Prevent unsightly peeling paint by correctly managing the surface preparation and paint application.

Pride gives way to chagrin when home-owners who have taken the time to choose paint colours and textures according to their own preferences see that same paint start peeling. Peeling paint is commonplace and very unsightly. Teh two most common causes are quite simply the ineffective preparation of the surface, and damp permeating the wall.

The effective way to deal with peeling paint is to:

  • Determine the cause of peeling paint

Damp: If there is a problem with damp in your home, nothing you do is going to stop the paint peeling again until the moisture in the walls or ceilings is addressed.
Type of Paint: Determine the quality of the paint originally used to paint your house. You do not want to purchase the same product again. Low grade paint lacks durability and the quality ingredients required to ensure its longevity and ability to bind correctly to the surface for the foreseeable future.
Inadequate adhesion: This can either be due to the poor substrate quality of paint, bad surface preparation before painting a house, or applying an oil paint to a wet surface area.

  • Who is going to do the repairs?

Professional: If you’re put off by the labour of even making a cup of tea then you may need to call in the professionals to get the peeling paint sorted. It is hassle-free and they will answer all your questions.
DIY: Should you decide to DIY (do it yourself), you will need to prepare properly… and ask your spouse to make your tea.

How to Remove Peeling Paint

You will need:

  • Paint tray
  • Roller brush and a flat paintbrush
  • Plastic covering: cover the floor area you’ll be working over in plastic, drop cloths and masking tape. The last thing you want is to be peeling and replacing carpets after peeling and re-painting the walls.
  • Paint scraper and a wire brush to feather the edges
  • Patching putty
  • Sandpaper: Preferably the fine-grit for a smoother finish
  • Dust cloth
  • Latex primer
  • Interior/exterior paint

Paint Removal – Process of Peeling Paint Off the Wall

Choosing the Right Paint Stripper: There are several options available in the forms of gel, paste, liquid, and an eco-friendly alternative for the environmentally conscious. First you need to be certain of the type of paint you will be removing from your wall. Check our other blog about “How To Strip Paint or Stain From Wood“.

Handling Lead-based Paint: If your home was constructed before 1978 you need to determine if the peeling paint is lead-based. You cannot simply use paint stripper on this type of paint, as it is known to cause dangerous levels of lead which can poison both children and adults. Call in the professionals to remove this type of paint.

Handling Regular Paint: This is largely straightforward with the right paint stripper. You could chip the paint blisters off by hand, but keep your phone handy to stay in contact with friends and family because it takes a while. You may also strain a tendon, or five.

If you prefer to DIY then you need to scrape off as much of the peeling paint on ceiling or wall as possible and use a wire brush to smooth the edges. This is also known as feather-edging and is required if you do not want to see deep paint indentations in your newly painted surface.

Preparing the Wall before Painting It

Repairs: The wall may possibly have holes and cracks in it. Unless you are going for the grunge effect, you will need to fill these with a thin layer of patching putty. Smooth it over so it fills and then coats the cracks and surrounding surface area. Allow the surface to dry completely.

Sanding: Once the putty compound has fully dried, you will need to smooth the surface and edges using sandpaper so it looks even with the wall. You want a flat surface to paint on. You do not want hard splotches of compound on your wall. That will result in some unwanted wall art.

Dusting: You may not immediately notice it, but dust settles all over the surface area and can be an active player in paint not adhering correctly to the surface. Ensure that you use a dusting cloth to remove all miniscule particles.

Painting the Wall after Removing Peeling Paint

Primer First: Painting primer onto a wall surface is one of the most important steps to ensure paint adhesion as it seals the surface, preventing moisture build-up under the paint. This is also important if you want a professional result. Many home-owners in Toronto skip this step and then do not understand why their paint jobs are not as vibrant as they should be. Primer is highly effective in that it boosts the longevity of your paint, makes it easier to remove stains from walls, and ensures that only one top-coat of colour paint is required.

Painting Second: As mentioned before, purchase a quality paint that will not try to move out before you do. You want something that is going to stay on the walls for years to come. High quality acrylic and latex paints have reduced toxins. When applied correctly, water-based paints are longer-lasting, more durable and maintain their colour. Read this blog to find out which paint fits you better.

Home Painters Toronto and paint consultants at Consummo recommend investing in a wet-film thickness gauge to ensure correct application, this nifty device will definitely help you get the best results from your DIY painting or removing peeling paint job. If applied too thinly, the paint will be a weak barrier; if applied too thickly it will start to crack.

Peeling paint will drastically reduce the value of your home, whereas a great paint job will remarkably increase the market value of your house. A fresh coat of paint not only pushes your home sale potential up a few notches, but removing moisture-related peeling paint can eradicate a health hazard – particularly for people with asthma or weak chests. There are many reasons to repaint the interior of your home, but these two are at the top of the list.

Stop peeling the paint off your wall while reading this blog, and get started already.


Call us NOW at 416-494-9095 or email [email protected]!

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.