Cracking or flaking is the splitting of a dry paint film. This is a problem that needs fixing as it can lead to complete failure of the paint. Initially, the problem appears as a hairline crack, before evolving to flaking of paint chips.

cracking and flaking

Possible Cause

Cracking and flaking is caused by:

  • Use of a lower quality paint that has inadequate adhesion and flexibility
  • Over thinning the paint or spreading it too thin
  • Poor surface preparation, especially when the paint is applied to bare timber without priming
  • Painting under hot or windy conditions that make water-based paints dry too fast



If caught early, it may be possible to correct superficial cracking by simply removing the loose or flaking paint with a scraper or wire brush, sanding to feather the edges, perform necessary repairs and spot- prime any bare spots before top coat application. However, if the cracking extends to the substrate, remove all affected paint by scraping, sanding and/or using a heat gun prior to painting.

More problem solving advice


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