General Problematic or Damaged Areas FAQs

General Problematic or Damaged Areas FAQs


  • Graffiti is a very difficult problem to deal with and may require a specialist removal company in the most severe cases. Normal decorative paints are not suitable for painting over graffiti as many felt marker inks and aerosol spray paints tend to bleed through conventional coatings. Take great care when attempting to remove graffiti from unpainted surfaces, especially when the substrate is porous. To avoid permanent damage to the affected area it may be best to seek professional advice. Dulux Trade offer a range of Anti Graffiti products that are specially designed for regular washing and help to ease the removal of the graffiti.

    Before painting over graffiti use two coats of Stain Block Plus


What's causing the little spots/cissing of unpainted areas when I'm painting?

  • The paint can't adhere to the surface because of contamination by oil, grease, wax or polish. So the paint draws back, leaving unpainted areas, usually in the form of small spots. To remedy the situation, if the paint is still wet wash it all off, allow the surface to dry and thoroughly harden, then rub it down using wet and dry abrasive paper (or waterproof silicon carbide) and warm water with a bit of detergent. Rinse the surface thoroughly and allow to dry before repainting.

    The defect can also be seen when applying water based paint onto a shinny or glossy surface that hasn't been abraded properly.


An externally applied coating has simply washed off. What caused this to happen?

  • If you apply a water-based product in cold conditions (i.e. below 10C), loss of adhesion can occur and the coating may simply wash off when it rains. To rectify, thoroughly clean down the surfaces to remove all dirt, grease and surface contaminants. Scrape back all areas of poorly adhering or defective coatings to a firm edge and rub down to "feather" broken edges. Dust off and re-apply coating.


What causes slow drying of gloss and varnish on new paintwork?

  • With solvent-based paints, it's usually surface contamination as the result of a poorly prepared surface. Water-based paints can be slow to dry in damp, cold conditions, or when applied to timbers that are oily by nature, such as teak. Wet solvent-based paint may be removed using cloths soaked in white spirit. If this is unsuccessful, completely remove the coating using a hot air gun or a suitable chemical-based remover. To remove slow-drying water-based paints, simply wash off with warm water and detergent solution.

What is picking up and why does it happen?

  • There are two meanings for this term. One is the process of joining up to "wet" or "live" edges on lapping, thinning the finish coat will help keep the wet edge open; the other meaning concerns the lifting or softening of a previous coat of paint when applying a new coat, to do this allow to dry and scrape back. The remedy in both cases is to thoroughly clean the surfaces to remove all dirt, grease and surface contaminants. Then scrape back all areas of poorly adhering or defective coatings to a firm edge, rub down to "eather" broken edges, dust off and apply a new coating.

What should I do about a paint film that's been spotted by rain before it fully dried?

  • There's only one way to remove depressions or surface blemishes caused by rain spotting. Clean down the surfaces to remove all dirt, grease and surface contaminants. Then rub down the surfaces with Wet & Dry abrasion, using water or a suitable solvent. Finally, rinse down and allow to dry thoroughly before applying a new coat of paint.

My windows are not very dark, but I would like to use a lighter shade. What can I do?

  • In order to highlight the natural features of timber, woodstains are translucent (i.e. semi-transparent).

    The final shade achieved is a combination of the colour of the surface to which they are applied and their own pigmentation. A light coloured wood stain onto a dark surface will therefore always allow the dark colour to be seen, and thus the finish remains dark.

    To achieve a lighter shade requires either stripping of the existing finish and re-coating or the application of an opaque, paint-like coating (such as Cetol BL Opaque, Rubbol XD Gloss, Rubbol AZ plus or Rubbol Satura plus.)

    Sikkens Cetol woodstains offer excellent protection without over-darkening any existing woodstain finish.


  • This can be caused by dust and dirt in the air settling on the paint surface; by using a dirty paint brush, or by stirring skin into the paint. In either case, let the paint dry and harden, then rub down using wet and dry abrasive paper and warm water with a bit of detergent. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow to dry before repainting. Use only good quality paint brushes and wash out with a little white spirit, making sure the brush is completely dry before starting work. Avoid stirring skin into the paint by straining into a clean kettle before use.


A coating I applied feels sticky and tacky. What's the solution?


  • This is often caused by surface contamination such as wax. There's only one thing for it. Completely remove all existing material and carefully clean down the surfaces. Allow to dry, then reapply coating.