Flaking paint can really put a damper on how your home looks. Being able to diagnose and repair damaged, flaking paint will help restore the appearance of your home.
Why Paint Flakes
The primary reason paint flakes is due to moisture. When the surface of a wall is damp for any reason the paint can't adhere to the surface that's being painted. The moisture forms a barrier between the drywall and the paint and as the paint dries it pulls away from the drywall. Water damage can be a contributing factor to flaking paint as can painting during a humid or rainy day.
Prepping Your Paint Surface
To start your paint repair first you have to scrape off any loose or flaking paint with a wire brush. Be extra thorough with this step because any remaining paint could cause your fresh coat of paint to flake off. Once you've scraped off any loose paint, patch any uneven spaces with patching compound.
When filling holes and uneven spaces with patching compound, over fill them just a little bit. The compound shrinks when it dries. If you underfill the spaces you're filling, may have to do a second application of the compound. After the compound is dry, gently sand the dried compound to make the wall surface even again.
To begin painting make sure to protect your floors with drop cloths. You should also remove electrical outlet covers and protect window sills and doorways with masking tape.
Next, apply a layer of primer to your wall. This primer layer will seal the damaged layer of paint beneath and also form a barrier so moisture can't damage your fresh layer of paint.
After the primer dries, you're ready to begin painting. If you're having moisture problems you should use a latex based paint to paint your wall. Latex paint is able to breathe and expand with temperature fluctuations, so it's much less likely to flake. First, paint the border of your wall with a small roller of brush, and work your way in forming a "W" shaped pattern with the paint. This will ensure your paint goes on evenly. Wait for the paint to dry and apply a second coat if needed. Then remove the masking tape and the drop cloths.
If you don't feel comfortable repairing an area with flaking paint, talk to a residential painting service. They can repair flaking paint with ease. They can also diagnose and repair especially damaged areas of paint, especially in the case of water damage.