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Lib 07-21-2008 05:56 PM

weird wall material, mold, peeling paint
Our bathroom is a disaster. Itís the lone bathroom so we canít do anything that would take it out of commission, but itís a wreck. The wallboard does not appear to be standard wallboard, it has some sort of texture but itís not paneling or wallpaper. The previous owners painted shortly before I bought the home in Feb. í05, using a flat finish paint. There are few walls; the room is small and has a large medicine cabinet, towel closet, and tub enclosure; where there is painted wall surface, there is also mildew and peeling paint. Itís a nightmare to clean; any attempt to wipe off the mildew results in large flakes of falling paint, and the whole thing is just plain ugly.

While weíd love to gut the whole room and begin again, it is the only bathroom so thatís not an option. We also donít have any sort of significant budget available; much as weíd like to replace the ancient sink and shower enclosure, we donít have that much money to spend. We're looking at painting, what advice can you offer on the most effective way to turn this mildewed nightmare into a serene, sanitary and restful room? Do we have to replace this weird wallboard or can we scrape and sand, then prime and paint using latex? (Odds are the current paint is oil based.)


pF45 07-24-2008 11:07 AM

hello there, i'm going to assume you have sheet rock, you can paint over it like the previous owners did but you will wind up where you are today with the same problem. if it is a prtion of the wall than cut it out and replace it if it is the entire wall I'm afraid you will need to gutt out the sheetrock and place new sheetrock if the wood stud behind is not damaged than the job is simple and you can still use you bathroom if you do one wall at a time I guess. Just a suggestion not necessarily the best answer

Lib 07-24-2008 11:16 AM

Why do you think it's sheetrock, and why would I need to rip it all out? It has texture on it- not smooth like sheetrock. It almost looks like a fabric texture but it is definitely not wallpaper. I don't understand why you think I need to replace the walls? They're solid, they aren't mushy and show no indication of being wet. It's the paint that has mildew on it and is peeling, what's beneath looks OK. Can you explain your logic- you could be right, I don't know, I just don't understand how you came to the conclusions you came to. Thanks.

pF45 07-24-2008 11:26 AM

what exactly is the material or wall made of under the "weird texture" it's either concrete , plaster, we ruled out sheetrock, brick, wood? If you say that the under wall is intact it depends on what material it is to determine wether or not the problem will return pending how you handle it. So that said my logic is...if it's a solid structure such as concrete, platered walls or even brick than you can get away with sanding, grinding away the surface mildew or mold and then paint or whatever you want. If it is wood, sheetrock, particle board or something of an absorbent and softer nature it may have mildew or mold inside that will surface again with time no matter how many times you paint.

slickshift 07-24-2008 11:50 AM

Without seeing the texture, it's hard to say how to remove it
I would suggest removing it, as the texture is not going to help you with your cleaning and mold issues later
If we assume it's an added on texture (like "popcorn" or "sand" over sheetrock), then it can be scraped and sanded off or at least down
I'm not sure why you think it's oil paint, but that would complicate the already labor/time/effort consuming process

Also assuming the above, re-sheetrocking could be a realistic option time/labor/effort-wise, as you would most assuredly have to re-tape and skim coat what's left of the sheetrock after texture removal (essentially what you would do to new sheetrock anyway)

The exact steps would depend on exactly what you have there

A simple repaint would consist of cleaning with a good mildecide (X-14, Moldex, bleach/water mix), and painting with a premium self-priming bath or other mildew resistant paint (Zinsser's Perma-White, Benjamin Moore's or Sherwin Williams' K&B, Benjamin Moore's Aura)

Oil on the walls now would complicate the re-paint, but a simple oil (alkyd) prime coat (Zinsser/Ben Moore/Sherwin Williams) before painting with the acrylic (latex) paint would solve that

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