doubt 1850s whatever they used back then.

I checked the blisters and no it seems pretty dry not sticky and you can see the old paint still well stuck to the walls. The blisters are clearly between the new paint and the old.

I don't think the pressure washing would have done much to the paint, the roof was shot and rain had run down a lot of these walls for a long time before we ever pressure washed. Then after pressure washing we fixed the roof and the house was dry for several months while we worked on other things before painting. What the pressure washing did was clean the walls and take a lot of flaking paint off, in one room there was a blue paint that came off completly but the pinkish paint under it stuck real well.

Hank Bauer
Re: Paint Problems

The only other paint I can think of would be MILK PAINT.
I don't know if it would blister?

any advice?

Looked more closely at a couple of the blisters, you can see the underlying paint both on the back side of the blisters and on the wall. It’s like the old paint itself is separating. Before painting we really cleaned the walls well and the paint showed no signs of coming off.

Anybody ever seen this before?

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