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Old 11-26-2011, 01:37 AM   #1
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


I'm in the process of doing a remodel of my master bath (took everything down to the studs) and have hit a severe bump in the road. The shower stall ceiling and upper walls needed to be painted before I installed the shower base and the wall panels. I painted and everything (top coat and primer) peeled off with very little resistance. The back of these very large pieces of latex have a dusty feeling to them making me think that my prep job was far short of what was needed.

The shower walls (Hardie and greenboard) needed quite a bit of mud (Sheetrock Light Weight Dust Control) to make everything level and smooth. The ceiling, having what I think is an orange peel texture (see pic of wall with same texture) covered with flat paint, needed to be skim coated to make it smooth like the wall/ceiling joints after taping and mudding. I thought a smooth perimeter enclosing a textured ceiling was a bit too classy for my humble home.

I was basically having to prime and paint drywall compound, not drywall. I sanded all surfaces and wiped them down with a towel to remove the residual dust that remained. Priming amounted to 2 coats of Zinnser 123 with at least an hour between coats. The top coat was Behr semi-gloss - blue on the walls and white on the ceiling. I put 2 coats on each and waited a day between.

I painted the ceiling first and after it was "dry", I masked it off with blue tape. While applying I had to pull it off and reapply. I noticed that the ceiling paint pulled away from the ceiling as I removed the tape. This should have been a warning sign for me to stop but I didn't. I masked and painted the walls. After a few days I removed the tape. When I got to that same spot the same thing happened and then all hell broke loose - see pics. I peeled off almost the entire area I had painted with very little effort. To add insult to injury, the skim coat of mud on the ceiling to smooth out the texture came off with the primer and top coat of white. The drywall compound had at least a day to dry before I sanded and primed.

So the question is: What other steps should I have taken to ensure my primer coat stuck to the drywall compound? Or is there something wrong with my choice of primer, which actually says it's ideal for "chalky" surfaces? Should I have used Gardz?

Also...should I patent my "technique" and make a line of clothing to sell to those stylish and trendy LA types???
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:44 AM   #2
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


Gone wrong? Ya think!

First off, it sounds as if nothing was properly dried,( and or cleaned) if the primer did not stick. A coat of Gardz certainly would have helped but the 123 should have done it also, if everything was dried and cleaned. I will not comment on the paint selection as whatever is going on most likely had nothing to do with that bad choice

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Old 11-26-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


Since the skim coat came off with the top coat and primer, it tells me that the primer did in fact bond to the skim coat, too strongly, in fact. It's the skim coat that didn't bond. When you apply paint to a surface, some moisture penetrates down to previous levels of paint, and can sometimes activate things a layer or two down. The 123 sealer should minimize that, but maybe not if it's not cured. The bottom picture of the quarter looks like George is posing in front of a normal looking rolled wall texture. Is that what you were trying to skim out? I would prime the ceiling again, spot patch any, and only, ridges/defects created by the failure, spot prime them, then finish the ceiling. Please hold for one second, while I climb up on my soapbox. Forget the tape. I'll state for the record, as Brushjockey has requested, that I do in fact own tape, and I do use it. However, I never use tape to create lines, and I always dread putting tape on any surface, any surface, let alone a painted one. I've pulled clear coat off of hardwood floors, tiled floors (that had in floor heating), damaged wallpaper (with the most sensitive tape I could buy. How ironic, the tape and plastic designed to protect the wallpaper from spatter did me in), I've had finish lift off of cabinets, furniture, on and on, and on and on. This forum is riddled with people having this type of failure. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. When is it going to stop? Tape is a crutch. We're here to teach people how to paint, and cutting a line without tape is part of learning how to paint, just as much as learning how to roll properly. I just don't feel, imo, that we should be teaching people how to fix this problem without discouraging the use of tape, and encouraging how to work without it. Steve, I'm not thrashin you, please don't take it that way. I'm just not into fixing problems as much as offering solutions to possible problems, in the hopes of avoiding them. Reach! Steve, I have a tutorial on my blog with some tips on painting without tape. With a little practice and concentration, you'll do fine, and be more satisfied with your results. Have a nice day.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


here's my take i think the skim did bond but it being a very tight skim to cover the orange peel. you basically reactivated what was probably a transparent skim anyways.then ,and i have seen this before if you over roll or go back over an area that just starting to dry its going to interfering with the bonding process. then to make matters worse you put another coat of primer on . when you roll these bonding primers you roll just enough to make good contact and move on .dont go back over it . p/s that texture you worred about is normal in fact a slight stipple helps hide impefections
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


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Gone wrong? Ya think!

First off, it sounds as if nothing was properly dried,( and or cleaned) if the primer did not stick. A coat of Gardz certainly would have helped but the 123 should have done it also, if everything was dried and cleaned. I will not comment on the paint selection as whatever is going on most likely had nothing to do with that bad choice
Yep, I've read comments on Behr paint here and not being a painter, I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and a pro's choice.

I guess "dry" is what has me confused. I could easily run my hand over the painted surfaces and there was no tackiness to them whatsoever. I followed Zinssers instructions (30 min. dry to the touch, recoat after an hour, full adhesion and hardness in 7 days). I was over 7 days before I top coated so, based on their instructions, everything was right...EXCEPT...the surface preparation, imo.

A SW salesperson looked at my sheet of latex and he was of the opinion that the primer didn't have a surface to grab hold of - no tooth. The wall paint pulled clean off the compound with just that dusty feeling left on the back of the latex. There were very few spots where the walls showed evidence of the primer sticking. That's why I keep thinking that residual dust prevented the primer from making a good, strong bond.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:55 AM   #6
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


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Since the skim coat came off with the top coat and primer, it tells me that the primer did in fact bond to the skim coat, too strongly, in fact. It's the skim coat that didn't bond. When you apply paint to a surface, some moisture penetrates down to previous levels of paint, and can sometimes activate things a layer or two down. The 123 sealer should minimize that, but maybe not if it's not cured. The bottom picture of the quarter looks like George is posing in front of a normal looking rolled wall texture. Is that what you were trying to skim out? I would prime the ceiling again, spot patch any, and only, ridges/defects created by the failure, spot prime them, then finish the ceiling. Please hold for one second, while I climb up on my soapbox. Forget the tape. I'll state for the record, as Brushjockey has requested, that I do in fact own tape, and I do use it. However, I never use tape to create lines, and I always dread putting tape on any surface, any surface, let alone a painted one. I've pulled clear coat off of hardwood floors, tiled floors (that had in floor heating), damaged wallpaper (with the most sensitive tape I could buy. How ironic, the tape and plastic designed to protect the wallpaper from spatter did me in), I've had finish lift off of cabinets, furniture, on and on, and on and on. This forum is riddled with people having this type of failure. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. When is it going to stop? Tape is a crutch. We're here to teach people how to paint, and cutting a line without tape is part of learning how to paint, just as much as learning how to roll properly. I just don't feel, imo, that we should be teaching people how to fix this problem without discouraging the use of tape, and encouraging how to work without it. Steve, I'm not thrashin you, please don't take it that way. I'm just not into fixing problems as much as offering solutions to possible problems, in the hopes of avoiding them. Reach! Steve, I have a tutorial on my blog with some tips on painting without tape. With a little practice and concentration, you'll do fine, and be more satisfied with your results. Have a nice day.
Joe
Joe,

Well I have to ask this question then about my skim coat. Should there have been a coat of primer first, then the skim coat? The reason I did not prime first is because I had to fix some nail pops and the the mud covered and stuck very well to this textured/flat paint ceiling. This is one of the reasons I decided to skim coat the ceiling with compound - smooth spots scattered across a textured ceiling. As for the George pic, that's from my hallway which has the exact same texture as my shower stall ceiling and the vertical surfaces leading up to a skylight in this very same bath. While I will have to try and match this texture once I complete a hallway repair, I would prefer a smooth finish in the bathroom. So getting a solid understanding of what went wrong will go a long way in making the rest of my project easier to accomplish...I hope.

The only reason I used the tape was so that I could use a corner roller and have a uniform 3/8" nap finish all around. I've seen some paint jobs where the perimeter of a room looks brushed and the rest rolled. That's what I was wanting to avoid by using the tape. I'll visit your blog and do some much needed reading. The tape won't be used again in this manner...just too much aggravation.

Thanks Joe!
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:19 PM   #7
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


Steve, it could be dust, it could have been reactivation, it could have been a combination of things. As we speak, painters all across the country are applying primer to sheetrock that probably has a good bit of dust on it. And they'll apply finish over top of that, and it'll stay put, until somebody comes along and puts tape on it. I still think that the 123 penetrated the the depth of the skim coat and made it part of itself. That's what the dusty feel is. The bond of the 123 to the skim was stronger than the bond of the skim to the substrate. I would suggest you do exactly what you did before, but maybe wipe the sanded surface with a damp rag. And skip the tape, trade off the bit of brush stroke at the cut for peace of mind. If you can work quickly, you can roll the top edge with the roller perpendicular to the ceiling and reduce the brushed area to about a half inch. Good luck.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:34 PM   #8
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!




That's nuthin'. Wait until you use that shower for a while and see what happens.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


I just have to say that your piece of peeled paint is amazing. I've never seen anything like that before...ever, in terms of failed paint. It's epic.

I agree that your skimcoat failed. You mentioned that you put on two coats of primer. Is that because you were trying to get opaque coverage? If so, did you put the first coat on heavy and keep rolling it, trying to get it to cover better? If so then I suspect that is the culprit. Too much moisture on the compound. It had probably failed before you even got the second coat of primer on and you did not know it until the tape incident.

Regarding forgoing tape and learning to cut a line with a brush, YouTube is bristling (haha) with instructional videos on how to cut a line. Of course they all disagree on the best method, which makes them all the more entertaining to watch. But the general principle is the same and watching a few of them will give you enough to go on.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


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Since the skim coat came off with the top coat and primer, it tells me that the primer did in fact bond to the skim coat, too strongly, in fact. It's the skim coat that didn't bond. When you apply paint to a surface, some moisture penetrates down to previous levels of paint, and can sometimes activate things a layer or two down.
That's exactly what I think happened. The final coats of paint moistened the mud enough for it to come right off. Take the tape out of the picture and you probably would have been fine.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:45 AM   #11
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That's exactly what I think happened. The final coats of paint moistened the mud enough for it to come right off. Take the tape out of the picture and you probably would have been fine.
Thanks Matt, I agree that the tape is the cause. Everything would have cured into place and been fine.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:37 AM   #12
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Shower stall paint job gone horribly wrong!


Thanks Matt, I agree that the tape is the cause. Everything would have cured into place and been fine.

For a while........

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