Help! Paint bubbling and peeling on ceiling

25 Nov 2009
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United Kingdom

I want to paint the ceiling in my dining room, last time this was attempted by my ex bf, but as he started to roller the paint on the paint started to bubble and then peel off. Unfortunately he just left it and carried on decorating the walls and just ignored the ceiling!!
I can not ignore the ceiling!! It looks a mess! I've just had some damp work done and want/need :) to get this room decorated.

I really dont want to paper the ceiling as this would be hard to do on my own, (I dont like papered ceilings) and can't afford to pay someone to come and do it for me either, so is there a way to sort this out? It isn't peeling back to bare plaster.

Can try to get some pics if that helps.
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I've just been up the ladders to get a proper look at it.

It looks like a matt paint (almost chalky) is the base. We painted over another matt paint, that then started to bubble and lift off. I just started to scrape off the peeled/bubbled paint and it's mainly just chipping straight off, as if it isn't attached to the base layer. Could this white base just be the plasterboard? I have no idea as I'm not that up on DIY, just give things a try that I think I may be able to manage.

Never had this problem with a ceiling before though.
Sounds like the underlaying coat isnt paint but a skim of easyfill or similar patching plaster, if so its porous & I doubt the first coat of paint applied was thinned as it should be to new plaster or filler, this is referred to as a 'mist' coat - emulsion thinned with approx 25-30% water which enables the plaster/filler to absorb the paint and 'bind' the two...
You must try to remove the unstable flaking/bubbling layer and re-apply a diluted first coat followed by at least 2 coats of 'neat' emulsion..
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Luckily the room isn't too big. I'll get started on it tomorrow, after I go and buy some safety glasses/goggles, as well as some gloves, that powdery stuff has made my hands itch and burn.

I scraped a little bit of the powdery base layer off, its very thin and underneath this is grey plaster, I'm presuming its plaster anyway.

It's a housing association house, so I know that most of the time, the contractors dont do a proper job. They just do what I call a bish bash bosh :LOL:
Yeah, sounds like tosh-job...Theyve probably applied pure undiluted emulsion straight onto the skim...
You ought to get the housing assosiation to foot the bill for their bad workmanship! ;)
Yeah, sounds like tosh-job...Theyve probably applied pure undiluted emulsion straight onto the skim...
You ought to get the housing assosiation to foot the bill for their bad workmanship! ;)
:LOL: :LOL: think yourself lucky it`s a plastered ceiling . Most H.A are still using artex ;)
Unfortunately got artex in the front room. Not done very well either. Some very poor amateurish stipple thing going on.

There is no point asking them to sort out anything like the ceiling, its taken 2 years of them saying they are going to sort out the damp coming up the walls for me to get it done, and that was only after I went to environmental health and served notice on them... they were trying to blame it on a pipe that runs across the wall, which they said was leaking... problem was the so called leaking water pipe is a gas pipe. But what do I know, I only live here :LOL: The other excuse was "you can't get damp on internal walls". Not sure about that, but when your walls are wet and have black spores growing on them, I think its usually some kind of damp. :)
had a disaster trying to paint an 'artexed' ceiling with matt paint.

House is 10 years old and we have never painted ceilings, suspect they are as the builders left them (sort of cream colour).

Had a little trouble seeing where I had been with roller and it seemed that where I accidentally went over an area that I had been before it lifted the paint so now left with a patchy flaky looking ceiling. Seems the paint was drying very quickly.

Was planning to do whole house but not so sure now.

What roller should I use ?

Should I use diluted paint ?
I'm definitely no expert but I read on another thread that you should use diluted paint when painting over an artexed ceiling for the first time, and give it a few coats. Can't find the post I read it on now.
Just to throw a spanner in the works you say it's chalky and it burn your skin that would suggest lime wash to me or distemper, have no idea how old your house is but if it is the new matt paint that is peeling off the old coating then there is a chance it is lime wash. If when you paint it the original coat is the one blistering up and shows plaster underneath When scraped, then it's just poor adhesion of the base coat.

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