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Learn how to repair common wall problems

Walls full of dings, cracks, peeling paint and mildew can make rooms look aged and worn out. Learn how to repair common wall problems. 


(image: NYTIMES)

PEELING OR BUBBLED PAINT 

Paint bubbles form, and eventually your paint starts peeling because of various reasons – dirt underneath the paint layer, excess moisture, improper prep before painting, or an incompatible paint finish (such as oil paint on top of a latex base, or vice versa). To repair, pop the paint blisters and scrape away loose paint with a wire brush. Smooth the surface with very fine grit sandpaper so it’s free of lines and grooves. Clean the area with a lightly damp sponge, then wipe it with a clean rag and dry thoroughly. Apply primer and paint. 


HAIRLINE CRACKS 

Small cracks often appear on drywalls. Clean the problem area and widen cracks, if necessary, so the filler can hold better. Using a putty knife, fill the gaps completely with flexible and paintable caulk, making sure to smooth the surface evenly. Allow to dry according to manufacturer’s instructions. Sand the area until there are no bumps. Afterwards, prime and paint over the patch. 


CHALKING 

The combination of moisture and sun exposure causes colour pigments in painted walls to break down. This results in chalking, where paint flakes off or becomes powdery. Remove all chalk residue by scrubbing the area with a stiff brush and mild detergent. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry thoroughly. Rub the surface with your fingers. If very little or no chalk remains, proceed with priming and painting. 


MILDEW 

Do your walls smell musty or have black, green, grey or green spots? Your walls havea mildew build-up. This usually appears in humid areas or rooms with poor ventilation. Scrub the affected area with a solution made with one part household bleach and three parts water. Let it set for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. Repeat until all traces of mildew are gone. Then, wash the area with a detergent solution and rinse again. Dry completely and repaint. 

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