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Old 11-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
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Paint over a bad spackle job?

So for the past 5 years I've been in an apartment (in NYC) that my family owns. All the walls and ceiling are in great shape, aside from one portion just above the shower head. The paint is bubbly, there are chips, it's a complete mess. I want to re-paint it so i started scraping and sanding away, only to reveal layers of spackle, paint, cracks - a mess. (See link below for photo).

Any ideas on how I should go about repainting this section? It's the cracks that worry me; I'm thinking I'll have to chip and sand to the very first (last?) layer, spackle the cracks, then prime and paint. Thoughts?


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Old 11-09-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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Wow, that is indeed a mess. Do a "search" on here for drywall/plaster repair and you will find dozens of posts about similar problems.

A cost-friendly option would be to sand off as much "bumpiness" as you can with a sponge sander or maybe even fire up an orbital to knock down the high spots. Then prime the area with Guardz primer. This will seal up the mess for the next step. Once the Guardz dries for 24 - 48 hours you can begin to skim coat the area. Next step is to fill in those low spots with a quick-set drywall joint compound. Using a drywall blade, trowel the quick-set into those low spots. You may have to do several rounds of this to make those areas flush with the surrounding wall. Let dry. Then you can begin to skim coat the whole wall with regular joint compound, again, using a drywall blade to slather it on the wall. The first coat doesn't have to be particularly smooth. Allow to dry, then sand. Apply another coat or two if necessary. When final coat is dry, sand with a sanding sponge to make the wall smooth again. Wipe off excess dust and apply a coat of drywall primer. Allow it to dry and then you can paint it. This the "quick hit" version of what to do. Don't hesitate to look up "skim coating" on YouTube to get a more detailed How-to.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:03 AM   #4
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Gymschu's approach seems logical but I would add that in patching such a large area? If it is plaster, I would use plaster or plaster repair and not drywall mud. Especially in a bath area problematical as yours, drywall will absorb moisture and respond to temperature differently than will plaster. It is after all different stuff and chemistry. Plaster is a bit harder to work with and heavier of course but you will get the hang of it.

There also comes a point when you can only fix so much from the top. If this is plaster (or even drywall) and it has taken in so much moisture, you may have to cut out the bad areas and either patch with drywall and mud or with repair plaster. I would be concerned about how swollen either plaster or drywall is up there at this point. Depending on how extensive the damage, you may just want to demo a good portion (if not all) the ceiling and wall and hang suitable bath material. Then finish. The approach seems radical but may be cheaper and easier than patching in the long run.

Is that shower head leaking or clogged and spraying in all directions by the way? You might want to resolve that issue before doing much with the walls.

I do miss NYC! Of course it will cost you not that much more for materials than anywhere else (save for all are committed to fixing the shoreline homes at this point.). You will need to pay to use the freight elevator to get two sheets of material for the walls and ceiling or a bag of plaster into your place so budget $300 for elevator use. It will probably be higher for you to haul the demoed material out. Do not make any noise because if you wake Princess Penolope's rat dog up next door the building management folks will hear about it. Make sure you disguise the contractor bags with demoed building material or you will be forced to get a tiny dumpster thing, have to pay a fine, and wait in line for a permit.

Last edited by user1007; 11-10-2012 at 08:13 AM.
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