It’s the new year. We are so gone with the old, and in with the new. And by new we mean a new painting problem we are going to help you with to save your precious wall. No more countdowns, DIYer. Here we go!

Last time, we talked about paint cracks. Now, we’ll delve into its later stages– flaking. 

Flaking is the delamination of the paint system from the wall. It appears as patterned flakes or scales and unlike peeling, it is more brittle. 

Reasons for Paint Flaking

Flaking can be grouped into one type of painting problem together with peeling and cracking. If you find cracks and fail to fix the problem immediately, more often than not, either peeling or flaking takes over. And the reason behind its occurrence is almost the same as the two abovementioned problems, which are as follows:

1. Poor surface preparation

A poorly prepared surface is the leading cause of flaking. The dirt particles clog the surface which makes it hard for the paint film to stick to the wall. As always DIYer, make sure to clean the surface properly before proceeding to any paint job.

Surface Preparation: New Concrete
Surface Preparation: Repainting Concrete

2. Over thinning/overspreading of paint

Too many layers of paint make the base coating lose adhesion from the surface beneath. Make sure to apply the necessary amount of coats needed while maintaining the prescribed spread rate to avoid flaking.

What is spread rate? It is a theoretical coverage of paint which varies on the kind of paint and the size of the can being used. For example, the spread rate (practical coverage) of a Boysen Acrytex 4-liter can can cover up to 25-30 sqm if it is a plain finish. You can read up on spread rate/practical coverage of the different products in the Boysen website.

3. Environmental condition

Another thing to remember before you paint is to check the weather condition. Painting during a rainy day is definitely not a good idea. The paint will take longer to dry and can result to unwanted drip marks. On the other hand, painting on an extremely hot day is also a no-no.

It is advisable to paint when temperatures are around 25-30 degrees Celsius to avoid painting problems. Read How to Avoid DIY Painting Mistakes and take notes on things you need to watch out for to perfect your paint job!

4. Use of low quality/incompatible paint

As it is with anything in this world, if you make short cuts on anything, chances are you get poor results. We’ve repeatedly mentioned this in our previous articles: the quality of the paint used affects its flexibility and adhesion to the wall. And when it fails to stick, it will flake. Make certain that you are using the right paint for the surface and that it is of the highest quality to ensure a great finish.

5. Aging of paint

Paint ages and there’s nothing we can do about it. When it does, it fails to flex and adapt to the changes in temperature which in turn makes it brittle. The only solution is to repaint which might sometimes involve removing the old paint first before coating it with a new one. Remember number 4.

For interiors, some homeowners paint every 4 to 5 years. For others even shorter since repainting is a cost effective way to do a home makeover and it gives maximum impact.

Halt! Abandon that Flaky Idea

Nope, drop that tape and hairdryer. No, I’m serious, drop it. You might have searched and read alternative ways on how to fix this problem and maybe you’d want to try it. But trust us, nothing beats the efficiency of a simple scraper. 

Since the flakes are already visible, it is much easier and faster to scrape on the affected coating than to use the heat of a hairdryer to melt the paint film which can take hours. Plus, it saves you money from excessive use of electricity. 

Grab your scraper and wire brush and scrape the heck out of that flaky wall. For best results, keep the blade of the scraper at an angle to the wall as this method will prevent unwanted marks. Sand down the surface and proceed to repaint. 

Tip: Clean the surface with proper cleaning liquids (e.g. mild soap and water, disinfectants, and detergents) to avoid flaking in the future.

Let 2019 be the year when you finally free yourself and your walls from the chains of these infuriating painting problems. Don’t hesitate to talk to us! Contact us at (02) 363-9738 local 417 to 418 for urgent painting problems.


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. Most of the house painters I have hired always recommend Boysen paints. But none of them have fixed the problem on the flaking on one of our walls. Can you recommend a professional painter?

    • Thanks for leaving a comment here, Josh. I will forward your email address and your question to our Technical Team so that they can get in touch with you directly.

      • Can you share my email add to your technical team as well? Will do a major house repair and I want the paint to be perfect this time. TY ?

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