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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Painting over calcimine

    I have calcimine ceilings which are not peeling. I've read about what to do with ones that are peeling, but what should I do to repaint ones that are intact? We are redoing an entire house, that's 100 yrs old, and are not looking forward to washing calcimine off all the ceilings...Also, we've had a plasterer in to fix numerous cracks. The plastering is almost done and we now realize that we have calcimine paint on our ceilings. Is this going to be a big issue??? Will the new plaster peel?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: Painting over calcimine

    No-one can really answer your question, "will it peel?"
    The best step you can take is to use oil-based primer on your work, which will keep water out of the calcimine. That's what tends to cause it to peel. It always remains water-soluble. If you used regular drywall mud to skim coat, that was not as good as using a boding agent and then a lime/gypsum plaster. Still better would be to oil prime before and after the skim coats.
    In the future, sc****/wash as much calcimine as you can, then oil prime, then skim coat. You should then be able to prime and paint with anything you like, as any calcimine residue was sealed.
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

    Default Re: Painting over calcimine

    Speaking from personal experience, don't assume that oil paint or primer on top of calsimine will then allow you to top coat with a water based latex/arylic paint To do so invites disaster.

    Back in the 50's, when water based paints were first being introduced, I had the misfortune to run across calsimined ceilings which had subsequently been painted over with oil paint. Having wet the surface to test if calsimine was present, nothing came off, so I preceded to paint the ceiling with a latex paint. After a few minutes, the entire ceiling started to bubble up! What a mess! Hours of scraping and washing followed.

    Given a choice, I would try to get rid of the calsimine and get back down to bare plaster. If you are reluctant to do that, I would stick with oil paint on your ceilings.

    You might slightly damage the edge of the new plaster patches during the washing off of the calsimine, but that damage can be patched using simple drywall compound to feather the edge.

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