View Full Version : ceiling paint is cracking/flaking

09-17-2012, 09:55 AM
My husband just repainted the ceiling in the laundry room. Part of the remodeling project included pulling down 30 year old cabinets. The new paint was ok the next morning but that evening it was flaking from the ceiling along the wall/about a few foot out (where the cabinets were)..

The paint used was brand new, the ceiling had been primed, but hadn't been painted in 30 years (since the cabinets were installed).

He used a spray gun (ryobi) to paint ceiling.

1. Any idea what went wrong? (He's painted most of the house without any issues)
2. What's the best way to fix the problem?


09-17-2012, 10:58 AM
An old ceiling would need to be thoroughly scrubbed with TSP or similar prior to paint. Latex/over probable old oil is a big issue, but the primer would take care of that. But not scrubbing to remove grime and gloss is most lilely your problem. At this point, I would scrape off as much paint as will come off.

09-17-2012, 01:25 PM
So, the whole ceiling was originally primed, and then the cabinets were put up about 30 years ago, thereby concealing about a foot of ceiling.

When your husband took those cabinets down and spray painted the entire ceiling with a latex paint, it stuck everywhere except over the parts that had been concealed by the cabients. In those previously concealed areas, the paint peeled off the primer, but the primer is still sticking well to the original drywall (or plaster).

Is that correct?

If so, go to your local hardware store or home center and buy some "painter's masking tape". This will be a masking tape that has a weaker adhesive than regular masking tape. Stick some of that stuff to a window, to your fridge door, to your bathroom door and get a feel for how hard it is to pull off of a surface. Now, clear an area above where the cupboards were of peeling paint, and stick some masking tape to the ceiling there, and see if that masking tape pulls off the original primer easier than you'd expect. If so, it's not a "latex not sticking to oil based" issue, but something else that's interfering with the bond of the latex paint.

Maybe stick some painter's masking tape to the area where the paint seems to be sticking well, and see if the paint comes off when you pull off the painter's masking tape.

09-17-2012, 02:41 PM

i've attached a picture. it looks like its peeled all the way back to the drywall. i'm going to get a flashlight to get a better look.

09-17-2012, 03:31 PM
Photo shows classic look of moisture under the paint, or incompatible paints

09-17-2012, 08:02 PM
I agree with Jimbo that it does look like paint peeling due to water leaking through the ceiling drywall. But, if that were the case, one would expect to see some discolouration of the ceiling paint and drywall because of the dirt that would have been carried in the leaking water.

Remodelling Mom:
Could you try and answer a couple of questions:

1. Do you still have the gallon(s) of paint that were used to paint that ceiling, and if so, does the can say that the paint contains "vinyl acrylic copolymers"? Can you tell us what paint you used, and we can maybe find the MSDS for it?

2. You said: "The new paint was ok the next morning but that evening it was flaking from the ceiling..."
Do you remember if you did laundry on that day (the day after the ceiling was painted)?

What I suspect the problem is that a "PVA" paint was used in an area with high humidity, and that's what's causing the paint to peel. But, I'd like to know what paint was used, and if there's a problem with the dryer duct that's causing hot humid air to leak into the laundry room instead of being blown out of the house.

09-17-2012, 08:15 PM

3. What is directly underneath that area where the paint is peeling?