Emulsion can be peeled off walls

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The house was painted through with white emulsion a few years ago by the previous owner.

I painted bathroom with suitable emulsion but recently decided to change the colour. I started washing the walls with sugar soap and found the emulsion I'd painted on scraping off under the sponge. I've been able to peel off an entire wall leaving the white emulsion and some bare plaster board.

What's prep work do I need to bond the new emulsion to the wall?
 
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What are you left with on the walls? Old emulsion, or bare plaster?

Having removed the rad and its brackets, there's bare plaster where the brackets were, magnolia emulsion behind the rad from when the house was built around 2003/04 and the rest of the wall is white emulsion from a few years back.
 
The house was painted through with white emulsion a few years ago by the previous owner.

I painted bathroom with suitable emulsion but recently decided to change the colour. I started washing the walls with sugar soap and found the emulsion I'd painted on scraping off under the sponge. I've been able to peel off an entire wall leaving the white emulsion and some bare plaster board.

What's prep work do I need to bond the new emulsion to the wall?
Without images, I suspect that the walls were painted with a contract paint (read: low latex). They are designed for plastered walls that are still wet. Unfortunately, those lower quality paints are often used inappropriately by tradesmen that are either ignorant or, well, ignorant. I am a decorator BTW.

If you need to paint over them, you need to follow the advice for new plaster, ie thin the paint as per the manufacturer's advice
 
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What I've done is rub the entire wall with 60 grit paper then wash it with sugar soap solution.

I applied a mist coat of 3 to 1 emulsion/water then two coats of emulsion. When done, the emulsion started to peel off where I used masking tape but I used a wide scraper as an edge to keep the paint bonded to the wall.

May have been wise to apply paint stripper to the old white emulsion but given the paint strippers available now, they probably wouldn't lift the 20 year old paint which I found when I tired to strip the staircase spindles and bannister.
 
What I've done is rub the entire wall with 60 grit paper then wash it with sugar soap solution.

I applied a mist coat of 3 to 1 emulsion/water then two coats of emulsion. When done, the emulsion started to peel off where I used masking tape but I used a wide scraper as an edge to keep the paint bonded to the wall.

May have been wise to apply paint stripper to the old white emulsion but given the paint strippers available now, they probably wouldn't lift the 20 year old paint which I found when I tired to strip the staircase spindles and bannister.
Glad you got it sorted.

BTW, the old skool paint strippers were methyl chloride based. They weren't particularly good at breaking down waterbased paints.

Peel Away 1 https://www.peelaway.co.uk/130 is a very effective paint remover (water and oil based). You apply it and cover with film, later you just peel away the cover and it brings the paint off.
 
I've found a local decorating supplier who stocks a Peelaway 1 and 7 sample kit so will invest and see which performs best on the staircase woodwork.
 

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