Bubbling paint over joint compound in bathroom


Old 04-25-12, 01:20 PM
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Bubbling paint over joint compound in bathroom

My bathroom was painted last week as part of a bathroom renovation and I saw today after my shower that the paint was bubbling in one area where it had been applied over joint compound, which felt moist. When I went back, say an hour later, the JC had dried out, the paint had readhered and it looked normal again. I live in a 1980s condo building and Benjamin Moore Aura (which has primer in it), in a matte finish, was painted right over the existing semigloss paint. In some areas, joint compound (Sheetrock brand pre-mixed) was skimcoated on the original paint before the BM Aura was applied (not sure if 1 or 2 coats) on top. After this was done, I asked that they fix one area where the paint/drywall underneath had large ridges and I believe they skimcoated this part and painted 1 coat of BM on top. This is the area that bubbles during my shower. So far, it is just this one spot, but I'm worried that as time goes on, this will start happening in other areas where paint was applied over JC. I question whether the primer in Aura really cuts it in this situation so I'm thinking of applying a separate primer then 2 coats of paint over these areas. Should this work? Also, the paint job was probably mediocre at best. The younger brother of the guy who did the reno work did the paint job, did not have a great attitude and from what I could see, cut corners. I doubt he painted two coats, probably did not sand the original paint, it is really noticeable where the skimcoated parts meet the nonskimcoated parts of the wall and so on. I am not bringing this up to whine but because it may be relevant? Anyway, any advice on how I can fix this (I wouldn't trust this to the original painter) would be really appreciated, thanks!
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Old 04-25-12, 01:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

First, primer and paint together may work fine (and BM is typically good paint) but I believe primer and paint have different purposes and ingredients and that therefore neither can adequately do its job if mixed with the other. To that end, I never use such products so I cannot comment on them.

My first concern would be whether the joint compound was dry before the paint was applied. Second is a question - what's on the back side of the wall where the paint is bubbling (like any water lines?)?
Old 04-25-12, 01:37 PM
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Hi mitch17! I could not say if the JC was dry before it was painted in all the spots where it was applied, but I know that the one area that has been bubbling was skimcoated and painted on the last day when the worker was rushed putting the finishing touches to the bathroom. He may not have let the joint compound really dry out before painting it. I don't have enough know-how to know where waterlines would be, but this is the wall between the shower and sink, above the toilet, so I do not think there would be any waterlines here (but what do I know).
Old 04-25-12, 03:20 PM
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Seems like I remember reading in one of the trade magazines that BM no longer recommends using Aura without a separate primer on new construction. While your drywall isn't new, some of the j/c is and should have been primed.

I would be concerned about the paint that has bubbled up and then laid back down. It's not uncommon for bubbles in the paint to lay back down BUT that means that the paint in those areas doesn't have a good bond with the wall!

I'd bypass the contractor and talk to you local BM rep. He can probably best advise you on what needs to be done to correct the paint job. Armed with that knowledge you'll be better prepared to discuss the fix with the contractor. Have you paid him in full yet?
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