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What Causes Blistering or Bubbling?

Bubbling or Blistering is an unsightly defect in a painted surface.  There are a number of causes and very much dependant on what substrate is being painted. However, the common mechanism that causes the bubble is something is ‘off-gassing’ and unable to penetrate the paint film covering it. 

Blistering or bubbling is quite common and can be caused by several factors:

  • High temperature of substrate, air or painting in direct sunlight
  • Reaction between substrate and new paint film (cissing)
  • Loss of adhesion between coats
  • Excessive moisture content in the substrate
  • Resin or Resin gasses
  • Direct moisture ingress from an architectural defect

It is key to identify and appropriately treat the cause. Application of the right primer is an important step in this process as is following the application conditions within the relevant products technical data sheets allowing sufficient curing time between coats.


  • Remove any flaky paint and sand back any effected areas feathering the edges to prevent any sharp lines in the final finish.
    • For Knots - Treat the knots with direct heat
    • For Metal - abrade back to bare metal any rust patches and prime using Rostex Super or Rostex Super Akva
  • The best way to avoid any possible reaction is to ensure all surfaces are thoroughly clean and stable using our Maalipesu Cleaning Agent. If chemical contamination is left on surfaces there is a probability localised cissing will occur, an example would be localised cissing blistering on a kitchen in an area where oil or contamination was left.

Priming: Otex Adehsion Primer

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our technical team on 0131 334 4999 or send a message here.

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Use this calculator to work out your requirements, if you have any question please get in touch with one of our team who will be more than willing to help you.

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Disclaimer: Tikkurila UK Paint Calculator is provided as a guide only. The coverage rates will vary depending on surface being coated and the particular product range being used. More information on these products can be found on the cans, on the technical data sheets on individual product pages, by using our live chat service or by calling our technical team on 0131 334 4999.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the estimate, however paint requirements may vary depending on the surface, type of paint, sheen level and colour chosen.