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Newly painted & already peeling

Painted bathroom with the Behr Ultra premium plus - which the clerk insisted was the paint I had to use.  1st problem was to paint an area of only 6' x 4' took 2 quarts because the paint was so thick.  The next day, the paint has started peeling.  It peels off right down to the drywall.  The previous paint was Benjamin Moore & again whatever the clerk recommended for painting bathroom.  I'm told it was probably an oil based paint. I've sanded & spackeled the peeling section, but my concern is will the peeling just get worst & is it possible to fix it?  Worse case scenario - do I have to try to remove all this paint & start anew?  Can I paint over it with an oil based paint?  Also there are slight bumps in paint.  The wall doesn't feel smooth.  This is not an 'old' wall.  The drywall was installed in December 2008.  Can I sand over it & repaint with the Behr Ultra premium plus I have left?  If I need to switch paints, any suggestions on brand and type?

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Posted 2012-10-28T03:17:48+0000  by sleepless sleepless

Hello Sleepless!:smileyvery-happy:


I am sorry for what you are experiencing - I know how frustrating it must be.   wet_paint.png


There are always several possibilities for paint reacting in this manner. Here are just a few:

  • painting over oil based paint (2008 - most likely not oil based)
  • painting over a gloss finish (poor adhesion)
  • painting over a film (like a cleaner, hair spray, or soap film)
  • painting a second coat too soon (will reactivate the first coat and release it from the surface)
  • painting over new drywall or patches (paint will stick to the fine dust, but not adhere)


If you find that any one of the items above apply - please let me know so I can be more specific about the solution.


Allow the paint to cure (dry completely all the way through) another day before painting it again,  Prime the spots you re-patched.  Sometimes if you use tape and then wait until the next day to pull it up the force may remove the paint as well. Always remove tape before the paint fully dries.



Posted 2012-10-28T17:45:32+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

Curious to me is that "sleepless" states that the peeling is all the way down to the drywall. This indicates that the original paint had bad adhesion to the drywall, otherwise it would have not let go. Acrylic paints have great adhesion. They also contract somewhat as they dry. It is possible that the Ultra helped break the bond of the original paint.


There is a similar phenominum which can occur in exterior applications where an acrylic is placed over a past build up of oil paint. The contraction of the well bonded acrylic paint to the non- or lesser contracting paint can actually cause catrastropic peeling!


Just a thought. I can't say definitively what has occurred. However, if the substrate is back down to drywall, I doubt the failure would occur again. Ultra will definitely bond to bare drywall.

Posted 2012-10-29T22:21:49+0000  by ordjen

thank you for your answers.  In 2008 I painted over new drywall.  I remember using KILZ primer and then a Benjamin Moore semi gloss for Bath.  This time the painting was done by a friend, but there was a day between coats.  She did complain that the paint was very thick & used much more than expected.  The obvious peeling is contained to one edge when the tape was removed.  She painted & left, I came in the next day.  I think I can spackle & fix this.

My other concern is the blistering.  The wall is no longer smooth.  There are small bumps, not too obvious except  I was planning to use decals which would make them prominent.  They seem to be particles that can scraped off, but in doing this I'd have to redo the whole job.  Should I ignore the 'primer included' in the Behr & apply a separate primer?

Posted 2012-11-02T17:52:28+0000  by sleepless

thank you for your response.  i've spackled and sanded the peeling area.  I will try the Behr again.  Should I use a separate primer?  I am in NJ & have not been focusing on painting.  Any suggestions about the blister/bumps?

Posted 2012-11-02T17:57:14+0000  by sleepless




I just noticed that this is a bathroom having the problems. Is the drywall exposed "greenboard" drywall? Over the years I have seen this type drywall  have paint adhesion problems. Greenboard is impregnated with something to make it more water resistant. Unfortunately, it seems to also present a surface to which paint has poor adhesion .


For your touch-up, I would use a dedicated primer. For super adhesion, I like either Behrs Primer #75, or the Gripper by Glidden

Posted 2012-11-02T19:21:08+0000  by ordjen

thx 4 response.  More expensive greenboard was used in shower area only.  Early response probably correct - paint peeling from ripping off tape too late.  Any advice on the sm blisters?  Will use primer u suggest

Posted 2012-11-07T19:54:29+0000  by sleepless
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