Oops! Your dark shirt seemed to have gotten lighter after leaning on that wall. You checked on it and realized that it’s caused by powdery granules you got from your chalking wall. What are you going to do?

Flex your muscles, DIYer, it’s going to be a long and drizzly ride. We’ve got a wall to save!

Common Painting Problems: What is Chalking?

Chalking Defined

The term ‘chalking’ in painting refers to the deterioration of the paint system resulting to the appearance of a loose powdery substance on the wall. It is a natural process occurring commonly in old paints. But there are times when the paint chalks sooner than expected, listed below are the reasons why:

  • Sunlight hitting a surface for far longer than usual
  • Coastal environment that surrounds a painted building 
  • Use of darker colors of paint which absorbs more heat than the lighter ones

To expound more on the process, when the coating weathers due to extreme exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, the binder that holds the paint together loses adhesion and then separates. To visualize more easily and clearly, think of the white chalk stick your teacher always used to write on blackboards back in school. Those chalk marks or remnants left after everything had been erased from the board– that’s basically how chalking looks like– are similar except it happens on your beloved wall without you writing or erasing anything on it.

If not resolved sooner, this problem may result to fading and erosion of the paint film and ultimately exposing the surface underneath. But that is not all, DIYer, when worse comes to worst, it may be harmful to your health if you inhale the chalk particles.

If you’re still not sure whether your wall is already chalking, use a clean rag and run it across the wall. Use a light-colored rag on dark walls and vice versa. This will surely confirm the condition of your wall. Remember that the color of the chalk particles depends on the color of the paint.

Common Painting Problems: What is Chalking?


Let’s just look into that as a learning experience. Saving your wall from the horrors of chalking isn’t rocket science. Ready? Here we go! If your interior walls are chalking, you will need a clean damp rag or brush to scrub the surface clean. Mop your floor of any debris and let the surface dry thoroughly before you start priming and repainting the wall.

For exteriors, pressure washing may be more convenient if the situation permits. Now you wouldn’t want to welcome another problem so care must be taken to avoid damaging the substrate and its nearby areas. Whether you clean with a damp rag or do pressure washing, allow the surface to dry completely before repainting. 

It is ideal to use a high-quality primer, like Boysen Chalk Blocker B-7304,  to prevent the walls from chalking in the future. It binds chalk residue to the substrate to help maintain its good condition even after months of application. After priming the wall, then you can paint the wall with any color you want.

Got other urgent painting problems you need our help with? Check this link. Alternatively, you can send an email to ask@myboysen.com or call (02) 363-9738 local 417 to 418 for a one-on-one consultation.


Jess is a copywriter who brushes up on her paint knowledge daily. Together with Boysen professionals, she makes the technical stuff easier to digest. When she’s not writing, she searches the internet for the latest dessert bar.


  1. We had chalking in our rooms, predominantly in the kitchen, on the surface of our chimney walls and under the windows – we live on the seafront. A decorated treated and repainted the whole house and within 6 months, the chalking returned. What would you recommend us to do and what products would you suggest to reduce the amount of chalking

    • An email was sent to your directly on September 19:

      “Regarding your inquiry, may we clarify:
      1. Was skimcoat used before? If yes, what skimcoat did you use?
      2. What specific paint products were used?
      3. What were the step by step procedures done?

      If it’s alright, may we also ask for a photo of the wall and the affected areas? And where in the Philippines are you located? This will help us assess the situation better.”

  2. Michelle Fern Reply

    My house was painted about 15 years ago and we love the color. The chalking started about two years ago and I’ve been using a damp swiffer to clean it. But it just comes back in a month or so. We are getting ready to sell the home and I don’t want to repaint it as it’s a large home and we don’t have the time or money to put into a lot of renovations. What is the best way to clean the chalking?

    • Reply from our Comms Team via email.
      Hi Michelle.

      Thank you for your message and for following us at Let it B.

      While there are many possible causes of chalking, for your 15 year old home, this is most likely due to the age of the paint. Sadly, for this, there is no quick fix but to repaint the place.

      If you would only like to clean the surface, we are sorry to say that we do not have a product that will meet your requirements.


      Please answer the email directly if you need more help. Or better yet, call (02) 8363-9738 local 417 to 418 during office hours and talk to our Technical Team.


  3. When decide to do something we should get well aware of the problems we might face. So, in case of painting our homes we also have to know what are problems we might face while doing the painting. This article shows every possible problem we might face while doing painting. Thanking you. One must check this Clearandcolour.com it gives us more info on this topic.

  4. I am very impressed with your wonderful blog. I read about it Common Painting Problems What is Chalking, You checked on it and realized that it’s caused by powdery granules you got from your chalking wall. This is a very useful blog for everyone, I will share this to my friend and relatives.

  5. I painted my wall with a dark brown paint and after a few days i saw some white markings like some kind of white powder or chalk stain on some areas. How can I remove it? and what is the cause?

      • Here you go, Jo. This was the email sent directly to you. Kindly reply directly via email.


        Thank you for your message and for following us at Let it B.

        Regarding your inquiry, may we clarify:
        1. What were the specific products used? May we also know the step by step procedures done or implemented?
        2. Was skimcoat used? If yes, may we know what skimcoat was used?

        It would also help if you have a photo of the wall and the problem encountered.
        Thank you.

  6. Renato balona Reply

    What is the cause of bubbles on painted walls and its remedy.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.