Bubbles on exterior of house after painting


At the end of September, we repainted our house which was newly constructed 9 1/2 years ago. We are in Northern California in the Bay Area. The weather when it was painted was sunny but cool and dry. We used Benjamin Moore Low Lustre acrylic Paint for the wood siding and the Benjamin Moore Semi Gloss acrylic for the trim. The painter power washed the house and waited about 1 day to dry before painting.
A little over a week after the painting was completed, there was a big storm and the rains came down quite hard for the whole day. The next morning, we saw thousands of bubbles clustered around the lower part of the window trims (especially the sills), on the recaulked seams, bases of our columns and doors. Bubbles also appeared at the seams of the sidings and edges of windows that were recaulked and painted over. The next day after the rains dissipated, the bubbles disappeared except for a few spots.
Here are pictures of some of the problem areas at http://picasaweb.google.com/sheepgirl888/PaintProblem # Most of these pictures were taken when the bubbles first appeared. Pictures of a column with a quarter taped to the column was taken after we tried to recreate the problem.
I am asking the painter to come back to look at the problem. The weather has been nice and dry since. We have tried to recreate the bubbling by running water over the multiple problem areas for at least 15-20 minutes, but can only recreate the bubbles in a smaller size on the columns. Is there another way to recreate this scenario so that we can show the painter what happened?
My questions are: 1. What would have caused that? Inappropriate preparation before the painting? 2. Somebody suggested that because it usually takes a few weeks for the paint to completely dry, that bubbling occurred because the paint job had only a week to dry? Is this true? 3. Under the bubbles which formed and now have dried out, is there still moisture trapped in there. Will this keep reoccuring with every rain? And if it does, will this eventually cause damage to the wood trim and siding? 4. What should we ask the painter to do to fix the problem correctly and prevent future problems?
Thanks in advance for all of your suggestions.
K
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Latex over oil and skipped the primer step???????????????????
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Hun-Yue Wong wrote:

wall after raining", dated 10/13.
"About one day" is not long enough to wait between pressure washing and painting. Since you experienced problems immediately after the storm, it certainly suggests that the bubbles are storm related. Call your insurance company - don't tell them the painter goofed. Read the other posts for details of the discussion.
The link below is to the website for your product. You can contact Ben Moore, too: http://benjaminmoore.com/bmpsweb/portals/bmps.portal?_nfpb=true&_windowLabel=contentrenderer_1_3&contentrenderer_1_3_actionOverride=%2Fbm%2Fcms%2FContentRenderer%2FrenderContent&contentrenderer_1_3cnp=public_site%2Farticles%2Fproduct_articles%2Fpa_ext_ben&contentrenderer_1_3np=productcatalog%2Fproduct_pages%2Fpaint%2Fprd_0542&_pageLabel=fh_findproducts
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Hun-Yue Wong wrote:

http://benjaminmoore.com/bmpsweb/portals/bmps.portal?_nfpb=true&_windowLabel=contentrenderer_1_4&contentrenderer_1_4_actionOverride=%2Fbm%2Fcms%2FContentRenderer%2FrenderContent&contentrenderer_1_4cnp=public_site%2Farticles%2Flearn_how%2Flh_ext_problem_solver&contentrenderer_1_4np=public_site%2Farticles%2Flearn_how%2Flh_ext_blistering&_pageLabel=fh_learnhow
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Hun-Yue Wong wrote:

Sounds like hasty paint job. After power washing wall can't dry in a day. What was original paint?
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Hi,
Most of the bubbling is occuring was previously painted with semi- gloss Moorgard paint- It was an acrylic paint.
Before the painting they were supposed to prime it and do two layers of new semi gloss Benjamin Moore paint. Sounds to me from all the feedback that he might have missed the priming step or not allowed the primer to completely dry before adding the other coats on.
As for the initial powerwash, how long do painters usually wait?
Thanks for your feedback.
Kimberley

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On Sun, 18 Oct 2009 20:11:52 -0700 (PDT), Hun-Yue Wong

Can you determine what primer was used? My suspicion is that it was an oil base over a still damp surface possibly followed too soon with a waterbased top coat.
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What kind of response do you expect from the painter, I bet it will be along the line of, "I dont know it must be defective paint I did everything right". Some of the areas look like water could now be entering from behind, cut open bubbles to see if any water is in them indicating it could be your issue. Did he paint over gloss oil, did he paint in sun or a sun heated surface. Ben Moore has local reps that might come over, they do have a lab you can ship a piece of wood with bubbling paint to, that will be conclusive as to reason of failure. I painted for years and cant remember that happening, it might be several things that happened like wet wood and sun, wet as in wet from old leaks and pressure washing, but bubbled areas never bonded.
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*Take your pictures over to the paint store where you got the paint and see what they say.
My thoughts are that one day was not enough for the house to dry after power washing. Also could be a compatibility problem with the old paint. You didn't say if primer was used or not, but I am wondering if a second coat of paint was applied before the first coat or primer fully cured.
It remains to be seen if this will continue or not. The problem may eventually stop, but I wonder if the bubble areas will ever adhere properly and last as long as the rest of the house.
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Maybe wrong type of paint (acrylic?) applied either over a still damp surface or a house that has moisture within its walls. Here in a much cooler climate it is wisest to use some sort of stain. Not paint that forms an impermeable skin that does not allow moisture (water) to breathe/evaporate to outside. And the amount of moisture also depends on the interior of the house having a proper moisture barrier. But not familiar with your conditions.
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generally simply the hard rain so soon after painting. In my case, left alone the bubbles shrank (shrunk?) back and adhered fine. There were a few areas where they were particularly bad that there were some that left 'sags' that you only saw when looking really close.
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Hun-Yue Wong wrote:

captions of your photos give inportant clues....leads me to believe more that the main issue is that the wood did not dry sufficiently after being pressure washed. Most important clue leading to that conclusion is that blisters appear to occur more at seams and end grain....water or solvent absorbs more quickly into the end grain than into rest of surface. One day between pressure washing and painting is not enough, whether wood or masonry surface. Needs at least two days of dry weather, preferably longer. Given that important error, I would expect that the painter took other shortcuts. Painting too soon over caulking may also be an issue. Do you have a written contract? Painter is licensed? Painting in hot sun may also be a factor, as the paint skin forms too quickly and traps solvent/water (depends on type of paint) before it escapes via normal curing.
It's my belief that any contracted work that is unsatisfactory should be addressed in writing to the contractor...write a nice business letter, clearly list your concerns and the date on which the problem became evident, and send letter certified mail to the contractor.
With so much blistering, and blisters so close together, I would expect the paint to peel in those areas.
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PS: How did you "recreate" bubbling two weeks later? Wet surface and paint over? Wet with forceful stream water?
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