Loss of paint due to poor adhesion. Where there is a primer and top coat, or multiple coats of paint, peeling may involve some or all coats.

Possible cause

  • Seepage of moisture through uncaulked joints, worn caulk or leaks in roof or walls
  • Excess moisture escaping through the exterior walls (more likely if paint is solvent-based)
  • Inadequate surface preparation
  • Use of lower quality paint
  • Applying a solvent-based paint over a wet surface
  • Earlier blistering of paint (see Blistering)



Try to identify and eliminate the cause of moisture (see Efflorescence and mottling). Prepare surface by removing all loose paint with scraper or wire brush, sand rough surfaces, prime bare timber.

Repaint with a top quality water-based exterior paint for best adhesion and water resistance. Dulux recommends Dulux 1 Step® Primer Sealer Undercoat with Dulux Weathershield®.

For more information, please consult our detailed Technical Advice note on the topic.

More problem solving advice

When droplets appear on acrylic paint

Have you noticed small droplets appearing on your fresh coat of acrylic paint? Don't panic – it’s a normal part of the curing process. Find out more.


Yellowing describes the development of a yellow cast in aging paint solvent-based enamels. Find out more.


Wrinkling is a term used to describe a rough, crinkled paint surface occurring when paint forms a 'skin'. Find out more.

Tannin staining

Tannin staining is the brownish or tan discoloration on the paint surface due to migration of tannins from the substrate through the paint film. Find out more.