Paint Flashing - Causes & Solutions

Paint Flashing - Causes & Solutions 

Paint flashing is identified by the appearance of dull or shiny blotches on the painted surface. An uneven gloss develops on a freshly-painted surface with these spots appearing on these areas. The paint flashing causes vary and can range from the uneven application of paint, improper mixing of different paints to the inadequate priming of surfaces that require painting. Once the paint flashing appears, the surface requires refinishing with an additional coat of paint or varnish.

Causes and effects of paint flashing

Paint flashing occurs due to a variety of reasons. Inadequate or improper priming of surfaces that are porous, lack of correct painting techniques, application of paint over wet primer or paint and many others. The improper mixing of paints or use of brushes that are not cleaned after use can also result in bits of paint bubbling on the surface. If paints with different kinds of finish are blended, unabsorbed blobs of paint usually develop on the surface and spoil the appearance of freshly-painted surfaces.


Surfaces need adequate preparation to ensure uniform porosity in paint application. Priming is crucial to enable proper adhesion, an even sheen and permanence of color and appearance. The finishing coat is applied after the primer is thoroughly dry. Paints require blending in accordance with their finishes and the careful and even application of paint is a must.

Recommended products

Hirshfield has several products, including primers and undercoaters that eliminate the problem of paint flashing by ensuring a smooth surface. These include the 9004 Undercoater and 1250 Drywall Primer. Dumond Chemicals has the Peel Away® that strips 32 layers of paint and prepares the surface for the proper application of paint.

Proper understanding of the proper painting procedures can prevent the problem of paint flashing and ensure that the appearance and long-lasting appeal of surfaces remains for many years to come.

Primers and Finishes

Priming is essential for better adhesion, sheen uniformity, mildew control and durability. 
Select a top quality interior paint in the color and sheen of your choice. 

Substrates, Primers

Substrate: Masonry 
Primer: 975 Acry-Plex Enamel Undercoat 
Finish Coats: 1610 Sat-N-Sheen Int. Low Sheen Finish 
1650 Acry-Plex Interior Latex Semi-Gloss 
1685 Dura-Poxy+ Int. Semi-Gloss Acrylic En. 
1680 Dura-Poxy+ Int. Gloss Acrylic En.