Paint With Confidence

Exterior Common Issues & Solutions

Chalking

Text & image courtesy of the Rohm & Haas Paint Quality Institute

Chalking

Formation of fine powder on the surface of the paint film during weathering, which can cause color fading. Although some degree of chalking is a normal, desirable way for a paint film to wear, excessive film erosion can result from heavy chalking.

Possible Cause

  • Use of a low-grade, highly pigmented paint.
  • Use of an interior paint for an outdoor application.

Solution

First, remove as much of the chalk residue as possible, using a stiff bristle brush (or wire brush on masonry) and then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose; or by careful power washing. Check for any remaining chalk by running a hand over the surface after it dries. If noticeable chalk is still present, apply a quality oil-based or acrylic latex primer (or comparable sealer for masonry), then repaint with an appropriate quality exterior coating; if little or no chalk remains and the old paint is sound, priming may not be necessary.