Help with repainting peeling bathroom ceiling/walls

Old 12-03-05, 05:21 AM
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Question Help with repainting peeling bathroom ceiling/walls

We've lived in our house for almost a year and since the summer, we've realized that we need to repaint the bathroom. It appears that the previous owners did not use the right kind of paint. I did the alcohol test and it's water-based, so I guess that means we can re-paint with latex paint?

The problem is that they used a matte paint for the ceiling, which rapidly soaks up moisture from our showers. The room does not have an external exhaust, but we plan to install on maybe next summer. We run an electric heater fan and in summer, we open the window and run a fan without heat. In summer, the moisture is a bigger problem because we can't blow the heat - the mirror only fogs up with hot showers taking in summer, or if we forget to turn the heater on any other time of year. The room dries out pretty quickly this way, and we think it's this rapid drying that has caused the ceiling paint to form long cracks (some over a foot) that are starting to peel away. We have never seen mildew in the room, and we can't keep plants that like humidity alive in it, so over all it's a dry room - just not for about 40 minutes a day when we shower. The walls are made of that cement board stuff that tile is attached to, and most of the room is tiled.

We figure we'll have to completely sand the old stuff off the ceiling, and re-prime it. But what kind of paint is best in this situation? Something that doesn't absorb moisure, I know, but what do we look for?

Now, the walls are a different story. They are painted with a satin or eggshell finish, and moisture hasn't hurt them except just around the top edge of the shower tile to about an inch up, where some overspray hits. This area has begun to chip, and I don't know if re-painting it will help prevent this in the future. What kind of paint is recommended?

The chips are coming off this area of the walls down to the bare cement board. But we want to repaint a different color anyway. Will we have to sand all the walls, or just the area that is starting to chip? We really want to do as little sanding as possible, since we live in the house now and don't want to deal with all the dust clean up. I suggested to my husband that we get the room nice and humid and try to sand what we must while it was damp to help keep dust from flying around. Is this a good idea?

Thanks for your help!
Old 12-03-05, 06:44 AM
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I'd recommend a Kitchen and Bath type paint for your bathroom
Zinnser has an excellent one, sometimes called Perma-White
Your local Paint Shop can set you up

As for the chips, it depends on how bad it is, and why it's chipping
SOP would be to pry up any loose paint with a putty knife, then sand to feather (smooth) the edges of the paint that's left

Depending on how much is removed, the quality of what's left, and the reason it's chipping, would determine if a primer or any other steps are needed

On the rest, just a quick scuff sanding is all you need, and with eggshell it's not always needed per say, but it's a good idea for the best adhesion (and helps clean off any residual stuff on the walls
But really just a quick, light, scuff sanding
And you'll want the room dry for that
Keep the door closed or seal off the room if you must, but you don't want to sand moisture laden paint

It really shouldn't be too dusty, but if you feel you must skip this step, you could get away with if the eggshell surface is cleaned well
I would just recommend the scuff sanding if at all possible

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