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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy Paint peels off like skin

    In every room of my house when I try to paint the walls, when the new paint "dampens" the wall and old paint it is covering I get huge bubbles over a foot long by foot wide pulling the new and old paint completely away from the wall, just like peeling away skin. If I peel it off,the skip coat plaster pulls off as well,right down to the drywall. I have tried using bonding primer before painting which did not work. Sometimes the bubbles shrink back but the majority do not. Extremely difficult to try to patch back up after peeling because anywhere there is overlap starts new peeling. What can anyone suggest that I have done to my walls to stop this once and for all so that I can paint. My house was built in 1999. Also, I finished off my basement myself and do not have this issue at all with the drywall and plaster that I hired different contractor for.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Paint peels off like skin

    Sheeesh! Am I the only one answering some of these... ??!!
    People are prob'ly getting tired of MY ramblings!

    Well here goes-
    Any new coat of paint is at the mercy of how good the lowest layer is holding. New latexes have quite a "pull" when they're drying-out. If lower layers are weakly adhered, new paint can literally "pull-off" previous layer(s)...possibly down to the original!!

    That's what's going on with your upper-level.
    USUALLY...it's because of poor surface clean-up after the drywall sanding. If a "blow-and-go" painting crew just came in and shot the walls with low-grade primer & paint, AND there was drywall dust still on the walls....future painting projects are often DOOMED.

    The remedy?!!?....Well, there isn't really.

    The ONE thing to try is Zinsser's GARDZ primer.
    * This is a specialized primer designed to "lock-down" porous wall materials.
    * It's kinda thin, like rolling-on skim milk, and is fairly clear. This should stabilize the "shaky" paint-layers you have.
    * Once Gardz is dry for a few hours, inspect for any bubbling.
    * Once dried-out, do any repairs, filling, sanding, etc.
    * Now use a "traditional" primer, like Zinssers' 123 Latex. This will give the nice easy-to-paint white-primed wall.
    * Finally....you're ready for the new topcoats of paint!

    >>> B4 doing ANYTHING though...wash your walls lightly with powdered Dirtex.

    Faron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,159

    Default Re: Paint peels off like skin

    Quote Originally Posted by Faron View Post
    Sheeesh! Am I the only one answering some of these... ??!!
    People are prob'ly getting tired of MY ramblings!
    Well, it's either you or ordjen, nobody wants to hear from a lowly nail bender!
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: Paint peels off like skin

    Actually Spruce, I was awaiting your reply, as this one had me somewhat stumped! I think what confused me was that the writer states " the skip coat of plaster pulls off". I assumed at this point that he had a plaster veneer wall. Apparently, he just has drywall. If this is the case, I think Faron has it nailed it pretty well.

    So often a later contractor or homeowner has to pay for the sins of the original "painter". I have always maintained that the most important coat of paint is the original primer. If it hasn't bonded, everything above it has been compromised!
    Spraying without backrolling should be treated as a felony, as should priming over un-dusted drywall. The "contractor" should be summarily flogged!

    How many times did I get call backs after hanging wallcoverings with complaints that the seams were lifting. I would go back and there would be the paint stuck to the back of the paper because the walls had never been properly primed inially. No ammount of pre-wallpapering wallprep helped, even a full coat of oil primer.

    I had subsequently learned that the original contractor, in this expensive gated community, had used a sprayed on one-coat, no primer product. After that, I simply refused to hang paper in that developement. Fortunately, normal painting did not cause it to lift.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,159

    Default Re: Paint peels off like skin

    Quote Originally Posted by ordjen View Post
    Actually Spruce, I was awaiting your reply, as this one had me somewhat stumped! I think what confused me was that the writer states " the skip coat of plaster pulls off". I assumed at this point that he had a plaster veneer wall. Apparently, he just has drywall. If this is the case, I think Faron has it nailed it pretty well.
    I'm not certain what makes plaster and even drywall degrade and start flaking, I've seen it myself. It's also possible that the wall surface isn't really flaking, it's just a little topical dust/dirt that pulled with the paint.

    As for paint bubbles, I know that's an adhesion problem of the underlying layers, but really have no answer as to a cure. Hence, nobody wanting to listen to the ramblings of a nail bender ...
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Paint peels off like skin

    Thanks for all the feed back. I watched this house being built every step of the way (building of my second home) so I like to watch the construction. The first coat of plaster over the drywall was a light "skip or skim" coat and it was sponged on to create the texture. You could still see the drywall through the light milky looking plaster base coat. The second layer added more texture, and covered the rest of the area so you could no longer see the drywall. Then it was spray painted. I agree that it must have not been primed, because when the new paint peels, there is a layer of the plaster on the backside of the paint peel, and I can see the first layer of sponge painted plaster and drywall beneath, left on the wall. I did try using the Bonder recommended above which was milky and the consistency of wallpaper primer or thinned out elmers glue, and still had the bubbling sorry to say. I have one hallway left to paint and will try the combos of washing with the chemical recommended, then the Bonder/gripper again, and a new coat of primer. The extra primer step I have not tried yet, so I will let you know if that is the answer for me. Thanks guys! Hopefully Santa will bring me a little giant ladder for my 10foot ceilings--an old lady falling off an old ladder is not a pretty sight, and my son refuses to visit me anymore because I always try to bring out a can of paint when he comes to visit!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ladson,SC
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Paint peels off like skin

    Quote Originally Posted by ttop71 View Post
    Thanks for all the feed back. I watched this house being built every step of the way (building of my second home) so I like to watch the construction. The first coat of plaster over the drywall was a light "skip or skim" coat and it was sponged on to create the texture. You could still see the drywall through the light milky looking plaster base coat. The second layer added more texture, and covered the rest of the area so you could no longer see the drywall. Then it was spray painted. I agree that it must have not been primed, because when the new paint peels, there is a layer of the plaster on the backside of the paint peel, and I can see the first layer of sponge painted plaster and drywall beneath, left on the wall. I did try using the Bonder recommended above which was milky and the consistency of wallpaper primer or thinned out elmers glue, and still had the bubbling sorry to say. I have one hallway left to paint and will try the combos of washing with the chemical recommended, then the Bonder/gripper again, and a new coat of primer. The extra primer step I have not tried yet, so I will let you know if that is the answer for me. Thanks guys! Hopefully Santa will bring me a little giant ladder for my 10foot ceilings--an old lady falling off an old ladder is not a pretty sight, and my son refuses to visit me anymore because I always try to bring out a can of paint when he comes to visit!
    This post only applies if the product was a true plaster ( not a dry wall product ) I have been doing plaster for the past 33 years and I do not know of any plaster material thah can be applied with a sponge?
    If it was applied as you state than the amount of water added to allow it to be sponged on would cause the gypsum or lime to delaminate.
    As for a fix you could check on a product manufactured bt STO Corp.
    Look for STO PLEX W it is a water based surface conditioner.
    It can be used on plaster and will improve adhesion of coatings to surfaces.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: Paint peels off like skin

    ttop,

    What ever is going on, it would appear that water is aggravating the situation. I would suggest you try priming a wall with an oil based primer, such as the original Kilz, and even an oil finish coat. Future paint jobs could probably revert to latex.

    Often when I would encounter plaster ceilings, which had suffered water damage, and the bond between the paint and the plaster had been compromised, after patching, I would use oil paint to avoid aggravating the tenuous bond. Water had been instrumental in breaking the bond and I did not want to cause more peeling. Kind of similar to not painting over wallpaper with water based primers, least the paste bonded to the wall be softened by the water and the paper loosen or fall down.

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