Inadequate Surface Preparation

Surface preparation of the substrate is one of the most vital parts of the coating / lining (painting) process. It provides not only a clean surface, but also a suitable surface profile (key) for a paint to successfully adhere to.

If this critical phase is overlooked, it can be a major contributor to premature, if not immediate paint failure. Such failure removes the protection the painted surface provides, leaving plant and equipment vulnerable to corrosion, erosion, abrasion and thermal damage to name just a few. Recognising the signs of inadequate surface preparation is essential to ensure the durability of the painted surface.

If you’ve read our existing articles, you will already know how to achieve the industry recognised standards of surface preparation and the importance of removing soluble salts from the surface before it is painted.

Below, we highlight the most common defects due to improper surface preparation.

  1. Adhesion Failure / Delamination. Where a paint or coating delaminates from the substrate below.
  2. Blistering. Bubble-like spots In this case specifically those caused by soluble salts and moisture entrapment. More information can be found in our article here.
  3. Cissing. Surface contamination; usually moisture, oil, grease or silicones.
  4. Flaking. Paint flakes away from the substrate. This can be caused by incorrect pre-treatment of stainless, non-ferrous or previously galvanised surfaces.

Ultimately if the surface exhibits any of the above, the paint system should be removed and correct surface preparation techniques employed.

The simplest way to avoid any of the above is to ensure that the substrate is prepared adequately and is free from moisture, grease, oil, dust and other surface contaminants prior to applying the first coat of corrosion protection.

Paint manufacturers technical data sheets and application guidelines should always be strictly adhered to and will specify the level of surface preparation required.

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Inadequate surface preparation inevitably leads to premature or immediate coating and lining failure, through which a lack of protection can ultimately cause damage to plant and equipment, resulting in costly repairs or breakdown.

It is essential that a competent, professional and experienced contractor such as KUE Group is selected to carry out your surface preparation and coating / lining needs. Contact us without delay today at for further information.

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