How To Stop Air Bubbles In Gloss Paint!

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With gloss paint managing to maintain its dominance year in year out as the most popular paint type for home decor, it is not surprising that we constantly see so many questions from the community about how they are able to get the best performance out of their gloss paint. We have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking “why is my gloss paint bubbling?” in recent months so we have decided to publish this article.

Our hope is that we will be able to help our readers prevent air bubbles in gloss paint when mixing their paint, when applying it, and during the drying process to ensure that you get the best end result possible from your paint. Most of the problems that cause bubbles in gloss paint are easy to avoid but are commonly made by beginners time and time again.

We are fully aware that a number of our readers are on a tight budget too so we have focused on methods that are either free or very cheap to prevent bubbles forming in your gloss paint too. This should ensure that you are able to avoid bubbles forming no matter your budget without needing to pick up expensive equipment for your home decor sessions.

How To Stop Air Bubbles In Gloss Paint!

You are able to stop bubbles forming in gloss paint by reducing the amount of air and additional moisture that you add to your gloss paint during the application process. These are the two most common reasons that gloss paint will bubble with both being easy to avoid in most cases.

Keep in mind that we are presuming you are using a decent high quality gloss paint as the low quality products on the market tend to add additional problems that can cause the paint to bubble. Thankfully, high quality gloss paint is cheaper than most people think these days with it sometimes actually being cheaper than the lower quality paints due to the excellent marketing campaigns some brands put out there to sell an inferior product at a higher price.

Although the weather in your location can also come into play with this both on the hot and cold end of the spectrum, it is actually not as big of a factor as some people believe when it comes to causing gloss paint to bubble. In addition to this, it really is at the extreme ends of the temperature scales so we will not being going in-depth on this one as there are more important things to take into account first.

Are You Using A Wet Brush?

Using a wet brush is the most common cause of gloss paint bubbling when drying due to the additional moisture being added to the paint from the brush. In most cases this is easily avoidable so always ensure that your brush is free from excess water prior to use.

Although this is a factor for water based gloss paints, if you are using an oil based gloss paint this is a major factor and will cause issues with your paint in addition to it bubbling. Due to the nature of a paint brush, simply trying to shake off any excess water prior to use is not enough and it can still cause issues too.

Ideally, you will be using a decent, cheap, modern paint roller over a brush anyway as this offers additional advantages by making the application phase quicker as well as helping ensure you get an even coat of paint applied. Although you can still have issues with a paint roller having excess water on it after cleaning it, the risk is smaller than if you are using a brush.

Is The Surface Wet Or Damp?

Similar to the above point doing over adding additional water and moisture to the paint formula via the brush, the actual surface you are looking to paint maybe wet. This is very common if you are painting over a freshly plastered surface or a wall that you have used a steamer on to remove wall paper.

Modern paint formulas have been specifically designed to work perfectly as they are without needing to add any other substances to them. This is why adding excess water or moisture, even to a water based paint can cause problems such as bubbling within a short period of time.

If the surface that you are painting is wet or damp when you apply your gloss paint to it, you have another potential issue that can cause bubbles too. As the surface dries, excess gas is often produced stretching the paint as it has nowhere to go. As the gas dissipates, the stretched paint then deflates leaving a bubble behind.

Are You Using A Low Quality Gloss Paint?

Although we did touch on this earlier in the article, low quality paints have a number of problems with their ranging from poor ingredients in the paint formula to these ingredients being added in un-optimised ratios. Even if you do everything else perfectly, a low quality gloss paint may cause problems with bubbles simply due to its ingredients.

There are a number of paint brands on the market that have surprisingly good reputations simply due to their marketing teams excellent efforts yet their actual product is considered over priced and sub-standard by anyone in the industry. Although it may sound strange, a decent, high quality gloss paint can actually be cheaper than the brands you see advertised on TV and offer much better results.

If you are ever in doubt about a brand of paint that you are considering, a quick Google search should be able to offer some input on if they are worth using or not. There are a number of popular online forums and social media groups where professional painter and decorators will offer advice and point out these low quality, over priced paints to people for free to try and help you avoid making mistakes.

How’s Your Brushing And Stirling Motion?

A commonly over looked cause of bubbling in gloss paint is the air that you accidentally add to the paint when stirring it or when applying it. Although not all modern gloss paint formulas will need you to stir them, you should always stir your paint slowly to avoid adding air to it but you should always have a quick brush motion during the application process for the same effect.

We see a large number of beginners Stirling their paint too quickly forcing air into the paint or brushing too slowly giving air a chance to get into the paint that then results in your gloss paint bubbling. This is such an easy mistake to avoid in the majority of situations offering a very quick win for you in your battle against bubbles.

This is another area where a decent, cheap, modern paint roller can help to prevent you from getting bubbles in your gloss paint though. Paint rollers tend to be much quicker when applying your paint in comparison to a brush and the paint tray allows air added during the stiring phase to leave the paint too.

Is The Surface You Are Painting Dusty?

Although dust is a rare cause of bubbling in gloss paint, it is quick and easy to avoid so we wanted to include it in our list. Depending on the specific paint formula that you are using, dust may cause issues by moving around under the paint during the drying phase causing issues with the gloss paint bonding to the surface.

This then results in issues with air pockets that in turn result in bubbles that are so easy to avoid. A quick wipe down of the surface will remove the vast majority of the dust oil the surface and drastically reduce the chances of this happening and causing bubbles to form in your gloss paint once dry.

Dust is one of the rarer causes of bubbles in paint though but it literally takes seconds to remove the risk so we wanted to include it in our article. There are other contaminants that could be on the surface too such as oils, grease, and dirt that can have a similar effect and cause bubbles in your gloss paint too so a quick wipe down of the surface is usually worth it.


That brings our article going over how you are able to prevent air bubbles in gloss paint at various stages of the painting process to a close. These tips and tricks are very simple to implement yet offer a huge impact when it comes to countering bubbles in your gloss paint so they are well worth doing.