Weird patterns on window trim?


Just curious if anyone has seen anything like this. Weird cauliflower-like pattern on most of the trim around the windows in our house. Mainly at the corners. Already was there when we purchased and hasn’t really changed. Exposure to moisture at one point in time maybe?

q weird patterns on window trim
q weird patterns on window trim
q weird patterns on window trim
  21 answers
  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 28, 2020

    previous owner did not sand, spackle woodwork Just painted over the damage

    • Scott Scott on Aug 28, 2020

      Thanks Michelle - any idea what kind of damage would have caused these weird markings? I believe the trim would have been installed by the home builder so wondering if cropped up subsequent to installation or if the homeowner just lived with the job the builder did

  • on Aug 28, 2020

    It looks like whoever painted the trim didn’t sand the filler off well. It doesn’t look like damage caused it. Just sloppy workmanship.

  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 28, 2020

    I'm pretty sure moisture lifted the paint. How old is your home? Have you chipped away at it? It could be that maybe it was stained, varnished and had water damage. The paint was a "one color" coverup

  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 28, 2020

    It could be that the windows were not caulked very well and over a winter, condensation. My mother had an older home and the windows would ice up, melt and it caused this kind of damage to her wood work. She just scraped and painted over it.

    That is how I came to the conclusion on yours

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Aug 28, 2020

    I agree that definitely looks caused by moisture to me. If you sand it down, prime and then repaint that should remove the weirdness.

  • Annie Annie on Aug 28, 2020

    You can fix that by just sanding off the paint, you may need to use a scraper on those raised bits. Sand it smooth and then repaint it. I would use trim paint that you can scrub!

  • Scott Scott on Aug 28, 2020

    Thanks everyone - first home owners moved in in 2012 and we took possession in 2017. I’ll take your tips into consideration to fix things up and hopefully improve!

    Thanks again.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Aug 28, 2020

    Yes moisture! The question is though, is the problem fixed? I would get someone to come out and look at the windows and check them to make sure it's not still allowing moisture in before you do work to fix the paint and molding.. Good luck!

  • Oliva Oliva on Aug 28, 2020

    Is your home absorbing water through the walls/windows? Have you experienced wet sills?

    The home is too new for steam radiators to have caused this type of damage.

    Have you determined the relative humidity in this home? Have you tried running a dehumidifier set to 40%?

  • Scott Scott on Aug 28, 2020

    Hi everyone - thanks again for the input. We have a central natural gas furnace in the house with a whole house humidifier attached. It’s set properly now, but I wonder if the previous home owners had it turned up way too high at one point which caused some of this damage (especially if it was very cold out in the winter - would have been a ton of condensation to deal with). The markings seem like they haven’t changed at all in the close to three years that we’ve lived here so I don’t feel like it’s an ongoing concern, but always possible! Might try with just one of the windows first and see how it makes out over a bit of time before I tackle the others.

  • It could be moisture and the wood and paint buckled or it could be sparkle and that wasn't sanded well. However, the only way to really tell would be to sand the spots down. You'll know right away. Good luck!

  • William William on Aug 29, 2020

    Looks like MDF and not wood. Moisture has gotten it wet and it swelled.

  • Yes it looks like the wood has been affected my moisture. I think you would have to replace it if you want it gone.

  • Scott Scott on Aug 29, 2020

    Thanks everyone. Appreciate the input!

  • Janice Janice on Aug 30, 2020

    Check the moisutre with a moisture meter. If none, spray water on a wndow and surrounding area from the outside, wait a couple of hours and retest. No use repairing the inside problem you pictured if there is a continuing problem.

    Here's a link to one meter, I'm sure there are other brands that would work equally well.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 30, 2020

    Definitely a poor fix and then a poor paint job. If there is no moisture, you're going to have to sand, spackle and repaint.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Aug 31, 2020

    This is damage from water.

  • It is water damage. It will eventually all fall off. I would find the leak and seal that first. Then you will need to sand it all back and repaint it.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Aug 31, 2020

    That is a sign that there is a water damage .. It will fall apart soon .. I would actually replace that because there may be a mold behind those wood pieces

  • Yep, water damage. Check the caulking outdoors, it might be time to replace it.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 30, 2020

    it is for sure a water damage