Splitting of a dry paint film through at least one coat as a result of aging, which ultimately will lead to complete failure of the paint. In its early stages, the problem appears as hairline cracks and in its later stages, flaking and/or peeling occurs.

Possible causes:

  • Use of lower quality paints that have inadequate adhesion and flexibility
  • Over thinning or overspreading the paint
  • Inadequate surface preparation, e.g. Not applying a sealer or primer on porous surfaces prior to top coating
  • Poor adhesion of the underlying coats
  • Excessive hardening and embrittlement of alkyd paint as the paint job ages


Remove all loose and flaking paint with a scraper or wire brush, sand the surface and feather the edges. If the flaking occurs in multiple layers of paint, use of filler may be necessary. Prime bare timber areas before repainting. Use of a premium quality primer and topcoat should prevent a recurrence of the problem. Dulux recommends Dulux 1 Step® Acrylic Primer Sealer & Undercoat and Dulux Wash&Wear® for walls.

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