Zinsser BIN 123 - a tale of woe in my bathroom ...

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Hello people. This is doing my head in ...

House built 1996 and I have never done any internal painting apart from the bathroom walls (once) and the kitchen (also once). Last couple of years, mould has started in the bathroom and it had got to the state where I had to do something about it. We only shower once a day, never use the bath, and the window is always open for several hours afterwards whatever time of year it is.

I cleaned the mould off using a Cillit Bang product for removing mould. Heavy bleach smell but cleaned it off good. Washed the area down a couple of times after and let it dry for a few days.

Then applied two coats of the Zinsser primer, in the thread title, to the whole ceiling and the top 8 inches of the walls; just the areas where the mould had been. So far, so good. Next I double coated the ceiling with a Dulux soft sheen emulsion that I thinned a little as it seemed a bit thick. Looked great. Used a brush rather than a roller as our ceilings are patterned artex (design called "Galaxy"). That was back in April. Decided to wait for warmer weather to complete the walls and woodwork ...

Within 14 days, the Zinsser on the walls began to craze. As time has gone on, it has got worse and worse; big splits and flakes. The ceiling, however, seemed OK. That is until I had a good close look today. Sure enough, areas have stared to split and lift. I am beside myself with this disaster. So what the hell can I do now?

1. Is it because I stuck BIN 123 on top of old emulsion?
2. Is it because acrylic and emulsion don't stick to each other very well?

3. Is the ceiling failing because the two products have different rates of expansion and contraction?
4. How do I remove the paint from the ceiling without destroying the lovely artwork?

I really hope that one of you knowledgeable people know the answer(s)

Kindest regards,

Greg
 
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Thank you for that. The areas so far are very small but we all know that eventually they will become larger. Having given it some further thought, the most prudent course may be to just gently brush the flaking areas as they appear and touch up with the Dulux soft sheen bathroom paint. Annoying, I know, but not so ridiculously labour intensive. The walls I can just scrape back and then make good if necessary. I hate decorating when it goes wrong like this. All the bathroom mould videos I watched recommended BIN 123 as an effective primer that would give good adhesion and prevent the stains coming back through.

Seems their advice was not quite on the money.
 
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To be fair, BIN is great at covering water stains. I have used it to paint whole walls in the past but they were not rooms subject to high levels of moisture.

Having re-read your post. I am confused. The title says Zinsser BIN 123- BIN is a shellac based paint. It is pigmented shellac suspended in an alcohol base. Zinsser (Bull's Eye) 123 is an "acrylic" paint. The two are completely different types of paint- which did you use?

Ultimately- if you have mould problems, the root of the problem is inadequate airflow. I have seen (acrylic) paints crack in the past because of excessive moisture. I would recommend that you look at upgrading the existing extractor fan. My bathroom upstairs has a fan with a built in humidistat. The fan will kick in automatically once the steam builds up and then turn off automatically once the moisture level drops. I didn't want a fan that automatically turns on when I turn the lights on in the middle of the night. I have set it up so that if I have "smells" I want to remove I can flick a switch.

I cannot comment on the videos that you have watched. I am a professional decorator, I have watched many such youtube videos, few seem to be made by professional decorators. Most seem to be "handy men".
 
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Hmm, I thought that my opening post was clear and erudite enough to avoid any confusion ... However;

1. The articles about "removing mould in the bathroom", that I viewed (along with a video or two ALL advised BIN 123, so that's what I used.
2. I have no fan as it was noisy so never used it - I have fitted a new one to assist going forward but I need to get into the loft space to fit the exhaust
3. There is no "steam buildup". That mould took 25 years to appear. One shower each (2) per day. Not hot, just warm. Water turned off during shower i.e. get wet and turn off while soaping up, then back on and rinse off. Dry shower cabinet afterwards AND open window for several hours PLUS bathroom door PLUS shower door.

Looking at your information, it seems clear that I have been poorly advised by these so-called self titled "experts". I was aware of Bullseye but they never pointed to it in their "how to" instructions. As I said, I am "stuck with it" now and will only touch up areas as they occur. I'm 65 now so perhaps might be dead before it needs doing over. I hope so 'cause I bloody hate the job - I did it for 9 months as a profession when I was 18. Never again.

As the wall areas are just peeling back, that should be simple enough to just scrape off and magnolia over. The one time before that I did repaint the walls, I had trouble then with the old emulsion pulling off and wrapping itself round the roller, suggesting that the original decorator hadn't made a very good job of it.

Living bloody nightmare. Thanks again. If I had any spare cash I would definitely pay someone to do it. Unfortunately, I don't ...
 
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Hmm, I thought that my opening post was clear and erudite enough to avoid any confusion

The confusion (at my end) is that BIN and (Bullseye) 123 are two completely different products. One is shellac based, the other is acrylic.

Paint pulling of the wall is normally the result of the first coat of the old paint being applied "full fat" over the bare plaster. One should dilute the first coat (as per the manufacturer's advice) so that it has the opportunity to soak in to the plaster.

YouTube can be a great source of advice, but there are a lot of stoopid people that upload stoopid videos. Personally, I use forums like this to double check before following a youTuber's advice.
 
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Yes, I completely understand the first line. That's why I took great care when composing the opening.

I did see, somewhere else, a similar comment about the first coat not adhering to the wall because it hadn't been thinned. I also saw a video where a chap used a thinned PVA solution prior to the first coat to get proper paint adhesion. I am going to have to scrape the BIN from the tops of the walls as it is really badly cracked and crazed, and I imagine that the emulsion underneath may also come away in some areas. Any tips for getting to a sound surface without taking everything off? If it doesn't move with a big scraper, shold one assume that those areas are OK to re-coat?

And there was I thinking, "Oh, it's just a wee room, won't take but a minute!." Wrong.
 
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Sorry Axxeman. Can you clarify if you used Zinsser BIN or Zinsser Bullseye 123?

Frankly, seeing people recommend PVA on walls as a primer really irks me. No reputable decorator would ever suggest using PVA as a primer. PVA re-emulsifies when wet. Emulsion is wet... The same people often recommend using PVA as a primer over plaster before tiling. Tile adhesive is wet. Those people are stoopid. Unfortunately people watching their videos don't know that they are being given bad advice. Sometimes, if you read through the comments you will see professionals criticising the advice given.

I am happy to try and help you but it is difficult without knowing which product you used in the first place. Once again, BIN 123 does not exist- you either used BIN or Bullseye 123. If you were able to clean the brushes and roller in water, then it wasn't BIN. To clean products used in BIN you either use meths/alcohol or ammonia.
 
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Please do provide photos.

BTW, meths thins BIN. I use household ammonia to clean my expensive brushes. The ammonia is alkali based and breaks the paint down (rather than diluting it). Sure, it smells, but my £15 brushes are as good as new. Before discovering the ammonia trick, I used to use throw away brushes, which gave me a poorer quality of application.

Take some photos, and hopefully one of will be able to help you. I still recommend that you email Zinsser though. They are the people that are best suited to explain what went wrong. Best case scenario, they might even send you a sample product (be nice and stress the fact that you purchased the BIN in good faith given that they promote it as being a "problem solving primer").
 
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OK, let's see if I can manage this ...

1. Area to the right of the window that had worst mould and is peeling badly.
2. RHS of window reveal that has just had mould removed and nothing else as some making good needed.
3. LHS of window and same comment as in #2
4. Peeling area at door end
5. Ditto (above door)
6. The start of the ceiling peel. Very small now but will only get worse over time I feel.
7. Below - what the ceiling looks like in full.

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Hmm, looking at the pics I'd say the bare plaster never had a mist coat. Or it had pva which I'd never recomend for the reasons given above. The ceiling peeling could be Matt paint on top of silk, or again, pva.
The mold around the window could well be caused by a slight draft around the window frame, causing the frame walls to be very cold causing condensation. Those cracks can also cause a draft.
I must say though, artexed ceilings are not my thing but that's a beauty!
 
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Hmm, looking at the pics I'd say the bare plaster never had a mist coat. Or it had pva which I'd never recomend for the reasons given above. The ceiling peeling could be Matt paint on top of silk, or again, pva.
The mold around the window could well be caused by a slight draft around the window frame, causing the frame walls to be very cold causing condensation. Those cracks can also cause a draft.
I must say though, artexed ceilings are not my thing but that's a beauty!

Thanks. Every room in the house has a similar pattern so that I need to preserve them for uniformity if nothing else.

The ceiling has the original emulsion from 1996 plus my double coat of BIN plus my double coat of Dulux Easycare bathroom emulsion. Although it looks obvious in the photos, you cannot see it with the naked eye - or hardly.


The window comment is very interesting as it's never hard closed; just pulled to.

So, I am in your hands for a how-to remedial course of action ...
 
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