Fixing cracking paint in Bathroom?


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Old 05-03-09, 05:15 PM
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Fixing cracking paint in Bathroom?

The paint on my bathroom walls are cracking. One website called it Alligator cracking. Anyway, I am planning on sanding, priming with an oil based primer then painting with a latex paint. My question is: Is there a trick to sanding off paint from a drywall wall? I have tried a hand block sander,a vibrating sander, and mesh drywall sandpaper. They seem to last about 1 minute and then the sandpaper gets gummed up with paint. Is there a better way to do this? Is there a paint striper that you can use on drywall? Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 05-04-09, 04:10 AM
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How old is your house? we need to make sure there isn't any lead based paint on the walls!

If the paint is adhered well, it is usually easier/quicker to skim over the cracks with joint compound, sand lightly, prime, dust and repaint.
 
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Old 05-04-09, 07:49 AM
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My house is only about 10 years old so itís not lead based paint. Iím not sure how well the paint is adhered to the wall. Itís cracking everywhere but it is peeling at a few places where the shower butts up with the drywall (where it gets wet from time to time). It was painted about 7 years ago before I moved in. There was no ventilation until a few years ago when I put in a vent fan. Will the joint compound fill in the cracks because they are so small?
 
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Old 05-04-09, 12:12 PM
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Your walls may have been wallpapered at some point and perhaps the paste wasn't completely removed, thus the "alligators." I would sand and vacuum the walls with 120 grit sandpaper, prime complete with oil base underboady, skim any remianing cracks, reprime the patches, and finish with an oil based satin finish. Ben Moore Satin Impervo is my favorite bathroom paint. Most times "alligatoring" will return, but oil base paint stands you the best chance of avoiding it.

Bill
 
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Old 05-04-09, 10:46 PM
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Your Modus Operandi is good.

Sand, vacuum, skim coat with drywall compound, (sand smooth and vacuum again) prime with an oil based primer, and paint.

Paint: Either a moisture resistant "bathroom" paint (see Zinsser's Perma White) or an oil (Sain Impervo is a good one).

Latex paints by the way are prone to gumming up conventional sandpaper. There is special sandpaper made for latex paint (see 3M) which will not gum up as quickly.
 
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Old 05-05-09, 09:53 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Is it necessary to sand all of the paint off and get down to the base layer or just enough to scuff of the wall? Slatz, I am using 3M sandpaper 120 grit. One more question: Will the Alligator cracking start to peel eventually or should I mainly sand where the paint is peeling up around the shower? Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-05-09, 01:16 PM
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It's hard to say. Latex doesn't alligator as bad as the old oil base paints and it's a little unusual for interior paint to alligator. The 2 main causes would be applied too heavy and dried too quick or a contamiment under the paint.

I'd deligentlyscrape off what I could, then sand with 80-100 grit, use a solvent based primer if needed, skim coat, sand, dust and prime and paint.
 
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Old 05-05-09, 05:20 PM
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There are different reasons for "alligator cracking" (also known as "mud cracking"). An inflexible flat paint over a more flexible paint can cause cracking (as will painting such a flat over caulk). As already stated, wallpaper glue under a latex flat will cause cracking.

Moisture is a contributing factor in your case. As noted, the paint by the shower is cracking much worse than areas farther from the shower. This is actually a fairly common problem in a bathroom shower area. I repair this type of cracking all the time in bathrooms.

Use the oil primer (Coverstain should work) to help waterproof the previous paint AND the skim coat of drywall mud. Oil forms a tighter film than latex (latex "breaths" - allows moisture vapor to pass through it), but is more susceptible to mildew (it may be wise to add M-1 midlewcide to the Impervo).

Sanding off all the paint is really not an easy thing to do - as you have already noticed. I would remove the loose paint, then orbital sand to degloss and smooth any curled edges down, then vacuum real well. Then I would prime with oil, skim coat, sand, vacuum, and re-prime with oil then paint. You should get good results with Zinsser's Perma White (it can be tinted).

Do a google search "sandpaper" + "latex paint" and you should locate the non-clogging version for latex paint.

Also, preventing moisture build up via a good bathroom vent and venting procedure will go a long way toward preventing reoccurrence.
 
 

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