I just moved in my first house in August and I am noticed that one they used flat paint because when i tried to wipe the walls the painted started to come off but my issue is my fireplace mantel.
The paint on the fireplace mantel started to lift and crack. If i push the paint where it is lifting it will crack and i can start to pick it off. What would cause this? I don't know what type of paint was used or if they removed the existing paint prior to painting it again. How can i fix this problem and what type of paint can i use?
Re: Fireplace Mantel
Your problem is not that you have flat paint, but that you have CHEAP flat paint. Cheap paints have low quality resins and liteally use chaulk as a pigment.
It is not clear from your post if this same paint is on the mantel. Even quality flat paint is generally not a good choice for trim. It sounds like you are having adhesion problems to the underlying paint. When the paint pops, is a gloss paint to be seen? Especially if the underlying paint was oil, peeling and popping is common.
You will need to strip the mantel to get good adhesion with new paint. The fact that it is redily popping might work to your advantage. Try dragging a stiff putty knife along the wood while baring down on it. The pressure will often help finish breaking the bond.
You might also try using a heat gun. You do not necessarily want to cause the paint to peel down to wood, but merely shock the top layer. The latex paint should rapidly expand with heat and hopefully spring away from the paint underneath.
Once the out paint is bascally gone, sand the surface and prime and paint it.
If the paint is only popping on the top of the mantel, it is also possible that someone used a polish or cleaner on the top which left a residue which prevented the top paint from bonding properly. In any event, the remedy is the same.
As to the walls in the rest of the house, prime them with a good quality 100% acrylic based primer sealer, not just a PVA sealer. Top coat with a top quality acrylic finish paint. Personally, in most living areas, I like an eggshell finish for its increased washablity and scuff resistance compared to flat paint . Baths, kitchens and laundries should have a minimum of a satin finish due to higher humidity and wear in these areas.