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Old 08-25-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


Hi everybody, newbie here who has never painted anything in his life, so wish me luck!

I would like to paint my bedroom, and, honest to God, I have never seen a paint job worse than the one in my house. I have lived here for half a decade and can't stand it anymore. I'm getting checked for lead paint soon, and, if I pass, I'm going to start painting. But, focusing only on my bedroom...

Okay, first things first. There is a wallpaper border that, in certain areas, when I try to peel off, peels the paint off with it (see attachments 1 and 2). My plan of action is ripping off the wallpaper (maybe with some hot water), scraping the areas where the paint is coming off, and then applying spackle, then sanding.

In addition, in a few areas on my walls the paint is peeling by itself, so, same thing, I will scrape it off as much as I can, then spackle, then sand (see attachments 3 and 4).

More curiously, however, in numerous places on my ceiling, I have some small, hard lumps that I originally thought were nail pops. However, one of them is actually an indentation rather than a lump (see attachment 5), which excludes the possibility of nail pops. I have some more pictures (see attachment 6). Anyone have any idea what these are? Can I just spackle the indentation and try to sand the lumps?

Also, all around my window and window border there is some sloppily applied silicone caulk. How do I dissolve that? I heard acetone works a little, but not that well. I don't mind damaging the existing paint.

Finally, on a more fun note, I'm set on painting the walls of my bedroom Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint, eggshell, in "butternut squash" 1090, and the trim, semi-gloss, in "timid white", OC-39. Is this a good color combination for a bedroom? And, some follow-up questions: Should the ceiling match the trim color (I don't have any trim around the ceiling, just around doors, window, and base)? Should the ceiling be the same sheen as the walls (eggshell)? And, should I consider satin for the trim (I know, broad question, but just randomly wondering).

Thank you very much everybody!
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


Well what I did with a similar issue is get some border remover which you apply let it soak in and scrape off. If you have holes full in with hole patch then prime and paint over.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


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Originally Posted by Baloney View Post
Hi everybody, newbie here who has never painted anything in his life, so wish me luck!

I would like to paint my bedroom, and, honest to God, I have never seen a paint job worse than the one in my house. I have lived here for half a decade and can't stand it anymore. I'm getting checked for lead paint soon, and, if I pass, I'm going to start painting. But, focusing only on my bedroom...

Okay, first things first. There is a wallpaper border that, in certain areas, when I try to peel off, peels the paint off with it (see attachments 1 and 2). My plan of action is ripping off the wallpaper (maybe with some hot water), scraping the areas where the paint is coming off, and then applying spackle, then sanding.

In addition, in a few areas on my walls the paint is peeling by itself, so, same thing, I will scrape it off as much as I can, then spackle, then sand (see attachments 3 and 4).

More curiously, however, in numerous places on my ceiling, I have some small, hard lumps that I originally thought were nail pops. However, one of them is actually an indentation rather than a lump (see attachment 5), which excludes the possibility of nail pops. I have some more pictures (see attachment 6). Anyone have any idea what these are? Can I just spackle the indentation and try to sand the lumps?

Also, all around my window and window border there is some sloppily applied silicone caulk. How do I dissolve that? I heard acetone works a little, but not that well. I don't mind damaging the existing paint.

Finally, on a more fun note, I'm set on painting the walls of my bedroom Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint, eggshell, in "butternut squash" 1090, and the trim, semi-gloss, in "timid white", OC-39. Is this a good color combination for a bedroom? And, some follow-up questions: Should the ceiling match the trim color (I don't have any trim around the ceiling, just around doors, window, and base)? Should the ceiling be the same sheen as the walls (eggshell)? And, should I consider satin for the trim (I know, broad question, but just randomly wondering).

Thank you very much everybody!
Let's see. Lot's to cover for you! First, we all painted for the first time once too and some of us liked it enough we found a way to make a living at it. So go for it. Just buy good paint, good tools, nice tarps and have at it.

I am going to skip ahead so my anger does not build. I just hate hearing that somebody used silicone as a routine caulking material. You cannot paint it and to answer your question? You cannot dissolve it with anything known to man. Acetone can help with still uncured silicone but not once it is dry. You are going to have to carve it out.

Why did someone feel they had to use silicone around the window, by the way. Do you have a window framing or flashing issue that is causing the window to leak into the wall. Or a sill issue? You should resolve that.

Once done, you can rec-caulk with a paintable caulk and a small percentage of silicone in it for flexibility is not so bad. The problem is if you leave any of the pure silicone, nothing is going to stick to it. It is evil stuff when used the wrong way, as in your case.

There is sometimes one other thing more inspired by the devil? Wallpaper borders if applied with the wrong adhesives. You may need a jackhammer to get the stuff off if it is not responding at all to repeated applications of warm water. A garden tank sprayer comes in handy for wallpaper and border repair.

Spackle comes up a lot and we mean different things when we talk about it. I think of it as stuff that comes in tiny 1/2 pint cans students use to patch holes made hanging posters so the landlord will not notice the head bashing dent cavity the size of a head from the party gone bad. I think what you want to use is drywall mud.

Your approach seems reasonable. You may have either drywall nails or screws and you might have to deal with filler that was left either above the surface or divots that never got filled properly below. You are probably going to have skim coat and blend some imperfections anyhow so you will need a standard 6" drywall knife and something like the width of the mud tray for skim coating.

Get a nice sanding pole and some sanding blocks.

I will look at the colors, and I have a bias against boring white ceilings, but you may be adding too much color doing the ceiling the same color as other elements of the room.

It sounds like you have had enough damage, peeling and so forth going on since the room was last painted that a primer coat would not be a bad idea after repairs. Something like Zinsser 123 should do the trick unless you think you really have old lead based oil enamel. If it is lead based you are going to have to disclose it if you sell or figure out what to do with now. At least contain and dispose of any chips you scrape off properly. Use an alkyd primer over old enamel paint.

Otherwise I think you are on the right track. You should be looking for a nice angled 2.5" sash brush of quality (expect to pay $15 or so retail), a nice roller frame handle and decent roller covers. You will find you need a sturdy roller handle extension. And of course, do not skimp on a cheap ladder.

Last edited by user1007; 08-25-2013 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


OK here goes;
Will almost guarantee there will be some damage when you remove that border unless you are very lucky. To address those problems coat the area with Gardz then skim coat with JOINT COMPOUND then sand, prime, and paint. And yes hot water will help you remove the border.
On the walls you need to remove all loose paint and a qt of peel stop around the edges of the peeled areas would not be a bad idea. If anything needs skimmed use joint compound not spackle.
Those indentations look like the original drywall mud shrunk over the nail or screw heads. Since your ceiling looks textured that makes it a lot harder. You need to sand the texture out away for the area few inches. If you don't the edge of your repair will not blend in. Now fill the indent with drywall compound using a 6" drywall knife sand, especially around the edge. Then get a couple rattle cans of orange peel texture and try to match the texture, prime, then paint.
Why do you think it is a silicone caulk and not a latex caulk? If it is sillycone the best thing is to cut out as much as you can then try to scrap the rest and these areas will need to be primed.
As for the ceiling being the same as the trim color a few years ago the answer would have been no but now adays it is acceptable. But the sheen should not be ceilings should be flat paint
There will be others come along with other ways and ideas pick what you think will work for you.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


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But the sheen should not be ceilings should be flat paint
Why? I restored a gorgeous Victorian with lots of light flowing through dining windows. I painted the ceiling with a nice, silvery finish and sparkly sheen that would have looked awful just flat.

TRADITION! White flat ceilings for no reason anybody can justify since we moved the one gaslight out of the middle of the room. Silly be we, we still stick one stupid electrical fixture where the gaslight used to be even though it is the place we least need real lighting?
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


Okay, thanks to everybody, so far.

It was actually stupid of me to say silicone caulk (sorry sdsester for making you angry) - I really have no idea what kind of caulk it is but either way it's an extremely thin careless application and I think it shouldn't be too much of a problem - I will try scraping, sanding, and acetone and that should take care of it.

ToolSeeker, heh, I was just thinking that someone would say my ceiling is textured - it isn't! That's just how ridiculously bad the paint job is. Sometimes I get the feeling the idiots who did this used a roller made of iron wool, or smeared it on with their fingers. Anyway, the picture is a bit misleading because it's very close.

One more question, what is the difference between Zinsser Gardz and Zinsser Peel Stop Primer? Can Gardz be used as primer? I was thinking I should use Peel Stop on the entire wall. Is it bad to use Peel Stop where the paint isn't really peeling - because, just feeling the wall with my fingers, I can feel a lot of areas where intuition tells me the paint will start peeling, and Peel Stop will give me a sense of security.

So, my plan of action thus far is to attempt removing the wallpaper border with hot water and maybe some kind of border remover, dissolve/scrape/sand the caulk around the window, and scrape the peeling areas. Here's where my next question comes in. Do I apply the Peel Stop primer before putting drywall mud on the peeling areas, or after? If before, then do I put MORE Peel Stop primer on top of the drywall mud? Or is it fine to just paint over the drywall mud? Not really sure what to do here...



Oh, and, I'm a little confused as to the difference between spackle, joint compound, and drywall mud - I used to think they were basically the same thing, with spackle being higher quality because it's more expensive and comes in the small buckets. Is that not true?

Last edited by Baloney; 08-25-2013 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


Really, a good place to start is to read a lot of the info here on the site. Use that "search" function and you will get lots of great info. A lot of what you are up against has been posted and reposted many times on here. Believe it or not, there's nuggets of wisdom in many past postings.

Spackle is more of a small hole filler, it is really not made for major drywall repairs. Joint compound and drywall mud are basically the same thing and should be used for skim coating, crack and large hole repair, or to finish new drywall.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


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Oh, and, I'm a little confused as to the difference between spackle, joint compound, and drywall mud - I used to think they were basically the same thing, with spackle being higher quality because it's more expensive and comes in the small buckets. Is that not true?
I am totally baffled about how we use the terms in posts too. I despise the spackle I know that comes in small buckets partly because I can buy a five gallon bucket of drywall mud for less or a bag of hot mix mud that will coat the walls of a mansion for half. Plaster repair materials are cheaper too. Joint compound and drywall mud are interchangeable terms for the same thing except joint compound almost always comes pre-mixed in a bucket. Drywall mud can be the same thing or mixed from dry powder with water and is sold depending on the set-up time---5 to 120 minutes as I remember.

Spackle spackle was supposed to be instantly "sandable" and you were supposed to be able to paint over it immediately. I don't know if spackle products still claim that or not. I had not used them in 30 years and made my gallery clients toss their tiny cans of the stuff. The were giving walls acne worse than I have had at times through my life. Even they got to like dry wall mud a wet sponge for sanding minor fill-ins better than spackle. As I know it.

Whatever, your next purchases are a nice mud pan. I still like the stainless ones but a decent plastic one with stainless inserts can work until you scratch it up. You want a nice, flexible, wide drywall knife to skim coat and finish your patches.

You are currently making a common mistake by the way. People by tools to small for things. The edge of a 2.5" sash brush will paint 1" trim better and faster than a 1" brush. You can skim coat, sand, skim coat sand, with a 6" drywall knife until you go insane.

Last edited by user1007; 08-25-2013 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:37 AM   #9
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


Despite what sdester says, flat or eggshell on the walls, semi gloss on the trim( all wood) flat white ceiling

Ceilings CAN be painted colors and different sheens, but 95% of the time they look better flat white(IMHO)
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:52 AM   #10
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


The more gloss/sheen in a paint, the more it shows imperfections. That ceiling is a very good candidate for flat paint.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:44 AM   #11
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


You should not need acetone to remove the caulk it is probably latex and should come off pretty easy.
The texture I mentioned is probably stipple from the paint roller and will be easier to deal with. Fix the repair as mentioned and when you roll on your primer you should see the stipple.
Peel stop is for peeling paint Gardz is for dry wall problems like when you remove wallpaper and damage the face paper on the drywall. I really feel you could use either of these products for both problems.
After scrapping all loose paint mix some Peel Stop (I'm assuming your using the triple thick one) with some water, brush it around the edges of the scrapped areas. When dry put a straight coat on top. then your joint compound 2 or 3 coats feathered out a little farther each coat. then sand prime, and you can use just a regular primer like 123.
NO you cannot just paint over the drywall mud. It will absorb the paint differently and that spot will stand out like a sore finger.

Last edited by ToolSeeker; 08-27-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:43 PM   #12
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Okay, thanks for the replies everybody. I think I have a clear idea in my head of what I'm going to do.

However, I've tried thumping those bumps on the ceiling with a hammer and they seemed to go away, so I think they are nail pops. Aside from pulling the nails out and putting in screws instead (which I am not about to do), is there any way of preventing them from happening again? I really don't want my new paint ruined.

Oh, and, I've changed my color choices - Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint in mascarpone (AF-20) semi-gloss for the trim, mascarpone (AF-20) flat for the ceiling, and butternut squash (1090) eggshell for the walls. Could somebody just confirm this as a good color combination?

Several more questions: First of all, I'm becoming slightly paranoid about paint lapping. I was wondering about cutting in and rolling. If I am painting the ceiling, for example, and I cut in one edge, will that edge dry before I even start rolling? How long does a wet edge typically "last?"

Also, about sanding. I'm planning on sanding the entire room with grit 60, then grit 100, then grit 150, then priming, then maybe higher grits (like around 200-300), then painting one coat, then sanding with around grit 400-500, and then the second coat. First question: is all this sanding necessary, or can I eliminate a few steps? Sanding after primer will be necessary because no matter how much I sand with grit 60 I can't seem to get that roller stipple out of the current coat of paint. And, in the store I saw some grit 600 sandpaper - what exactly does it do, and are you supposed to use it after your final coat of paint to make the walls even smoother?

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Old 08-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #13
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


Some of that appears to be moisture damage, specifically pic 3. You might want to do a bit of investigating on that front before commencing your project.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:08 PM   #14
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Okay, thanks for the replies everybody. I think I have a clear idea in my head of what I'm going to do.

However, I've tried thumping those bumps on the ceiling with a hammer and they seemed to go away, so I think they are nail pops. Aside from pulling the nails out and putting in screws instead (which I am not about to do), is there any way of preventing them from happening again? I really don't want my new paint ruined.

Oh, and, I've changed my color choices - Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint in mascarpone (AF-20) semi-gloss for the trim, mascarpone (AF-20) flat for the ceiling, and butternut squash (1090) eggshell for the walls. Could somebody just confirm this as a good color combination?

Several more questions: First of all, I'm becoming slightly paranoid about paint lapping. I was wondering about cutting in and rolling. If I am painting the ceiling, for example, and I cut in one edge, will that edge dry before I even start rolling? How long does a wet edge typically "last?"

Also, about sanding. I'm planning on sanding the entire room with grit 60, then grit 100, then grit 150, then priming, then maybe higher grits (like around 200-300), then painting one coat, then sanding with around grit 400-500, and then the second coat. First question: is all this sanding necessary, or can I eliminate a few steps? Sanding after primer will be necessary because no matter how much I sand with grit 60 I can't seem to get that roller stipple out of the current coat of paint. And, in the store I saw some grit 600 sandpaper - what exactly does it do, and are you supposed to use it after your final coat of paint to make the walls even smoother?
OK first the nail pops they MUST be addressed they will not fix themselves and will come back. To simply tap them back in is not enough. You can either remove the nail and put in a longer screw (this is best in my opinion) or you can put a screw right beside the nail so the head of the screw holds the nail in tight.
As far as your colors it is really a personal choice. Maybe SDS will be along he is our resident color guy.
Don't get paranoid about the wet edge Bin extender or flotrol are product that will give you a little more time. Or some people will roll the ceiling first not really caring if they get paint on the walls since they are getting painted anyway the flat paint won't hurt anything. So roll the ceiling tight to the walls so you don't have to cut in.
Oh my god, after you do your repairs sand ONCE with 220 grit sanding screen (not sandpaper) on a sanding pole. after you prime you may see some spots that need more repair after you do these spots re-prime these spots, and paint. You do not need to remove the previous stipple it will just come back when you roll. If you can't sand it with 60 grit are you sure it's not an orange peel texture.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:06 PM   #15
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What to do with this catastrophic paint job??


ToolSeeker: I really don't think that it's orange peel texture - or at least maybe it was never intended to be, but the roller was poor quality and gave a similar effect.

I've included two pictures so you can see the extent of the stipple, or whatever it is, and included my thumb so you can see it's too small to be orange peel texture. The "sanded area" was sanded intensively with 60-grit sandpaper.

I hope you're not saying that with my new coat of paint with a high quality roller, primer, and sanding I'll have the same deep stipple, because then I might as well not paint at all.

Edit: I don't know, maybe what I was expecting is a little too good to be true, but all the pics of newly painted drywall on the Internet look much, much smoother than the pics I have here. It looks much better when I sand but 60-grit leaves a lot of scratches, so that's why I was going to work my way up to smoother sandpaper.

On a separate note, does Benjamin Moore make rollers/brushes as good as they make paint, or are there better rollers/brushes on the market?
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Last edited by Baloney; 08-27-2013 at 06:15 PM.
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