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Problems painting ceiling - peeling paint and new damp patch

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by jazzshoes, 22 Sep 2013.

  1. jazzshoes


    22 Sep 2013
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I have the week off work to paint my hallway, landing and staircase and it's not going according to plan. I've done some research online but I'd like to check you think I'm correct and see if you have any alternative suggestions on how I can remedy the problem.

    The background and problem

    My house was built in the 40s/50s but I don't know how often the hallway was decorated since then. Or how.

    A few months ago I had all the walls on my staircase, hall and landing skimmed. I left the ceiling as was. They have now dried out and I've found the time to paint them. Yesterday, I put two coats of Dulux white emulsion on the ceiling and sealed the walls with a mixture of the same emulsion and water.

    Today, the walls look great and ready for painting but the ceiling is another matter. An old damp stain is still showing through but, more frustratingly, more damp stains have appeared overnight on different parts of the ceiling. These damp stains seem to have tidemarks that run parallel to the walls and are brownish in colour.

    I went out and purchased some Polycell Stain Stop and began painting over the stains with that. However, as I was doing this, existing patches of paint started peeling away from the ceiling near the wall (I was cutting in with a brush but using a roller to do the larger stretched which is when the pain peeled off).

    I stopped before doing anymore damage and used a stripping knife to peel away the rest of the loose paintwork. Underneath the surface appears to be powdery and a little damp. If I scratch it, I and easily erase the mark by rubbing the surface.

    What I think has happened

    I'm guessing that when sealing the plaster the excess moisture travelled up the wall and into the ceiling, taking some of the colour with it. I'm also guessing the layers of paint were peeling off artex based on its consistency.

    My questions

    First of all, have I made the correct assessment of the problem or could there be another problem? The existing damp issue is fixed, so I know it's not related to that.

    I have put the heating on and have a dehumidifier running full time to try and dry the ceiling. Is this the right thing to do? And how will I know when the ceiling is dry enough to start painting? It sits alongside an external wall that doens't get any sun so is usually a little chilly anyway which means it feels a little cold to touch.

    When I do start to repaint, what should I do? Should I continue to use the Polycell Stop Stain, do something else first or use a different product entirely? I'm also a little concerned that the patch when the paint came away might be obvious. I can deal with this if necessary but if there is a relatively simple way to remedy this I'm happy to give it a try.

    I'd just like to finish the project before Friday when I'm supposed to be going away (and returning the scaffold tower).

    Hope you're able to help.
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