About to re-paint my bathroom ceiling and walls. It hasn't been painted in a number of years. Some of the paint on the ceiling is starting to peel and crack in localized areas. Do I need to scrape the whole ceiling and take all the paint off, or will just giving it a good sand do the trick? Thanks, any advice would be helpful.
I'd just scrape off any paint that's not putting up a respectible fight to stay in place, then either sand the edges or give it a skim coat of drywall joint compound and sand smooth. Then prime, and then paint with a paint meant for bathrooms, like Zinsser's PermaWhite Bathroom Paint available at most home centers.
DO NOT use an inexpensive interior latex wall paint in your bathroom. Such paints are typically made from the same kind of plastic that white wood glue is made of, namely "polyvinyl acetate", or PVA. PVA softens up and loses it's adhesion under wet conditions (as you might find on a bathroom ceiling if there's a shower in the bathroom) and the result is the PVA paint cracking and peeling. This is often mis-diagnosed as the result of poor paint prep work, but it's really the direct result of the wrong kind of paint being used in a wet area.
Bathroom paints, like the Zinsser product mentioned earlier are made from a different kind of plastic that doesn't soften or lose it's adhesion if it gets wet, namely Plexiglas or polymethyl methacrylate. Also, bathroom paints will have mildewcides in them that kill mildew spores that land on the paint, thereby keeping the bathroom looking clean and attractive for many years.
Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 09-11-2008 at 10:55 PM.