Cracking paint (again)

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by alanthomaswatson, 10 Jun 2014.

  1. alanthomaswatson


    12 Sep 2008
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    United Kingdom
    That old chestnut again – any help much appreciated.

    I have been decorating a couple of rooms in the house. One wall has begun to crack (the crickled glass cracking), but weirdly only one.

    Prior to prep (usual wiping down) I tested the paint on one of walls in the room and it was fine. This was one of the lighter walls, as the room used to have one wall in purple and the rest in white. As the test was fine, I cracked on with matt paint.

    The walls are painted lining paper by the way.

    However, it appears that the fool who used to have my house painted the white walls in matt and the purple in silk, and the paint has cracked on the silk walls.

    I’ve read various thread on this, and other forums about this. Obviously, stripping the lining paper, re-lining and re-painting is an option but, is there an easier fix?

    Would something like Zinsser Gardz coat the surface to allow me to then overpaint the cracked surface in matt? I know that if I just overpaint the cracking will come back.

    Also, does Zinsser Gardz give off much of a smell? I’ve been decorating while the wife has the family away but they’ll be back soon so I will have to do this when they’re in situ.

    Any help much appreciated.

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  3. GAZ2785


    25 Apr 2010
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    United Kingdom
    I had this problem in the nursery that I decorated recently. Two of the walls had crackle cracks in them. I remember when I painted it years ago and I tried all sorts to cover the cracks, to no avail.

    This time, I used lining paper on one wall, but on another wall I tried an experiment. I used an oil based undercoat and a smooth roller and painted over the cracks.

    After it'd dried I could still see the cracks (perhaps showing through the paint, as they were darker in colour?) so I assumed it hadn't worked. When it was fully cured I did a light covering of white emulsion just over the primed areas. 2 proper coats of emulsion later and presto, the cracks are gone! I know it's worked because normally they would return in the space of a couple of hours.

    I was worried the emulsion wouldn't cover the oil based primer, but it did.

    I didn't use any fancy primer, just a tin of cheap oil based primer. Because it's only a thin coat the smell wasn't too bad.

    I also use oil based primer over caulk now to prevent the emulsion cracking and splitting over the top, which also works well.
  4. kgk


    22 Mar 2013
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    United Kingdom
    I am pretty sure that the usual advice for painting matt water based over silk is to sand back sufficiently to ensure that all the sheen is burnished off (to ensure key and penetration of the new coat).

    Back in the days (long long ago) when I used to work summers with house builders, the painters told us that we (by which they meant us, the cheap labour) should sand down between all coats anyway and sand back heavily when starting rennovations. It isn't as onerous as it sounds, just few people bother anymore.

    If you aren't going to use lining paper, you might need to sand now anyway in order to deal with the *crackle* of the new coat (as opposed to the cracks in the wall). Without seeing pictures, only you know how bad the surface is at this point.

    As for Gardz ... I recently had cause to give it a try in an attempt to get myself out of a problem. It seems to be a good product (clearly many swear by it). As far as I can tell it really is a drywall sealer with good marketing. Yes, it does have a smell. But it isn't too bad. I didn't find the smell significantly more or less offensive than the smell of Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt paint. And, I found that the smell disappated faster than the smell of the paint.

    If you do use Gardz, dcdec offered me some useful tips in this thread here:

    As for whether of not Gardz is the right product for this problem? ... I don't really know. When I see what people use it for, I am reminded of the song "Medicine Show" by Big Audio Dynamite, as in it seems that there is little that this tonic can't do ("it'll fix your car"). However, you can always call Zinnser tech (0191 410 6611); I have, several times, helpful people.

    Anyway, I know how much work goes into even frustrating outcomes so I wish you the best of luck!

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    3 Sep 2019
    United Kingdom

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