Peeling Paint - Please HELP!!!

Old 06-16-08, 03:30 AM
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Peeling Paint - Please HELP!!!

Well, my first ever attempt of painting and decorating after 25 years on this planet has gone badly wrong!

I've been in a new build rented flat for a few years now, the magnolia walls are starting to get a bit grubby so I decided to give them a coat of paint. I was given a tub of vinyl matt and started to slap it on with a roller, but 2 mins into the job DISASTER! the paint underneath started peeling off as soon as I went over it with the new stuff! The small area I "painted" is now a total mess, think I'll need to sand it off. Oh and also, this only happened at the bottom of the wall, not the top. Don't know if this is a coincidence or not?

Why has this happened and what can I do to prevent it happening to the rest of the walls when I paint them?

I've had a couple of suggestions....

1) The vinyl matt paint im using is incompatible with the paint that is underneath. I'm not sure what the type of paint is underneath, but I'm pretty sure it's what the painters slapped on when the flat was first built.

2) The walls need cleaning first (with sugar soap?)

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
Old 06-16-08, 05:34 AM
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You mention that walls were 'grubby.' Walls should have been washed down first to remove soils that would interefere with adhesion. Here in the states many recommend TSP (trisodium phosphate) when prepping to paint. In the UK sugar soap is used. This is powdered cleaner looks like sugar and is very similar to TSP.

Matt (matte) means that the paint is not shiny, having nonreflective surface. In the UK, vinyl matt means it has plastic in it to make it wipable.

It is best to put the same type of paint over the same type of paint. Water-based over water-based. Vinyl-based over vinyl-based. Usually, there is a problem with adhesion when applying water-based over vinyl-based.

If the type of paint on the wall is unknown, it is best to prime. There is a saying in the US, "If in doubt, prime it!" If painting over glossy walls, these will also need to be lightly sanded to improve adhesion and primed with matt finish primer before painting with matt emulsion.

To correct your adhesion problems, you will need to sand, prime/seal, and repaint. On wall on which you have not yet begun, wash down first with sugar soap, then prime/seal, and paint. Most recommend two coats for good coverage.

Here's a link to a UK website that should be helpful:
Old 06-16-08, 06:50 AM
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When paint is applied over old paint and the old pain peels, the old paint was applied over a dirty or otherwise contaminated surface. Priming may help in the short run, but scraping off the old paint, then cleaning the underlying surface will be required for success. After cleaning, prime and paint.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-16-08, 07:00 AM
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thanks for the advice.

can i clean then prime over the existing paint, or should i sand it all off first?
Old 06-20-08, 03:55 AM
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I suspect that originally the walls were not primed and a cheap latex paint was applied over the texture. Both the texture and the paint have degraded and the moisture from the new paint is going thru the original paint and disolving the texture making it lose it's bond with the wall

The easiest fix would be to coat the walls with an oil base primer and then repaint when dry.

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