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Old 01-13-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


Forgive the length and help this girl...Thanks!!

Situation: New Orleans House built in 1950. Problem area is in upstairs kitchen with peeling paint off plaster ceiling. Above the kitchen is poorly
insulated attic space. Kitchen has circular register/vent in ceiling for central ac/heating. No lead paint. House was empty, no heat/air for nearly a year after Katrina since it was flooded downstairs.

Problems: Plaster ceiling peeling/bubbling paint in spots for at least 15+ years, ONLY in kitchen (walls not pealing). A year ago ceiling was scraped of just the peeling bubbling paint (it was latex enamel, but there was old oil base paint under that pealing paint).

The cracks: There are several long thin cracks running along entire length
of ceiling and quite a few other hairline, small cracks in many places. There is no separation between wire late and plaster. Before the painter repainted, he just filled in the cracks with patch compound,
sanded and did not tape or widen cracks. (The larger long cracks showed up again). He also patched smaller cracks by just putting big patches over larger areas.

The ceiling and repairs were then sealed with a water based primer and painted with latex paint. In a short time the paint began to peal again.

The plaster is cold/cool, solid, off white colored, smooth and hard like chalk board with no chalky residue except in small areas right around ceiling vent from, I guess, moisture.

I started to attempt to remove the old paint layers by scraping,sanding, strip ease, etc. and have reached an impass. After spending > $500 on materials (scrapers, stripeez, drop cloths, masks, goggles, etc) and labor and with 10 days of hard work, it appears that I will not be able to get all this paint off. Then there are the bad obvious repairs that are not smooth and they are unsightly. Also, the old oil base does not come off with the latex and primer so everything that is done takes too much time and some won't come off without gouging the plaster.

The initial layer of old oil base paint is firmly stuck, not pealing ( but I can chip away at it with a trowel and it cracks off like little pieces of egg shell. The latex can be peeled scraped but is nearly impossible to remove
over those bad repairs and in other places. After all this time and money I have about 1/4 of the plaster exposed. (Kitchen is 20' X 14').

Questions:
1. Can I mud around edges of oil base and sand? Or must it all come off.
If so, how? Stripeez too hard to use on ceiling and didn't work well.
2. Does all well-adhered latex have to be removed? How?
3. Causes of problem: poor insulation over ceiling? Cold ceiling? Poor initial ceiling prep? It appears to be long-standing problem.
4. Besides the bathrooms (which are not pealing), this is the only room with no texture over the plaster...none on wall or ceiling. Is this significant?
5. I'd consider putting thin drywall over ceiling but the ceilings edges are all wonderfully curved in this house. But, can I put drywall on and preserve curves? Can this area be skim coated into walls to preserve curves?
6. Would the NuWal system work? Or would the paint all have to come off
with that fix too?
7. Since walls are not peeling but are contiguous with ceiling (no border), can the latex paint on the wall be preserved?

8. After all is done, repairs, etc. what should I seal this plaster ceiling with to end this problem. I was told by one source, a painter, to use a product that is quite thin and water based and sticky, over the plaster after paint has been romoved (impossible task) and before any patching is done due to temperature of ceiling and then to tape/patch/ and seal again with latex before painting. What about oil based paint?

How do I go about doing all this? In what order?

I'm at the end of my rope and can not afford to do much more but I do want to do this right.

Please help, I'd appreciate it FOREVER!!

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


If you had of sanded the whole ceiling then used Zinzer 123 or an oil based primer the first time the paint would have stuck.
If this was my house I would go over the whole ceiling with new 5/8 drywall and make sure to screw into the rafters using 3" drywall screws and drywall glue.
Once finished you would have a 100% flat smooth ceiling.
Insulation is not that expance and will save you money from the day you put it in and is very DIYable. if your going over what's up there now use unfaced.

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:27 PM   #3
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


Thanks so much for replying. Unfortunately, I was not living here when all the problems arose with this ceiling. It's my mom's house and I just moved in. She's 90 years old and has tried to have the peeling paint issue fixed several times with no success. So, I'm trying to have it done right.

If I go the scrape, patch and seal and paint route, do I need to remove all this paint?

With a limited budget, it's the most money friendly. . . if I don't have to remove all the paint...lol!
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:39 PM   #4
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


It would be near imposable to remove all the old paint.
Stripper never should have been used on a ceiling or a wall also.
It's been painted how many times and failed? There how many cracks and flaws in the plaster?
Far better to just resheetrock it. The whole thing could have been sheetrock, finished primed and painted for less then $500.00.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


I have sculpted edges against the wall, (curved edges). If I use 1/4 inch drywall and put the boards just close enough to those edges, can a dry wall contractor preserve these edges (furr into them) with the mud? There is no trim...the ceiling just curves into the wall.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


Post a pic, please.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:22 AM   #7
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


You CAN do this on the cheap, but, remember it may also LOOK like a cheap job. I've done ceilings like this with some success. Remove as much loose paint as you can with a putty knife or razor scraper which uses a thin razor blade which can pop off more of the ceiling paint because it's thinner and sharper. A bit tricky and dangerous to use........Once you get as much paint off as possible, remove dust and PRIME the bare spots with a bonding primer like Zinsser's 1-2-3 & allow to dry. Now you can skim coat those peeled areas with thinned down (water) joint compound using a 4 - 6 inch broadknife. Allow that to dry. If you're lucky, you will only need to skim once to bring those peeled areas flush with the rest of the ceiling. If not flush, you will have to do a 2nd skim coat. After skim coat is dry, sand down with a pole sander or a sponge sander. THIS IS NOT FUN. Once you're satisfied with the sanding process (the ceiling should look like one complete flat surface), remove dust and PRIME the repaired spots with drywall primer. Allow to dry & you're ready for paint! It's an ugly, messy process, but, on the cheap, that's the route to take. In a perfect world I would tear out the old ceiling and put in new drywall, but, that will cost you more.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


I'm strongly leaning towards the drywll fix if it can be done with my curved ceilings. I've included a photo to give a better idea of what I'm dealing with. I was even thinking that if the curves are a problem, perhaps I can butt a trim the edge of the sheetrock.

If I go the repair route, I would need to get someone who can skim coat as I'm not so sure that I'm up to that. Is that an expensive process?
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


The sheetrock idea is probably your best option at this point. You can probably find some drywallers by asking around with some contractors you know who will come in on a Saturday morning and bang it out for cheap. It's not a large job and they'd likely have it done in a few hours.

Depending on how big the radius of that curve is, you might be able to preserve it with just a smaller radius although that sort of work can be time consuming and so a bit more expensive. Another option is to put up crown moulding once the sheetrock installed painted.

Drywallers are usually the guys that do skimcoating as that is just an extension of taping, blocking, and sanding the drywall in projects that include existing construction.

Skimcoating might work, but you also run a risk of it separating as well. If paint is not adhering properly there is no reason to expect a skimcoat to either.

I think sheetrocking is your best bet for the simple fact that any other approach may well end up being nothing more than throwing good money after bad.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


I hate to lose the ceiling curves since it is one thing people (and myself) admire about this house. But I guess I'll just have to deal with the loss if I find preserving it is not practical. I was hoping that there might be some way to sheetrock AND keep my curves...?
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:09 PM   #11
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


Annaem, after seeing your pics, I would definitely go the route of new drywall........it's pretty far gone and skim coating will be MORE time consuming and messier than just hanging new wallboard. Like Ironlight said, some drywall guys will come in on a Sat. & make quick work of a job like that. It's January & they might just be happy to have some extra work.

P.S. What caused the peeling paint? Moisture issues?

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Old 01-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #12
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


As far as I know, the first coat on this ceiling was oil base, then painted over with water base which I believe caused the first bubbling and peeling. It was minor pre-Katrina, with bubbles and some peeling but after the house was left vacant for over 6 months, it seemed to increase. Then my mother had it painted last year with latex and as I described in my post the prep was not done right, the repairs were hap-hazzard and it was sealed with Kilz. It then began bubbling and peeling in earnest! This is the point where I move in...great timing, huh?

I've worked too hard on this project to then have it fail and have to be redone. Looks like I'll be shopping for a drywall hanger!

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


I was told that years ago there was a roof leak but it was minor and only affected a few spots on the ceiling and was repaired. Also, a painter told my mom that there is a temperature differential...the ceiling plaster is cold and the room is warm. Further, that ceiling ac/heater vent causes problems. The air coming out is pushed along the ceiling. Around the vent there are some small patches of chalky plaster, I guess from the moisture from temp changes. I'll be sure to seal the sheetrock with some sort of moisture barrier sealer prior to finishing.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #14
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


Our company produces pre-made curves that joint smoothly with drywall.
You can see some pics on our facebook page. Close to teh top is an example where the corners are fixed over existng drywall to create a feature curve between the wall and ceiling. Scroll down close to teh bottom and you will see an example where it is installed with the drywall to create a smooth curved transition between the wall and ceiling.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ful...87288291304659
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:10 PM   #15
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Plaster ceiling with peeling paint


I looked at the website and yes, that product is something I'd be able to use to retain the curves at the ceiling's edges. No offense but that looks expensive especially if there is no retail store in New Orleans has it. But it does give me ideas as to what else I can do with crown moldings. Thanks!

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