Paint Flaking Off My Garden Wall

I have a small wall in my front garden which has been painted with oil paint but it flakes off. Last year, I scraped it all off. I applied an undercoat and thin gloss but the same has happened again. What would you advise me to do?

Annoying isn't it. All that hard work and you're back to square one again. Adhesion, or should I say the lack of it is the problem here. One of the best ways I know of to make oil paints of any kind stick tight is to clean the surface by removing all flaking paint and wire brush if possible. Another way to remove all the loose stuff is to powerwash it off. If you use a powerwasher you will have to wait for the wall to dry out thoroughly before you begin your painting. Make sure the surface is dry and then apply an undercoat, any good quality brand like Crown, Fleetwood, Dulux, etc and stir in about 25% or even a bit more paint conditioner like Owatrol oil into the undercoat and apply. When dry, probably next day or so, apply your top coat, and this time just add in about 10% Owatrol to help make it flow out nicely. This also has a knock-on effect of helping the paint stick even better and does not kill the paint finish like white spirit frequently does. 

By the way, I often hear of problems similar to this, but usually on the likes of wall cappings, window sills, facia boards, haybarns and so on. The same procedure applies, that is assuming you are going to use oil based paint of some sort. By the way you will find literally scores of uses for the Owatrol about the house, it's not just for adhesion. it also does a lovely job when applied to interior wood all by itself, it gives the wood a lovely 'rustic' look.

If you plan to use water based emulsion or masonry paint in similar situations, indoors or outdoors, you would need to substitute the Owatrol oil (officially known as paint conditioner) with Emulsa-Bond or E-B for short. It's made by the same people. 

I've found that the latter will basically make any water based paint stick to a wide variety of surfaces like chalky, flaky walls, drywall, wood, and so on. I used it five years ago to make a navy blue masonry paint stick to my garden shed and it looks as good today as when I did the job other than it's a little faded. I have to say that these two relatively unknown products, if your can find them are a must in any back shed for your general painting work around the house. I'd suggest you look in the more specialised paint shops around town to get those products.

Tip  Painting new Drywall?

Add 25% of the above mentioned E-B into your first coat of emulsion for a superb grip, smooth application and pull-off resistant finish. Great where posters etc used like in kids rooms and so on.