How To Fix Cracking Paint

Cracking paint can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from the expansion and contraction of a substrate, moisture seepage problems or to something as simple as someone having applied a water-base paint over an oil-base paint. 


First, try to determine what caused the cracking.  If, for instance, the problem is caused by the expanding and contracting of the painted material that is beyond your control, the problem will happen again and you should look for an alternative fix.  If the cracking occured because old caulk failed and allowed water into the substrate, you can simply re-caulk after your paint job is complete to eliminate future problems.  Knowing why something happened can prevent having to re-do a job several times.


Materials Needed


Scraper, sandpaper, primer, paint, putty knife, spackling compound




  1. Scrape the substrate with a scraper to remove all loose or flaking paint.
  2. Lightly feather sand the edges of the paint you scraped off to make the surface smooth.
  3. Using a putty knife, apply a skim coat of spackling to fill in cracks and level out the surface.
  4. Prime the area that was patched with a primer.
  5. Apply two coats of finish coat paint.

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