Painting Problems 101: Top 4 Painting Defects and How to Fix Them

You recently hired a painter to give your home a fresh new look, but now that the job is done, you’re noticing some defects. Whether it’s peeling paint, stains or other issues, it can be frustrating to see these problems after spending money on a professional paint job. 

While you may be tempted to fix the issues yourself, it’s crucial to proceed with caution. Some defects may require specialised knowledge or equipment to fix properly, and attempting to fix them on your own could cause more harm than good. 

In this Painting Problems 101 guide, we’ll walk you through some common defects and provide tips on how to address them. Whether you choose to fix the problems yourself or hire professional painters in Sydney, this guide will give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your home’s paint job.

The Standard for Quality Painting in Australia

When hiring a professional painter in Sydney, whether you need a house painter or commercial painter, make sure to ask if they comply with the Australian Standard of Painting and if they follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure that your painting job is of high quality and will last for years to come.

The Australian Standard for painting is AS/NZS 2311, which sets out the minimum requirements for the application of paint systems to various surfaces. It ensures that painting jobs are done properly and to a high standard, which ultimately results in a longer-lasting, more durable paint job.

This standard outlines the procedures for surface preparation, the types of coatings that can be used, and the recommended number of coats. It also includes guidelines for painting in different environments, such as in coastal areas or in areas with high humidity.

Compliance with the Australian Standard or the manufacturer’s installation instructions is crucial for avoiding defects in your paint job. If you’ve noticed defects in your paint job, it’s possible that the painter did not follow the correct procedures or use the right products.

Top 4 Painting Defects and How to Fix Them

Defective Coatings

Defective coatings refer to issues that can arise when the paint or coating used on a surface fails to adhere properly or becomes damaged over time. Some common issues include:

  • Lifting: When the paint or coating begins to separate from the surface, it creates a visible gap or ‘lift’ between the two layers. Lifting can happen due to poor surface preparation, improper application or low-quality materials. 
  • Blistering: This occurs when bubbles or blisters appear on the surface of the paint or coating. Blistering can be caused by moisture getting trapped beneath the surface, excessive heat, or exposure to chemicals.
  • Flaking: Flaking is when pieces of the paint or coating begin to peel away from the surface, leaving exposed patches. This can be due to a variety of factors, including poor surface preparation, low-quality materials or excessive wear and tear.
  • Fading: Fading happens when the colour or appearance of the paint or coating begins to fade over time. This can be caused by exposure to sunlight, chemicals or other environmental factors.


All of these issues can be fixed by either sanding down the affected areas and repainting them or stripping them and then reapplying the coat or paint, depending on the severity of the defect. To do this, it’s best to hire qualified professional painters in Sydney.

Nail and Screw Fixing Defects

Nail and screw fixing defects can happen when nails or screws used to secure surfaces are not installed properly or are not filled in correctly. These defects can result in visible fixings or depressions that can be seen from a normal viewing position. This typically refers to a distance of 1.5 meters directly in front of the surface.

Some common issues related to nail and screw fixing defects include:

  • Uneven or poorly filled depressions: When nail or screw holes are not filled in properly or are filled in with the wrong material, it can create an uneven or unsightly appearance on the surface.
  • Visible nail or screw heads: This occurs when nails or screws are not installed deeply enough or are not countersunk properly, resulting in visible heads that can be seen from a normal viewing position.
  • Poorly aligned fixings: If your nails or screws are not installed in a straight line or are not evenly spaced, you will see a crooked or unprofessional appearance.


If you notice any of these issues with your paint job, consider addressing them as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may need to consult with professional Sydney painters to determine the best course of action. 

In some cases, the issue may be able to be fixed by simply filling in depressions or sanding down rough spots. In other cases, you may need to remove and reinstall fixings or even replace damaged sections of the surface.

Defects on the Surface Finish of Paintwork

Defects on the surface finish of paintwork can refer to a range of issues that can arise during the application process. These defects are typically visible at a normal viewing position and can include:

  • Paint runs: when the paint is applied too heavily and begins to run or drip down the surface.
  • Paint sags: when the paint is applied too thickly and begins to sag or droop on the surface.
  • Wrinkling: when the paint dries too quickly or is applied over a surface that is not properly prepared, resulting in a wrinkled or cracked appearance.
  • Overpainting: when a new coat of paint is applied over a surface that has not been properly prepared, causing visible blemishes or unevenness in the finish.


Other application defects that can occur include brush marks, roller marks, sanding marks and uneven paint distribution.

Similar to other defects, these issues may be fixed by simply sanding down rough spots or applying a new coat of paint. You may also need to consult with professional painters in Sydney to determine the best course of action.

Natural Defects and Mechanical Damages

Natural defects and mechanical damages refer to imperfections on the surface of a painted area that are not a result of the painting process itself. This can include holes, cracks, dents and other forms of damage that may have occurred due to wear and tear or other factors.

These defects can be particularly problematic when it comes to painting, as they can cause issues with the adhesion of the paint to the surface. In order to properly fix these defects, they must first be filled and smoothed out before painting can take place.

When dealing with natural defects, such as knots or grain patterns in wood, you need to properly prepare the surface before painting. This may involve sanding or using a wood filler to ensure that the surface is smooth and free of imperfections.

Mechanical damages, such as holes or scratches, should also be filled and smoothed out before painting. This can be done using a spackle or putty, which should be applied to the affected area and sanded down once dry.

In both cases, it’s important to ensure that the surface is properly prepared before painting to ensure that the paint adheres properly and that the finished result is smooth and even.

Finding a Master Painter in Australia

Any painting defects should be addressed as soon as possible. Ignoring them can lead to further damage and may require a more extensive repair or even a complete repaint of the affected area. 

If you’re experiencing any of these painting defects, choose a professional and reliable painter who understands the industry standards and can provide high-quality work. That’s where Master Painters Australia comes in. 

At Master Painters Australia, our expert team can help you find a master painter who will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. With MPA members, you can be confident that you’re working with a reputable and skilled professional. 

Contact us today to find your perfect match and enjoy the benefits of a flawless paint job.