Household Paint Tips: What To Do When Paint Peels From Plaster Walls

If you have paint peeling from your plaster walls, you need to know the appropriate techniques.

When paint peels from plaster walls, it leaves the surface looking unsightly. There are many reasons why paint peels. The most common reason is because the surface wasn't properly prepared before it was painted. If the painted, plaster wall was first covered with a glossy type of paint, for example, and it wasn't roughened up, then the next layer of paint may not adhere to it properly. You have a few options for roughening up a smooth wall, and they include sanding, de-glossing, and priming.

If you have paint peeling from a plaster wall in your home, fortunately, the problem is simple to fix. You will first need to remove the loose paint. You can easily do this by using a scraper or a putty knife. Then, if the walls are covered with a glossy type of paint, you will need to roughen them up. You can use a fine grade of sandpaper to successfully roughen the existing paint on a plaster wall. Just be sure that you sand the paint; don't sand down into the plaster. There are also de-glossing products on the market today will make the wall rough too. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the container in order to achieve the best results. Be sure to wear your eye protection as well as rubber gloves to protect your hands.

Basically, though, a de-glosser is wiped across a plaster wall. It has chemicals in it that breaks down the glossy properties of the paint. Thus, it dulls the glossy shine and allows the new coat of paint to adhere properly. Primers work by covering the smooth surface with a flat coat so the new paint can adhere to it properly too.



Then, you can apply several paper-thin coats of drywall compound to the walls before you repaint. This step will fill in the dips and dents left by removing the peeling paint. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the container in order to achieve the best results. After the first coat of drywall compound has thoroughly dried, you should lightly sand it. This will help to smooth the surface, and it will also remove any high spots.

You will need to wipe the walls down with a clean, damp cloth in order to remove the drywall dust. Rinse the cloth out often in a bucket of clean tap water. Then cover the walls with a coat or two of primer. Allow that to dry, and the walls of your room are finally ready to paint!

A glossy surface is not always the culprit when you have peeling paint on your plaster walls. Another common cause for peeling, especially in bathrooms, is moisture. When moisture gets underneath the paint, this can cause the paint to peel too. Moisture can get trapped underneath the paint if you apply a primer, but you don't allow it to dry thoroughly before applying the first top coat. Or, it can get trapped in between the first coat and the next one. Showers, bath tubs, et cetera, are major producers of heat and steam in your home. This moisture can cause the paint on your plaster walls to lose its holding power. And when it does, you'll know it, because you'll see areas of the paint peeling loose. Sometimes, the paint can peel off in large sheets, instead of just in small patches.

If your bathroom doesn't already have one, you should install an exhaust fan in the ceiling of your bathroom. An exhaust fan will pull the moisture out of your bathroom and vent it directly to the outside. A bathroom exhaust fan can be an important part of the overall ventilation system for your house. To fix the peeling paint problem, you will then need to scrape, prime and repaint the walls in your bathroom. The best primer to use in this area is probably an oil-based type. It will create an excellent surface for paint to adhere to.

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