How to Fix Peeling Paint on Drywall

You loved the color of paint you selected for your living room or other space.

Everything was just right at first. Now the paint is peeling, and you don't know why. Peeling and blistering paint is caused by a number of factors, including moisture and poor surface preparation. Repairing the problem is not difficult with a few tools, some high-grade primer and wall paint.

Scrape away any peeling paint from the wall surface using a putty knife. Wear eye goggles, nose mask and gloves. Sweep area after you are finished scraping.

Place a strip of masking tape above any scraped areas and wait a few seconds, then peel the tape off. If any paint comes off with the tape, scrape the areas again until the tape removes no paint.

Sand scraped areas with sandpaper in the 100-grit range. The higher the grit number, the smoother your surface will be. Sand until the surface is smooth and no ridges are present.

Apply a high-grade bonding/sealer primer to any scraped area. Follow the directions on the container for drying time. Make sure the areas are completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Paint the entire wall where the peeling areas were present once the primer is completely dry. By painting the entire wall, you cover any older paint that may be faded or dirty.

Things You Will Need

  • Nose mask
  • Eye goggles
  • Latex gloves
  • Putty knife -- wide blade
  • Masking tape
  • Sandpaper -- medium grit (in the 100s)
  • High-grade bonding/sealing primer
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Roller with extension rod
  • Paint pan


  • Try to locate the reason the paint was peeling from your drywall --- look for cracks and other openings where water could enter your home. Seal any cracks or openings with caulking or replace needed siding or other material. Use a dehumidifier to remove any moisture from your home. Excessive humidity can lead to condensation on the walls in your house.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.