Painting Over Flaking Paint

Painting over flaking paint is one of the most common problems I face on a daily basis. Patches of paint that are either, flaking, peeling or completely failed to adhere to the plaster. Before we attempt to fix peeling paint, we first must better understand what causes flaky paint.

What Causes Peeling Paint?

There are several reasons for paint flaking or peeling away from the original surface. 1) Poor preparation, walls and ceilings have not been mist coated with the correct ratio of water to paint 2) Damp or elevated moisture levels in the plaster 3) Water based paint on top of oil based paint.

Poor preparation accounts for the majority of issues, when it comes to peeling paint. Failing to mist coat freshly coated plaster correctly, will cause paint on the surface to peel.

Painting Over Flaking Paint

  1. Remove as much of the loose paint as possible using a flexible scraper with a good sharp edge.
  2. Prime the affected area with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 or Zinsser Gardz High Performance Sealer.
  3. Skim coat the area with a good quality filler, Toupret Interior Filler is perfect for the task.
  4. Sand the area with Aluminum Oxide Sandpaper 120 grade until the edges of the original paint are starting to show through.
  5. Prime the fresh filler and surrounding edges with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3
  6. Apply two top coats of paint

How To Paint Over Flaking Emulsion

There may be the occasion when there is so much flaking paint that the entire area, wall or ceiling may need stripped back to the original plaster. Painting over flaky patches or paint chips can be easily rectified, larger areas must have all the peeling paint removed before attempting to repaint.

This can prove problematic as some of the paint will refuse to scrape off and the use of a Heat Gun must be used to soften the stubborn paint to allow for removal. If you don’t own a Heat Gun, I recommend purchasing one with adjustable temperature, the DeWalt 1800W Heat Gun with 240V Dual Air Flow is an excellent example.

How To Seal Flaking Paint On Walls

Painting over flaking paint is a relatively simple process if you follow the steps above. The use of a primer helps to seal the exposed plaster and tack down the edges of paint after scraping.

As there are discrepancies between the original layers of paint and exposed plaster, skimming the affected area is required. This will help to level out the two surfaces.

Use a medium to fine grade sandpaper, coarse sandpaper will leave deep scores in the filler that will show through after the top coats have been applied. A top coat of primer helps to seal the filler and cover any exposed plaster after sanding.

When applying the final top coats, it is best to paint the entire area of wall or ceiling to avoid visibly seeing the patch.

Peeling Paint Warning

Always be cautious when scraping and sanding paint on older houses built before 1978, as there is an increased likelihood of any painted surfaces containing lead. It is good practice to wear a Respirator Mask when there is a risk of dust particles entering the lungs. These can be easily purchased at any local building merchant.

How to repair peeling paint on plaster walls, Contact Andrew on 07419998922 or Email, to claim your Free no obligation Quotation.

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