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How to Stop Paint from Peeling Off Textured Ceilings and Walls

Why is the Paint Flaking, Peeling Off?

You may have painted your new plastered or drywall textured ceiling or walls but the paint (often known as emulsion) after drying, is coming away from the surface. Read on for the most common causes, and the fixes, although it is easy to prevent right from the onset, prior to painting your texture or plaster for the first time.

When plaster or drywall texture compound, once applied to the surface dries off, the material becomes ‘porous.

When a surface is porous, the ability of the paint has to be runny in consistency, enough to be able to absorb into the textured / plastered surface, thus providing a ‘key,’ ready to take the next one or two coats of paint to finish the job.

Many folk want to get the job of painting over and done with as quickly as possible, but this is where the problem lies.

Most often than not, ceiling / wall paints are of a thick consistency purchased directly from the shop / manufacturer, although it is tempting to paint this thick stuff onto a finished ceiling / wall in as little coats as possible.

When this happens the paint of a thick consistency will ‘lay on / over’ the surface, instead of sinking into it, so it haven’t really keyed into the wall or the ceiling, making the entire effort unstable.

To cure this problem;

1 - Obtain a large painting trough and pour some paint into it.

2 - Add into the container small amounts of clean cold water and mix it in well to create create a thin / runny paint.

3 - Apply the water mixed paint over your textured or plastered surface, then let it all dry out properly before you attempt to paint on the thicker consistency paint ( 1 or 2 coats) to finish off.

This kind of method of applying the first coat this way ‘seals’ the surface prior to applying any more coats of paint, of which provides the key, enabling the latter paint coats to adhere adequately.

A word of caution though; applying runny paint can be extremely messy. Make sure you cover with dustsheets all that you cherish prior to starting the task.

PROBLEM: - My drywall textured or plastered ceiling or wall is already painted but it is flaking & peeling off!

PROBLEM - My Ceiling or Wall is Already Painted, but it is Still Flaking and Peeling Off

Some investigation work is required to find out the cause of this issue.

Make sure it is actually the PAINT that is flaking off (and not that the plaster or the drywall compound is coming away from the painted surface?)

If only the PLASTER or the DRYWALL TEXTURE is coming away from the ceiling or the wall, which means that the material / compound has not adhered to the painted surface, in the first place.

Also do not dismiss water leaks from under the boarded surface, which will affect the plaster or the texture finish.

Another reason could be steam or heat in the bathroom or the kitchen area or around a radiator or above a fire in the living room will add to the issue.

If the paint is coming away and it is not because of any of the above mentioned, try to remove any flakiness, by brushing off any loose paint prior to applying a watered down coat of paint over the problematic area (s), making sure you do not disturb any plaster of texture pattern that may be secure to the surface.

Beware, though, as over a period of time other parts of the surface may also peel away.

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To recap; apply the correct method in the first place for painting your new plastered or textured ceilings and walls. The method shown here will seal the surface and create a key, ready to take on the final 1 or 2 coats of paint.

Watch the video for full visual instructions.

If you found this article useful please let me know in the comments section. You may also be interested in similar, interior decorative finishes for your ceilings and walls. More articles can be accessed from my bio page.

Thank you for reading.

Dale Ovenstone

Go on, Create a Craze!

(Updated August 2019)

Painting New Texture and Plaster Walls and Ceilings - No More Peeling or Flaking

Comments

Dale J Ovenstone (author) from South Wales UK on April 21, 2013:

Kandis. Nothing can adhere to the surface you have described (paint, wallpaper plaster or texture) as it stands.

It sounds like a classic case of 'distemper' whereas, years ago, emulsion paint was created in such a way as to provide a 'powdery surface/finish' for its soft mellow look/texture

What must be done is the distemper (and everything else clinging to it) must be scraped directly off the wall/plaster board surface. Once completed, you must then wash down the surface to get rid of the powder altogether. So that you are left with a neat powder free ceiling/wall.

Words of warning: 1: Beware of asbestos that may be present, if so, you must by law not touch such a surface yourself. Search out appropriate 'asbestos testing/removal firms' and follow their procedures, you may have to take a sample to send to them.

2: If there is no asbestos present, the job to scrape and wash is very messy and dusty. Make sure you use masks and goggles and gloves for the job. Now you should be left with a dry, clean surface for you to begin your decorating quest.

This new surface will be very 'porous' indeed, so you must use a propriety sealer/primer, to cure the porosity prior to decorating once again.

Hope this helps

Regards Dale

Kandis on April 20, 2013:

The paint on a living room wall was cracked and after peeling some away it looks to be all pink, powdery, and textured underneath, doesn't look like drywall at all but maybe a plaster? Not sure but its the whole wall. There isn't a current leak or heat problem but the paint is definitely not going to stick to anything once we do peel it all off. What should we do? Someone told us to replace the drywall on the whole wall...

Dale J Ovenstone (author) from South Wales UK on May 22, 2012:

Thanks for your comment. But what do you not understand???

katlao on May 22, 2012:

huh i don't undrestand

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