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Old 03-10-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


Ok this is my first post on this site.
we have an older home with plaster wall which are in really good condition. But over the past 2 years we've been noticing the paint has been peeling. we've been noticing more and more spots. now I know the first answer i will get is we have a leak, but that is not the case. I can say we repainted these areas 3 to 4 years ago we used kinser primer and dutch boy flat wall paint. Of course Menards and the Depot are stumped. Any ideas what is causing this and more important how to stop it. Im not wanting to have to spend money on a complete drywall job.

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Old 03-12-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


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Ok this is my first post on this site.
we have an older home with plaster wall which are in really good condition. But over the past 2 years we've been noticing the paint has been peeling. we've been noticing more and more spots. now I know the first answer i will get is we have a leak, but that is not the case. I can say we repainted these areas 3 to 4 years ago we used kinser primer and dutch boy flat wall paint. Of course Menards and the Depot are stumped. Any ideas what is causing this and more important how to stop it. Im not wanting to have to spend money on a complete drywall job.
When you say it's peeling, is ALL the paint coming off - right down to the plaster? Or is it to a previous layer of paint?

Either way, it appears to me that you have an adhesion problem with the primer. It may be that you didn't scuff some oil-based gloss paint, and the primer isn't sticking to that. Or it could be deeper.

I suppose it's also possible that you've got some plaster crumbling, but that doesn't seem very likely.

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


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Originally Posted by TurqJeep View Post
Ok this is my first post on this site.
we have an older home with plaster wall which are in really good condition. But over the past 2 years we've been noticing the paint has been peeling. we've been noticing more and more spots. now I know the first answer i will get is we have a leak, but that is not the case. I can say we repainted these areas 3 to 4 years ago we used kinser primer and dutch boy flat wall paint. Of course Menards and the Depot are stumped. Any ideas what is causing this and more important how to stop it. Im not wanting to have to spend money on a complete drywall job.
More info would be helpful. Never heard of the primer but the paint is no good. If the paint is peeling just here and there, probably an adhesion problem due to improper prep, sorry


Of course Menards and the Depot are stumped.

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Old 03-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


When the Paint peels it removes all the paint old and new in 1 sheet down to the plaster. we are getting this in places where we painted and where we did not. Also so far its only happening on external walls. then about a month or 2 after the plaster is left Bare it gets a corrosion look to it. and the primer was zinnser sorry.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


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Old 03-18-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


Turq, are you sure there's not a chimney hidden under the plaster in that corner? That area has all the earmarks of a chimney or roof leak. Now, you have stated that there is no leak so I suppose we can eliminate that. Plaster is notorious for acting like a "wick" for moisture when there is no insulation or vapor barrier inside the walls. Inside the home it is warm, outside it is cold. Condensation forms inside the walls & can wick it's way into the plaster. Plaster is like a sponge and will hold moisture for a long time before drying out. That moisture eventually finds its' way to a point just underneath the paint on the walls where it gets trapped, bubbles, and peels. Somehow you're gonna have to get inside the wall or look inside the wall with a mini-camera to see what's going on. That's the only way to know for sure what the problem(s) are.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:06 AM   #7
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


there was a leak but that was several years ago and we had a new roof put on once we moved in and this is happening in other areas where there was no leak. I do know for a fact there is no insulation in the walls though, we have been considering blowing in insulation, would this help? because this we can do but re dry-walling would be something we would have to hire out.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:17 AM   #8
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Paint peeling from plaster walls


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there was a leak but that was several years ago and we had a new roof put on once we moved in and this is happening in other areas where there was no leak. I do know for a fact there is no insulation in the walls though, we have been considering blowing in insulation, would this help? because this we can do but re dry-walling would be something we would have to hire out.
Hiya Turq...

If your plaster is dry (and you've ruled out all roof leaks, etc.), more than likely it's just an age thing between existing coats of paint and the properties of aging plaster. Over time, plaster becomes hard and slick. The old standard for painting bare plaster was to use an oil based primer - the problem with that is two-fold...(1) as plaster ages, it becomes very slick and dense. Not a good surface for holding oil based paints...and (2) as oil based paints (or primers) age, they become hard and brittle, and while doing so (over many years), they tend to lose adhesion from hard, slick surfaces such as plaster.

Your particular problem may have been exacerbated by a leak...as slick as plaster is, it'll still draw and hold moisture. As moisture passes through plaster (over time), it tends to leave soluble salt deposits on the surface (efflorescence) that will also inhibit adhesion. Untreated, this condition can cause the plaster to become crumbly and "punky". Moisture may also cause saponification, that'd cause paint failure, if an alkyd were used (here, for once, I'm NOT using the terms "oil" and "alkyd" synonymously).

If this is plaster over lathe, blown in insulation may help. But as far as your immediate problem, remove all loose and poorly adhering paint. Scrape a few inches into the tightly adhering product, then sand smooth any rough edges. It's a good idea to then spritz the walls with a mild acid, such as vinegar and water, to neutralize any alkalinity and profile the surface for better paint/primer adhesion (be sure to rinse before priming).

There are many primers you have to choose from, just make sure they're recommended for plaster (but stay away from alkyds and/or oils). But you might want to consider a resinous, masonry conditioner for the bare plaster. Several companies make a water-borne product that dries quickly, and provides a good base for finish paint. Finish with a high quality latex grade product and you should be good to go. Not a small project, but do-able. Good luck.

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