paint pealing/falling off ceiling


Old 02-13-12, 06:57 AM
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paint pealing/falling off ceiling

I have two spots in my house where the paint is pealing away from the ceiling. The one spot is on the ceiling of the master bedroom (second floor) and the other is on the ceiling in front of the side door (first floor) which is what we mainly use.
The house was built in the late 1930's, so I am assuming the base paint would be oil. The walls are old plaster.

The master bedroom spot makes sense to me as the stairs to the attic is right above where it's pealing (cold side in the attic, warm in the bedroom).
The side door spot however is warm on both sides.

The questions;
What could cause this? (assuming hot/cold related)
How can I repair/prevent this from happening again?
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Old 02-13-12, 09:03 AM
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That's a hard one to answer
Latex paint normally adheres ok to flat oil paint which is what a plaster ceiling would normally have been painted with [prior to the 60s] However latex paint doesn't bond well to oil base enamels.

I'd do a good job of scraping off any loose paint and then coat those areas with a solvent based primer. Once dry, skim with joint compound as needed, sand, prime [latex is fine] and paint. Sanding the paint under the peeled areas would eliminate the need for the initial priming but there is a good chance doing so would inject lead dust into the air do you have any kids?
Old 03-01-12, 08:45 PM
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I don't think it's a matter of simply prepping the ceiling properly to make sure the new paint doesn't peal. Similar to if a homeowner wants their exterior house scraped, primed and painted because their old paint is flaking and bubbling everywhere. You can't just do all that prep work if the flashing along the roof line, windows and doors isn't installed correctly and water is getting in behind the siding. It'll be a never ending battle of prep work and painting if the true problem is never addressed.

Without looking at your house it's really hard to determine what's going on. I'd say in the upper level bedroom i'd check the attic to see if you have the proper amount of insulation. The correct amount of insulation is different from city to city. There are tools available to check to see what's best for your area. You should also check for leaks in the roof while you're up there.

As for the area above the door I would examine the exterior flashing above the door or if there is a window above that door look at that too. I am thinking there probably isn't any and that may be the issue. That's probably where I would start but I wouldn't go through all that prep to paint the ceiling until I felt I actually solved the problem.
Old 03-02-12, 10:02 AM
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When ceiling paint peels, I get worried about moisture coming from above - are you sure there are no leaks?
Old 03-02-12, 10:05 AM
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I'm sure. The one at the door is a sub ceiling (drops the ceiling down from 12' to 10', donno why).

The other is the stairwell to the attic
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