Old Cracked/Peeling Ceiling -- How To Paint Over It? - Painting - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 05-23-2009, 07:44 AM   #1
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Old Cracked/Peeling Ceiling -- how to paint over it?


I'm new to all this DIY stuff, so I could really use some help.

I'm finally getting around to re-painting the ceiling in my lounge-room. Problem is, it's cracked up really badly. The paint is at least a fifteen years old (thats how long we've had the place) - but more likely it hasn't been painted since the 60's!

It's just normal white acrylic water-based. We used to have an old oil heater, and I think the heat caused the paint to crack and peel so badly. What should I do, to paint over these? Do they need to be sanded back? Will I need to use plaster to smooth over it?

Thanks so much for any help! I really appreciate it =)


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Old 05-23-2009, 09:35 AM   #2
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you're gonna need to scrape off any of the existing coating that is peeling/flaking off. a new coat of paint will stick to whatever is underneath it and if you don't remove what is already falling off, your new paint will just do the same thing.

Remove as much of the old paint as possible (scrape, sand, etc) spackle or mud over any of the areas that aren't smooth, prime with a coat of good quality latex primer, and 2 coats of your desired topcoat


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Old 05-23-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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If the house was built before the 40s you might have calcimine in the ceiling. If you do have calcimine you cant just scrape and paint you need a special calci-coater paint. If you do have calcimine, welcome to my hell.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Ceiling has a bonding issue

Whether you have calcemine or oil paint under the latex paint (the latter is my bet) after you scrape off the loose latex paint, you need to put alcohol based KILZ on the whole ceiling.....not water based.

Don't skip this step. Open all windows if you have to, use the oderless, but use the alcohol based KILZ for a good bond

The problem you have now sounds like it was a bonding issue.

After scrapeing and priming, your task is to use durabond or joint compound to create a smooth ceiling.

If you can't make it perfect, don't worry. Go rent a Porter Cable Drywall sanding wand with a vacuum and sand the ceiling smooth.

Then you can prime with a basic latex primer (PVA works well). Don't use a thick primer like KILZ water based....it won't penetrate and bond well.

After priming, 'point up' with joint compound, sand, spot prime and paint.

Good luck,


Philip LaMachio
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:47 AM   #5
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If it was painted in the 60s it might not be plain old water based paint and may have lead in it so be careful and wear a mask when working with it. Abate it properly and don't just landfill it. If it is that old and you got nearly half a century out of the paint I wouldn't worry too much about what has finally caused it to fail. It did its job well. Someone prepped everything nicely so do the same. And use paint as good as they did.

Definitely don't skimp and use a good primer and then finish with two coats of paint.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:41 AM   #6
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And use paint as good as they did.

Good advise but as you and I know, it does not exsist,unfortunatly.
Use the best you can from a real paint store, do not buy any paint from the big box places


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ceiling , cracked , paint , peeling , plaster

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