Why Paint Won’t Stick to Your Walls?

Paint Wont Stick To Wall

The issue of paint failing to adhere to walls is an annoying problem that can plague any room in your home. Whether you’re using a premium paint product or a budget-friendly option, the result is the same: a flawed coating that peels, bubbles, or simply doesn’t stick.

The failure of paint to adhere to walls—be it plaster, drywall, or another material—is often due to a variety of factors. These can range from the type of wall you’re painting to the condition of the surface, and even the moisture content in the room.

What Are the Different Types of Surfaces That Paint Can Not Stick To?

Paint can struggle with a variety of surfaces. Whether it’s a glossy finish, a wall contaminated with dirt or oil, or even doors and plaster surfaces, each presents its own set of challenges for paint adhesion.


Surface Contamination: Dirt, Oil, Grease, Polish Residue, etc.

Surface contamination is a leading cause of paint adhesion issues. Elements like dirt, oil, and grease can form a barrier that prevents the paint coating from bonding effectively with the wall. This is especially true in high-traffic rooms where walls and doors are frequently touched.

Improper Surface Preparation: Not Sanding or Priming the Surface Properly

Improper surface preparation can also lead to adhesion issues. If the plaster wall or door isn’t sanded or primed correctly, the paint may not stick as it should. This is particularly problematic when painting over a wet coating or a surface that hasn’t been adequately dried.

Using the Wrong Type of Paint for the Surface or the Room

The type of paint product you choose can also affect its ability to adhere. Some paints are formulated for specific surfaces or rooms, and using the wrong type can result in poor adhesion and a less durable coating.

Applying Paint in Too Thick or Too Thin Coats

The thickness of the paint coating can also affect its adhesion. Applying paint too thickly can lead to drips and sags, while a too-thin layer may not provide sufficient coverage, affecting the colour uniformity across the room.

Painting in Extreme Temperatures or Humidity

Environmental factors like extreme temperatures or high moisture levels in the room can also affect paint adhesion. For example, painting a plaster wall in high humidity can cause the paint to dry too slowly, affecting its ability to stick.


Remove All Loose Paint and Surface Contamination

Before repainting, it’s crucial to remove any loose or peeling paint from the wall or door. Use a paint scraper or a wire brush to eliminate these problem areas. Then, clean the surface to remove any remaining contaminants, such as wet paint or moisture.

Sand the Surface to Create a Rough Texture for the Paint to Adhere To

Sanding is an essential step for ensuring good paint adhesion. It creates a slightly rough texture on the plaster wall or door, providing the paint with a better surface to grip. For optimal results, use medium-grit sandpaper and sand evenly across the entire surface.

Prime the Surface with a High-Quality Primer

Priming is a critical step that can significantly improve paint adhesion and we recommend you use a quality sandable primer. A high-quality primer will provide a uniform surface for the paint to adhere to, improving both the appearance and durability of the final coating.

Choose the Right Type of Paint for the Surface and the Room

Selecting the right paint product is crucial for achieving good adhesion. Make sure to choose a paint that is appropriate for the surface you’re painting and the conditions in the room. This will help ensure that the colour remains vibrant and the coating durable.

Apply Paint in Thin, Even Coats

When applying the paint, aim for thin, even coats. This approach ensures better coverage and adhesion, and it reduces the risk of problems like drips and sags.

Paint in Moderate Temperatures and Humidity

To ensure optimal adhesion, aim to paint when the temperature and humidity in the room are within the range recommended by the paint manufacturer. This will help the paint dry at the right rate, improving its ability to stick to the plaster wall or door.

Tips and Tricks

We asked Maz Nazzimi, a professional painter at Dupaint for some tips and tricks on how to ensure your paint will stick to your wall. He said, “It’s important to ensure your walls are properly prepared for your paint, else you will constantly run into problems, here are my favourite tips I’ve learnt over the past few years”.

Use a Deglosser to Remove Any Glossy Residue from the Surface

If you’re painting over a glossy or wet paint surface, especially those near a shower or in a bathroom, consider using a deglosser. This product can dull the finish, making it easier for the new paint to adhere.

If the Plaster Wall or Door is New, Let It Dry Completely Before Painting

Newly constructed or installed plaster walls and doors often contain moisture that can interfere with paint adhesion. Make sure these surfaces are completely dry before you start painting.

If the Wall or Door is Old or Damaged, Repair Any Cracks or Holes Before Painting

Old or damaged surfaces may have imperfections that need to be addressed for optimal paint adhesion. Use a filler or patching compound to repair these areas, and then sand them smooth. After sanding, ensure the walls are free from dust and dirt.

Use a Drop Cloth to Protect Your Floors and Furniture from Paint Spills

Accidents happen, even to the most careful painters. Using a drop cloth can protect your floors and furniture from any accidental paint spills in the room.

Clean Up Any Paint Spills Immediately

If you do spill some paint on your floor, act quickly to clean it up. The faster you act, the less likely it is to leave a permanent stain.

Key Takeaways

  • Paint may not stick to walls and doors in various rooms due to factors like surface contamination, improper preparation, and environmental conditions.
  • Effective solutions include thorough surface preparation, choosing the right paint product, and painting under optimal conditions in the room.
  • Additional tips like using a deglosser or drop cloth can make the painting process smoother and more successful.

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any paint adhesion issues, ensuring a durable and professional-looking coating in every room of your home. If you need a hand, Dupaint is always ready to help, just contact us today to schedule a free quote.

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