In this paper the problem posed by interfaces when present in PIV measurements is addressed. Different image pre-processing, processing and post-processing methodologies with the intention to minimize the interface effects are discussed and assessed using Monte Carlo simulations. Image treatment prior to the correlation process is shown to be incapable of fully removing the effects of the intensity pedestal across the object edge. The inherent assumption of periodicity in the signal causes the FFT-based correlation technique to perform the worst when the correlation window contains a signal truncation. Instead, an extended version of the masking technique introduced by Ronneberger et al. (Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on applications of laser techniques to fluid mechanics, Lisbon, 1998) is able to minimize the interface-correlation, resolving only the particle displacement peak. Once the displacement vector is obtained, the geometric center of the interrogation area is not the correct placement. Instead, the centre of mass position allows an unbiased representation of the wall flow (Usera et al. in Proceedings of the 12th international symposium on applications of laser techniques to fluid mechanics, Lisbon, 2004). The aforementioned concepts have been implemented in an adaptive interrogation methodology (Theunissen et al. in Meas Sci Technol 18:275–287, 2007) where additionally non-isotropic resolution and re-orientation of the correlation windows is applied near the interface, maximizing the wall-normal spatial resolution. The increase in resolution and robustness are demonstrated by application to a set of experimental images of a flat-plate, subsonic, turbulent boundary layer and a hypersonic flow over a double compression ramp.