Painting over a peeling wall

3 Apr 2012
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United Kingdom

About twelve months ago we used Wickes Matt paint to paint over a yellow painted wall. A large patch of the paint is now peeling off. What should we do? Do we need to keep peeling it all until no more comes off and then paint over it? The trouble is it is over the stairs and if it peels too high it isn't easy to reach with the paintbrush. My partner wants to just paint over it now, but I feel it will keep peeling.

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Before you can solve the problem you must establish the cause (of the peeling).

The usual suspects are:

(i) wall not originally mist-coated (i.e. when newly plastered).
(ii) penetrating damp from outside (is it an outside wall?)
(iii) condensation damp from inside (clothes drying, shower steam etc).

Which is it most likely to be?
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When you say the paint is peeling, is it revealing another paint system or bare plaster skim.

It is revealing bare plaster wall. There was initially another paint underneath but both are now peeling together
It does on the proviso that there is no ingress of water or indeed a severe problem with condensation sound like the plaster skim was not primed/sealed, a little late tonight perhaps to delve into further detail, yet if I am correct in my assumption you have two options, a great deal of graft or a little less graft and prep and hang the suitable grade of lining paper.

Let me know on the morrow your thoughts, and we will sort the problem ;)

From a very tired dec goodnight,

I guess if the problem is not any recurring damp, then it has to be a an incorrect first coat of paint that has failed and others that may have been added over the top.
I think you will need to remove as much of the flaking paint as you can, sand off and feather in any edges when either you get back to good paint, or you have stripped back the whole area.
Then start again on the bare plaster with either the first coat of thinned non vinyl paint, or zinsser gardz.

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