Problems with paint can occur for either the DIY painter or the seasoned professional painters.  Paint blocking or paint sticking are common paint problems that can occur, and with these tips we can help guide you to prevent them from happening on your next home painting project.

What is Paint Blocking

Paint blocking happens when two freshly painted surfaces are pressed together before enough drying time has passed.  Take for example painting the front door to your house whether on the inside or the outside and not allowing enough time for the paint to dry completely before closing the door.  The paint will stick to the door frame causing it to look like it is peeling and you will have to repaint it.  The same happens to a window, if you paint around an open window and do not allow enough time for the paint to dry you will find the paint on the window sill stuck to the actual window frame and it will be blocked looking or otherwise paint will have stuck from the window sill to the window frame and vice versa.

paint blocking on a door frame

What is Paint Sticking

When paint sticks to another surface it is basically because of not allowing enough dry time for the paint, as well as not using the right type of paint for the area.  High levels of moisture areas require specially formulated paint.  Paint for kitchens and bathrooms are different than the ones used for painting a bedroom or painting a living room.  These types of paints are formulated to provide the best coverage and prevent moisture build up  to create paint bubbles, peeling paint or blocking or sticking.

It is important to use the right types of paint finishes and the best quality paints for each specific area to avoid common paint problems.

Why Does Paint Stick or Block

Paint blocking or sticking commonly happens at doors, door or window frames, trim work around the doors and windows, door jam and window sill areas.  It happens when two freshly painted surfaces are pressed or put together without allowing sufficient drying time.  Before closing any doors or windows after painting them ensure they are fully dry first.

Painting in warm or extreme humid temperatures, causes the paint to stick to the surface, as well if applying new paint over to many previous and old coatings will create poor adhesion, causing the blocking or sticking issue.

Some paints such as semi-gloss and gloss latex have poor blocking resistance and the use of low quality paints should be avoided in order to help in the prevention on blocking or sticking paint.

How To Fix Sticky Paint or Blocking Paint

Begin by removing any and all loose paint on the surface.  Then sand the surface down with sandpaper to a smooth finish and if the surface is painted with glossy paint finish it should be sanded down until it is dull.  Clean all dust and debris by vacuuming, sweeping or washing and allow to dry completely.

Use a good quality paint primer as a topcoat and allow it to thoroughly dry.  All paint manufacturers provide guidelines and instructions on each can.  These instructions should be followed.

For high moisture areas avoid using latex paints and use alkyd paints instead.  Ensure the paint is applied in a well ventilated area and allow plenty of time for it to fully dry.

repainted house exterior by PG PAINT & DESIGN Rockcliffe area in Canada Ontario Ottawa

How to Prevent Paint From Sticking or Blocking

To prevent paint from sticking or transferring to another surface ensure you use quality paint products from Benjamin Moore Paints. Follow directions and instructions on the labels.  Allow sufficient time for either interior or exterior paint to dry.

Painters Tip – start any exterior painting around doors and windows early in the morning.  This gives you ample time to complete the project as well as sufficient time for the paint around any windows or doors to dry completely before closing them.

If you are going to DIY it instead of hiring a professional house painting contractor in the Ottawa area here are a few tricks of the trade to help prevent paint sticking, blocking or transferring onto other surfaces.

  1. Before you begin painting, ensure all loose paint is scraped off and removed
  2. Completely sand the surface area especially if previous paint coats are thick and old
  3. Wipe and clean the door frames, front door, window frames, window sills with a wet sponge or cloth and let them completely air dry
  4. Apply one coat of primer pain.  Read labels to ensure you follow paint manufacturing guidelines to allow the correct time for drying.

    If all else fails in your attempt to fix paint from sticking or blocking and the issue has you worried or frustrated it is advisable to contact expert painters in Ottawa that can take the necessary steps to repair, and repaint the area to avoid future paint problems.

    Schedule a Free Painting Estimate with Ottawa House Painters

    This post was originally published on Jun 22, 2015 and edited on Apr 27, 2020