How to avoid paint defects is all about surface preparation

Anyone can slap some paint on, but keeping it on and looking great for years to come requires patient surface preparation. Here are some tips to get you started.

First, slow down! The end result of a painting job is directly related to the time you take to do it. That includes taking time for proper surface preparation. A fast job almost always gives a result somewhere between average and disappointing.

Even if your house is brick veneer or possibly even rendered, there are still trim and detail areas that require painting, and if your house is weatherboard you have large areas of painted surfaces to manage. When looking at houses generally, it’s the details such as fences, gates, fascias and fronts and even front doors that are most noticeable and create the strongest impression. It’s the contrast between these external areas and the interior colour scheme that people really take notice of.

Of all painting defects it’s cracking, peeling, flaking and blistering that are the most common. And the reason for these is almost always the same – poor surface preparation, or no surface preparation at all, although sometimes it’s an issue of moisture penetrating the timber or other material from the inside, or getting behind the paint film.

Of all the possible solutions there is really only one that will ensure a professional result: surface preparation.

Now, that’s not to say that paint preparation, weather conditions or the way the paint is applied won’t contribute to the finish, of course they will, but surface preparation is the key to success.

When you begin your surface preparation you may quickly feel there is little benefit in this stage, and be itching to get painting. Fight this urge, and take your time! Think of your painting job as a series of stages, and surface preparation is building the foundations. Also, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturers of your preparation products and paints – they are there for the sole purpose of helping you achieve a great finish



  • Invest in quality paint
  • Apply two top coats
  • Stir the paint completely before use
  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Take time with your surface preparation


  • Paint when it’s extremely hot, cold, wet or windy
  • Paint when rain or high humidity is forecast
  • Thin the paint too much to make it go further
  • Apply paint too thinly or too thickly
  • Try and get by on one coat, it never works
  • Waste your money on cheap paint – ask your Mitre 10 paint specialist for advice