Paint Problem Solver


The formation of fine powder on the surface of the paint, due to weathering.

What is the progression of chalking paint?
All paints chalk to some degree; it is a normal, desirable way for the paint film to wear. Quality paints may chalk mildly, but still maintain a sound surface for many years. Medium and heavy chalking can cause color fading. Severe chalking makes repainting a problem because it does not provide a good surface to which new paint can adhere.
What causes paint to chalk?

  • Long-term exposure to moisture and sunlight
  • Using a low-quality paint
  • Over thinning the paint or spreading it too thin
  • Not priming and sealing a porous surface

How to fix chalking paint

  • Determine the degree of chalking by rubbing the surface with a finger or dark cloth.
  • Remove all chalk residue by one of these methods:
    • Excessive chalking requires pressure-washing or sand-blasting. If a pressure washer is not available, scrub the surface with a stiff brush and a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly with a strong stream of water from a garden hose.
    • Light to moderately chalked surfaces may require wire-brushing or sanding to remove the excess surface powder. Spray the surface with a strong stream from a garden hose.
    • Allow the surface to dry thoroughly.
  • Check the surface again using your finger or a rag to determine the amount of chalk residue.
    • If little or no chalk remains and the old paint is in good condition, no priming is necessary.
    • If light to moderate chalk remains, use a penetrating additive to the first coat of water-based paint to help the paint film bond to the chalked surface. 100% acrylic finishes provide better chalk resistance than vinyl-acrylic paints.
  • If noticeable chalk still remains, use an alkyd-based masonry primer as the first coat of paint. Finish using a high-quality topcoat.

Please note that these suggestions are provided as a service to you. We are unable to guarantee or be responsible for the results obtained by these procedures. If you have additional questions, ask any of our expert sales associates.