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How To Repair Cracked Emulsion

Do you need to know how to repair cracked emulsion? You’ll find all the tips and information you need in this handy article.

Millennials who renovate their homes spend over £18,000 on doing so. That’s a lot of money, not to mention the time and energy put into the hours and hours of work getting the job done right.

Annoyingly, many things can go wrong when we get home improvements and renovations done, including paint cracking. It’s such an easy mistake to make and one that may not cost much to fix, but if it spans a large area of your home, it can take a lot of time to repair.

If you have cracked emulsion, don’t worry, it is fixable. Even better, it is easily avoidable in the future, so you won’t have to worry about fixing it again.

Here’s everything you need to know about repairing cracked emulsion.

How To Repair Cracked Emulsion: The Speedy Answer

Apply paint stripper to the wall followed by laminated paper, then remove the paint and the paper together with a putty knife.

How To Repair Cracked Emulsion: More Useful Information

Although a small patch of cracked paint isn’t too tricky to fix, if it has happened across a large walled section or even an entire property, it can set project deadlines back by days, or even weeks.

Understanding why the problem has occurred prevents the mistake from being made in the first place, or again. Here are some common reasons emulsion paint can crack:

Painting On Top Of Under-dried Paint

If paint, such as oil paint, is painted over the top of a layer of paint that has not completely dried, the newest layer of paint will crack as the later beneath moves, expands and shrinks as it dries.

Painting Matt On Top Of Silk

When you paint matt paint on top of silk the matt paint softens the silk underneath, which causes the silk later to expand. The matt on top dries because of its access to the air, and then the softened silk underneath dries after and naturally shrinks, cracking the layer of matt on top.

Wallpaper Paste Seepage Or Reactivation

If wallpaper paste/ adhesive is on the wall being painted and is not removed it can reactivate from the moisture of the fresh paint. The paste underneath will then eventually cause cracking. Cracking caused by wallpaper adhesive can take longer to show and might not even appear until a few months after the wall has been painted.

This isn’t just an issue with adhesive on the wall you are painting and can occur from seepage. Fresh adhesive from elsewhere in the room, such as the ceiling, can get onto the wall being painted and if it does, it will also cause cracking issues.

Thick Paint Layers

If the paint applied is so thick that the top layer of it dries before the layer underneath then cracking can occur. The cracking can also happen unevenly if the paint itself is applied unevenly.

How To Burn Off The Defective Emulsion With Paint Stripper

Although you will see a lot of tips advising you to add primer to cracked paint before applying a new layer, for a fantastic long-lasting finish, you have to remove the defective paint and start again.

To remove the defective emulsion you can use a scraper, but this is the messiest option and it takes a lot of elbow grease. It is also not advisable to use a source of heat (such as a hairdryer) to loosen the defective emulsion, as some DIY sources may advise.

Instead, the quickest route to removing the defective emulsion is with a paint stripper. You can get low to zero VOC options that are eco-friendly if you’re concerned about the chemical aspects of the product.

To remove emulsion this way you simply pour the stripper into a bucket and use a clean brush to paint the product onto the wall.

On the section you have painted you then smooth on laminated paper. You can then use a putty knife to remove the paper, which brings the cracked paint off with it. There will be sections of paint that need a little extra work to remove, but overall you should find the paint stripper method really easy.

Once you have burnt away the original emulsion paint it is a good idea to sand the wall underneath and consider a primer before painting again.

How To Avoid Emulsion Cracking In Future

Ideally, you can avoid paint cracking in the future to save time and money on your home renovations. Often, the preventative is simply in choosing the right products for the job.

Retail or vinyl matt emulsion is known to be susceptible to cracking because there isn’t much polymer binder in the mixture. This means that these paint types have limited flexibility and ability to deal with contraction and shrinkage, making them more likely to crack.

Bathroom paint and other moisture-resistant paint is generally unlikely to crack, so can be a good choice for painting. You can also use a mid-sheen as a general rule if you are unsure if you are painting on top of silk or not. This does, however, mean you won’t get a truly matt finish. To rectify this issue you can paint vinyl soft sheen over the silk as a primer, before then painting matt on top of that.

You Can Achieve Smooth, Beautifully Painted Walls With Ease

Using our tips and information above you don’t have to put up with cracked emulsion walls. Instead, you can enjoy smooth, matt walls in the colour of your choice, for beautiful home decor and a professional finish.