Why does the Paint on Brand New Wood PEEL So Quickly??

Why does the Paint on Brand New Wood PEEL So Quickly??


We have gotten many calls into our offices over the years stating that the potential Client was bewildered by peeling paint on a surface that was fairly brand new.

Most often they are referencing a piece of siding or trim that was either installed brand new or that was a replacement piece for another piece that had rotted out.

They are at a total loss of explanation as to why the paint on this surface would have peeled.

After all, it was brand new wood! Not only that, but it may have been brand new wood that already had primer on it, from the factory, prior to being installed.

Shouldn’t paint under these circumstances

last for years and years???

Should it?


Then why do so many of these situations happen???

In our experience, the challenge with these issues comes from the circumstance of the type of wood being used for these applications not being wholly receptive to accepting a paint coating to begin with.

Couple this with the primer that is used in the factories to often pre-prime the wood stock (we have found this primer to be “ok” but certainly not the most ideal, particularly with pre-primed “finger-jointed” trim…).

These two items added together create an environment that has “Pre-mature Paint Failure” written all over it.

As one specific example, often times (if one may happen to notice), when the paint peels, it will often peel back to bare wood.

Traditionally, when paint peels to bare wood, many folks, even within the paint industry, assume the issue is “moisture related”.

Although an easy “out” when offering up an explanation, moisture is NOT always the case.

New lumber is often subject to a phenomenon known as mill glaze.

Mill glaze is a happening that occurs as wood is processed in the mills and an invisible layer of wax is, literally, embedded into the fibers of the processed wood.

Mill glaze is not visible to the naked eye and is what ultimately (from our experience) leads to premature peeling paint on new wood surfaces.


The only way to eradicate it is to vigorously abrade the surface until the paint coating that is failing is removed and the grain of the wood is raised to the point that it will be highly receptive to a paint system.

This procedure can be done through sanding (if able to be approached correctly) or by some type of media blasting (most likely best done by a professional).

Once the surface has been properly prepared and can accept a paint/stain system, normal painting/staining methodologies are able to be applied and one should not have an issue with the paint/stain lasting for years and years to come.

Although frustrating, all is not lost if you have that trim around your door or that shingle siding on your home that is relatively brand new but just keeps peeling and peeling.

If the challenge is properly recognized and correctly rectified, the coating system on the surface should not peel for years to come – as one would have originally anticipated being case when the siding or trim was initially installed!!


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