Bathroom Paint is getting bubbles


Old 07-13-09, 08:43 PM
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Question Bathroom Paint is getting bubbles

I hired a contractor to remodel my bathroom. The house was built in the 1950's and had wallpaper in the bathroom and kitchen. The contractor used a hot water mist to remove the paper and then painted the walls with Sherwin Williams 400 Series latex paint that has their "eggshell" finish. It became quickly obvious that they should have primed the walls in the bathroom. One wall is especially bad and the paint began to bubble right away. It also seemed to take longer to dry than I would have expected.

So the contractor keeps spot spackling, sanding, repainting so we are now up the 3rd coat on one of the bathroom walls. It looks worse with each new coat of paint. It has more air bubbles each time they repaint. At least they look like air bubbles and act like air bubbles.

Is it the glue that was probably left on the walls that is causing the problem? What do we need to do to fix the wall?

They used the same technique to remove the wallpaper in the kitchen but they primed the walls before painting. The kitchem seems to be much better. I do find a few small bubbles but they are almost unnoticeable. I probably wouldn't see them if I weren't looking for them.


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Old 07-14-09, 04:02 AM
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I'm not sure if the bubbles were caused by unremoved adhesive but it definetly sounds like a solvent based primer should have been used first. How long did it take for the bubbles to appear?

Your kitchen and bath would have been originally painted with an oil base enamel which would have helped with the wallpaper removal. Oil base enamel should always be coated with a solvent based primer before switching to a latex coating. The oil base would also slow down the drying time of latex paint applied over it. Latex paint applied over oil enamel will fail sooner or later. Ideally the latex would be removed, the wall primed and then it would be ready for latex.

I hate to bash a contractor [especially one not met] but promar 400 is a builder's grade of paint and IMO isn't a coating you would use on a repaint. The promar 200 is the cheapest SWP I'd use and for a repaint they have many better choices to choose from. The extra cost per gallon is minimal when compared to the labor cost and customer satisfaction.

You might want to contact SWP, tell them the situation and ask what they recomend. Their good reputation depends on their coatings being used correctly and they should be able to recomend the best remedy/options.
Old 07-15-09, 04:39 PM
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Certainly sounds like all the paste wasn't removed properly before painting, especially in your description of the paint not drying in a timely fashion, symptoms of paint mixing with paste and slowing the dry. What to do now is a good question...trying to remove the paint to get back to bare, will be more work that simply replacing the walls......
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