Cracking / Flaking

The Problem: The splitting of at least one coat of dry paint film, ultimately leading to complete failure of the paint if left untreated. This problem most often occurs in exterior applications, and initially appears as hairline cracks followed by the flaking of paint chips.

Causes: Often include poor surface preparation e.g. painting over older substrates with multiple layers of paint, or failing to properly seal bare wood surfaces with a quality primer. Additionally, spreading the paint too thin or painting in cool windy conditions, can make latex products dry too quickly and lead to cracking or flaking.

How-to-fix: If cracking does not go down to the substrate, it may be possible to correct the problem by removing loosing and flaking paint with a scraper and/or wire brush. The affected area should then be sanded and the edges feathered prior to repainting with a high-quality paint. If cracking goes to the surface, all paint in the affected area must be removed, followed by the use of a high-quality primer and topcoat.

Product Solutions:


  • Benjamin Moore Arborcoat® Oil-based Primers and Fresh Start® Oil-based Primers are ideal for raw or natural wood surfaces.
  • Benjamin Moore Fresh Start® Acrylic Latex Primers and Sure Seal™ Acrylic Latex Primer are suited for previously painted wood and masonry surfaces.
  • Stix® Waterborne Bonding Primer by Insl-x® will ensure top coat adhesion to challenging surfaces including PVC, Vinyl, Plastic, Glass, Glazed Block, Pre-Coated Siding, Fiberglass and Aluminum surfaces.

Exterior Paints

  • Benjamin Moore Aura® Exterior, Regal Select® Exterior and ben® Exterior Paints are premium coatings that come in a wide variety of finishes and build levels.