New Paint on bathroom walls bubbling


  #1  
Old 10-05-08, 03:06 PM
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New Paint on bathroom walls bubbling

Hey all. About a month or so ago I finished a big bathroom project finally getting my shower door up. Today after my wifes shower, I noticed that the paint is bubbling all around walls above the tile in the shower area (and even parts across the bathroom. The walls are VERY moist to the touch after the shower.

I used 2 coats of good Benjamin Moore Bathroom paint with mildew protection. But I think where I went wrong was in those areas above the tile I used some joint compound to smooth out some warped plaster/lathe walls.

I don't remember, but I may not have primed those areas before using the Benjamin Moore paint. The walls had several layers of paint on them the last being a semi-gloss white, so I think I just painted the BM paint right over it and didnt prime the compounded areas. That's probably the problem, right?

What a nightmare. What do I do now? How can I fix this?

Any help is appreciated.

Fish
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  #2  
Old 10-06-08, 03:04 AM
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How old is your home? Do you know what type of paint was on the wall previously? oil base or latex? Do you have an exhaust fan? Is the paint peeling over the new j/c or over the existing paint?

All these questions and all you want are answers
Hopefully with a little more info we can come up with the best fix
 
  #3  
Old 10-06-08, 08:03 AM
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Hey There. Thanks for the reply...

How old is your home?
1950's
Do you know what type of paint was on the wall previously?
I'm not sure but I think it was probably latex

Do you have an exhaust fan?
Sadly No. There is not a fan in the bathroom

Is the paint peeling over the new j/c or over the existing paint?
It seems to be pealing over the areas where there was joint compound.

I can't believe I would have forgotten to lay primer first, but it was a hectic week and I may have flaked on that. If I didn't prime thats probably what did it. But if I did prime, what could cause this?

I'm hoping I can just sand the bad spots and prime the entire wall (once or twice) then re-paint. Is that possible?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-06-08, 09:41 AM
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The bath rm would have been originally been painted with oil base enamel. If this was the problem, the paint and possibly j/c would have peeled down to the oil base paint.

I would scrape off anything that is remotely loose, patch, prime and repaint.

I don't know if the lack of an exhaust fan is the entire problem but it is likely a big contributer. Ideally you would install a properly sized exhaust fan. Short of that, leaving the door open and maybe running a fan to circulate the moist air after a shower should help some.
 
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Old 10-06-08, 10:14 AM
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Thanks again,

So if it was oil based paint, should I not have put j/c over that?

I did sand the original paint a bit to make it course to the j/c would adhere better.

So you think scraping and re-priming will hopefully a alleviate this problem you think? I don't have to sand down to original I hope

thx

Fish
 
  #6  
Old 10-06-08, 06:08 PM
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The odds are the oil base enamel was painted over with latex long ago, hopefully with the proper primer first. I don't think that is the problem - otherwise the paint would be peeling in some of the non patched areas also.

I would just scrape and sand what is loose, hopefully the rest will be fine. I suspect the lack of ventilation/exhaust is the main culprit.
 
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Old 10-06-08, 06:15 PM
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Thanks Mark,

I'll go ahead and scrape and sand the bad areas and put on a good layer of primer. Hopefully that will solve the problem (or at least help the problem.

We didn't have a peeling/bubbling issue before the renovation, and there was no vent in the BR. So I'm not sure if the vent will affect the outcome that much. But I'll see add that too my todo list

Good to hear that you think a good layer of primer will hopefully hopefully adhere to the walls and solve this issue.

Thanks for the help.

Fish
 
  #8  
Old 11-07-08, 03:15 PM
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Hey, Just a followup... I gave it a month of thought and serious procrastination before picking it back up this week.

I installed an exhaust fan over last weekend. That worked out great. I scraped the bubbled areas down. Turns out the bubbling is really only happening where I put the J/C and probably is bubbling from my lack of cleaning the dust well with a damp rag.

I scraped the bubbled areas down, but I'm nervous that the other areas that may not be bubbling above the J/C are gonna start to create a problem. Do you think priming the entire wall and re-painting is a good idea to seal the other areas up?? Or do I just prime the spots I've sanded, scraped and wiped down?

I read that it might not be a bad idea to use an oil based primer. But Can I put that over a latex top coat at this time. I'd rather not use oil based... I have a Zinsser 123 primer that I can use.

Thx

Fish
 
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Old 11-07-08, 09:45 PM
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Since you have a known adhesion problem, I wouldn't mess around with the water-base primer you might use otherwise.

Also, give the walls a good scrubbing with TSP (and rinse.) This will help remove junk like hairspray residue that can contribute to poor adhesion.

Lastly, try not to use the bathroom for a week before and after the painting, if possible.

SirWired
 
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Old 11-07-08, 10:08 PM
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I'm sorry, I'm not following completely... Are you saying I should use an Oil Based Primer?

I just read up on TSP and how it should be used to de-gloss walls that have a glossy finish. The problem is that most of my walls now have my BM K&B self-priming paint over it.. and is pealing off in some but not all areas. As I spent more time with it today, I've noticed that its not just the JC areas that are peeling, but also the areas that were over the glossy paint. I was peeling off good 5" pieces today. Some of it comes off easy, but some seems to have adhered. However, I was wiping down the parts I sanded today with a damp cloth... and after the walls got damp, it seemed easier to peal. Should I turn my shower on again and let it soften up the paint and peel more off? Or should I put in a dehumidifier and try to dry it as much as possible and just paint over it.

It really ruined my night. The walls are a mess.

Thx
 

Last edited by fishnyc22; 11-07-08 at 10:24 PM.
  #11  
Old 11-07-08, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fishnyc22 View Post
I'm sorry, I'm not following completely... Are you saying I should use an Oil Based Primer?
Thx
I'd use a shellac based primer like kilz or B-I-N. Plus it dries really fast. Any remove everything loose you can get.
 
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Old 11-08-08, 04:52 AM
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Generally there are no adhesion issues with applying oil primer over latex paint and/or latex over oil primer - the same is true with the shellac primers. Oil base primer adheres better than latex will [why we use it when there are adhesion issues], pigmented shellac is even better but a lot stinkier

Applying any primer over any failing paint will only help marginally. The new paint/primer may bond to itself but it is unlikely it will penetrate the underlying loose paint to bond it to the wall.

TSP is a great cleaning agent but it must be rinsed off well, otherwise it can cause adhesion issues. I generally only use TSP on the exterior. Probably your best bet would be to sand and scrape off what you can, then leave it alone for a week or two and then repeat. Hopefully by then any loose paint will be taken off and you will be ready to start over.
 
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Old 12-03-08, 03:52 PM
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UGH!!! I'm back...

So I took my time and scraped all the bubbling bad areas. Wiped down the dusty walls, primed the newly scraped areas and let the primer dry for about a week as I mustered up the energy to start painting again...

I started with a quick coat of BM K&B over the primed areas to get the wall colors to better match. Let that dry for several days, and then started to paint the whole bathroom tonight.

I painted the newly scraped area first. Look great and continued on to areas that weren't a problem before... as I moved along, I looked to the left and saw large bubbles of paint. The moisture from the fresh coat was pealing the previous coat off the walls (not the newly scraped areas). I took a scraper and got underneath and LARGE areas of paint came off the walls.

I give up. I'm so disgusted with this whole mess.

I'm thinking of using a wallpaper steamer and go at it to get ALL the paint off the walls and start over.

Or perhaps selling the house and letting someone else deal with it.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 02:51 AM
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Ok, what must be happening is latex paint was applied directly over the oil base enamel years ago and is barely bonding to the oil enamel. When you apply fresh paint, it is both adding to the weight/stress of the 1st coat of latex over the enamel, plus the moisture in the paint is also working to loosen the original coat of latex.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any fix other than than removing all the the latex paint and then applying a coat of oil base primer. If that isn't bad enough, the original oil enamel might be lead based so you need to take precautions when sanding and cleaning up any dust. Paint chips would only be an issues if the original enamel peels.

A drastic measure would be to laminate over the walls with 1/4" drywall and start fresh. This may also involve altering any woodwork to fit the now slightly smaller room.
 
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Old 12-04-08, 03:34 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Its kind of what I figured. I don't believe the paint would be lead b/c the previous owners had the house for 10 years and painted the walls and over some really ugly pink tile (which I"ve since removed).

Do you think a steamer would be ok to use on the walls to help get the paint up. It came up really easy when it was damp, but not when it was dry.

There is also Joint compound on the walls in areas where I fixed the uneven plaster. Would the steamer affect those areas? Or would I just have to let it sit and dry out for a while before repriming?

Thx for the feedback... again

Fish
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Old 12-04-08, 04:32 AM
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A steamer might help. Mostly it will take elbow grease.... and maybe some hair pulled out

Joint compound is water soluble so it may disolve and need to be redone - no biggie at this point
 
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Old 12-04-08, 10:23 AM
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It does sound like you are getting an adhesion problem from an oil based underneath your new coat of latex. I had this problem with a bathroom repaint a few years ago. What you need is a bit of insurance. Take a five and one, scrape down all the bubbled spots. Don't miss anything. Take a good oil based primer and paint the WHOLE wall. That's your insurance policy, btw.

Now, don't listen to the label on your oil based primer. Wait a full day minimum before you paint over it. (And no showers to be had). Spot priming will only fix those spots and moisture is still bound to get underneath parts of it, because the barrier isn't completely intact. Once you have a good layer of oil based primer on the wall, you can go over it with a good latex paint. (Don't worry about brand, Kelly Moore makes like 95% of the worlds paint anyway.) Just choose a good paint from your local Rhodda or Kelly Moore store.

Hopefully this helps.
 
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Old 12-14-08, 02:23 PM
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Ok fellas, I'm back.... (with blisters on my fingers)

I spent the weekend scraping all the paint off the walls. I'm down to the original plaster walls. I used a wallpaper steamer and scraper and went to town... I got almost off of the paint off, accept for some really stubborn spots. In areas where I had used Joint Compound to smooth out the warped plaster walls I'm back down to that JC layer as well.

In the process of scraping everywhere, I did take a lot of chunks and damage the plaster in some spots so it needs to be repaired.

Question 1:
I'm assuming I should mix up a batch of JC and just go over all the walls and smooth it out, then sand and wipe it down clean, letting it cure for a few days, and then repaint.... thats the right idea, isn't it?

Question 2:
Now that I'm starting from scratch, should I go right to OIL based paint? Or should I use the latex BM K&B paint again with my Zinser 123 primer?

Its hard to describe the wall texture. I believe its plaster of some kind. The back side (seen from the attic) is a cardboard like material with 1" holes (equally spaced) where it seems the plaster material came through when formed. The paint store guy told me this material was a predecessor to sheetrock I believe, but I can't remember what he called it. (house was built in the 50s)

Thanks again for all the help.

Fish
 

Last edited by fishnyc22; 12-14-08 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 12-15-08, 02:30 AM
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Joint compound should be fine for repairing the plaster. After all your sanding/scraping it might be ok to use a latex primer but if I had any concerns that latex might not stick, I'd coat the walls with an oil base primer first.... just to be safe
The K&B paint would still be a good choice for the top coat.

The drywall strips that the plaster was applied to his called gypsum lath. It replaced the traditional wood lath. Today blueboard [a form of drywall, has blue paper] is used with a plaster veneer applied to it.
 
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Old 12-15-08, 07:09 PM
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The walls are pretty banged up in some spots, its ok to use JC in a nice thin coat across sections of this plaster-board to smooth this out? Then wet-sand it with a damp sponge to smooth it out?

I really don't want to every do this again, so I want to make sure I do it right.

Thx again for the feedback.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 02:32 AM
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You can use j/c to fill in as needed and using a wet sponge while not as good as dry sanding, cuts down on dust. I use a wet sponge fairly often when making repairs in an occupied home.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 05:43 AM
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Thanks Mark,

So one more question then. I should JC right on the plaster-board, right?

Thanks again,

Fish
 
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Old 12-16-08, 12:38 PM
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Yes but any shiny paint should be roughed up with sandpaper first.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 07:50 PM
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The guy at the local paint store recommended sanding everything first, then priming, then patching the wall with JC then spot priming and then painting.

What do you think? He said you want to have a good primed service to put the JC on.

I just feel like Its a lot easier for me to patch up the pasterboard first there are a lot of dings and knicks all over the place from scraping everything off.

Thx again

Fish
 
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Old 12-17-08, 04:10 AM
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If there is any torn drywall paper - those areas must be coated with a solvent based primer first to prevent the surrounding paper from bubbling. Other than that, it should be ok to apply the j/c directly to the wall providing anything shiny is roughed up so the j/c can adhere well.

There is nothing wrong with priming first as that should insure a good surface for the j/c to adhere to. I'm sure the guy at the paint store wants to be double sure that you won't have any more problems
 
 

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