Dealing with peeling paint on your ceiling? Is the paint peeling off the wall like plastic? This is a fairly common issue people may find. Your paint will start to bubble and peel from the ceiling or maybe the walls, and you may find loose pieces of plaster. Peeling paint on the walls or ceiling of your bathroom can be unsightly. In some cases, the paint will look as though it is peeling off the wall in sheets like wallpaper. It’s a cause for concern and instantly makes your home look like it is older than what it is.

How to stop bathroom ceiling paint peeling?

Wait. Let’s understand why ceiling paint peeling off the plaster first.

What Causes Paint To Bubble, Crack and Peel?

Before you set off to fix the paint that’s peeling on your bathroom walls or ceiling, it is important to understand the cause. When paint does not properly adhere to the surface, it will eventually peel.

How To Remove Peeling Paint From Plaster WallsIt can be pretty disappointing when you find paint bubbling, or cracks and ceiling paint peeling off the plaster. Especially when it’s something you’ve done yourself. Without all the information needed, sometimes things like this happen. Don’t beat yourself up too much. If you are just fed up and don’t want to deal with it anymore, you can contact a professional. Toronto Painting contractors have all the skill and experience needed to fix and stop bathroom ceiling paint peeling or paint bubbling. You might be determined to get this done on your own though. The best thing you can do is to take your time. We will go through what you will need to know.

You might not even have an issue yet. But maybe wondering “did I do that right?” or “did the previous owners know what they were doing?”. These issues may not even appear right away. It can take weeks, months or even years for the fresh paint peeling off walls. No paint job is going to last forever but there are some things you can do to make it last longer. We will go through different issues you may run into, and what causes them. The best way to prevent is to know. Knowledge is power in most situations.


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The first thing to cause paint bubbling or paint peeling off the ceiling in a bathroom

The surface you are working with! That’s right, the wall or ceiling under the paint. Some may not think about what they are painting and think you can just through a layer of paint on a dusty wall. If not prepared properly, this will be the first cause of paint bubbling. If you paint over a surface that is dirty or greasy the paint isn’t going to stick. Not only will this be noticeable in the finish, but it could also cause premature peeling. Peeling ceiling and paint bubbling on the walls might be the issues you’re trying to fix in the first place! You need to make sure your surface is clean. Outdoor, you should power wash and scrub if needed. With indoor, wipe down all surfaces you are painting. You want to pay special attention to areas around stoves and sinks in kitchens. Also tubs and showers in bathrooms.
If it is an area that is already painted, remove all peeling plaster and bubbled paint. Any cracking or also peeled spots, scrape it away! If you don’t, you will end up with the same issue. Simply painting over it will cause your new paint job to bubble and peel again. Take your time. Remove all bubbling paint and peeling areas.

The wrong paint will cause bubbling & Peeling Paint On Walls

This can happen to a lot of new DIYers. If you have been in a hardware store, you may have seen the huge selection of paint. It can be a little overwhelming for some. There are a lot of different kinds of paint, but you just need to take your time. Some of the differences are small, and more of a personal taste. There are some though that will cause paint bubbling, cracking or peeling. The product label will usually tell you what the paint is best for. For example, if you are painting the exterior of your home, you want paint that is made for outside. Paint on the outside of your home is hit with rain, wind, the sun, cold, and all kinds of different weather. Here in Canada, we know that best at times. If you use paint on the outside of your house that is made for the inside, it isn’t going to have what it takes. It’s just not made to withstand that kind of environment.
When buying your paint to do it yourself, make sure to read the labels. If you have questions, ask the professionals at your local hardware store.

Paint bubbling might mean, it just can’t stick it

Paint can stop sticking over time. It loses its adhesion to the surface it is on. The loss of adhesion can happen from things like heat and moisture. You might find issues like this in your bathroom. With the steam from showers and the constant use of water, it’s a prime spot.
The weather can also cause paint bubbling and peeling. In areas with high humidity mostly. But with the combination of some of the other factors, it can happen during our hot summers.

When you know what can cause a problem, it makes it a lot easier to avoid it. That is the easiest way to prevent any problem. Hopefully, some of the information covered will help you avoid paint bubbling in the future. In summary:

  • Painting on walls that have not been properly cleaned
  • Painting over paint with an incompatible product (painting over oil-based paint with latex or vice versa)
  • Not using a primer or using the wrong primer product
  • Using paint that has gone bad
  • Water and humidity is one of the most common causes

Humidity, water leaks, smoke, a home fire, or just merely age can lead to a peeling plaster ceiling. Luckily, regardless of the cause, repairing your ceiling has a similar process all around. Stay tuned for the details on how to tackle the task of repairing your ceiling on your own.

How to remove peeling paint from drywall or Ceiling

Paint Peeling Off Ceiling After PaintingBefore going in on your ceiling with a knife or start picking away at it, there’s some prep work that is needed first. First, you want to protect your furniture, pictures and decor. If you can, remove all the furniture out of the room you need to work in. If that’s not an option, move it all to the centre of the room and drop sheets or another type of protective covering over the furniture and floor. Be sure to tape the sheets to the bottom of the furniture, and tuck in any loose ends underneath. If you have a hanging light fixture, make sure you cover that as well.

If you have a spouse or a friend that can help, please do so, because two is better than one when doing these types of jobs. Wear protective eyewear and a mask to protect yourself from debris and inhaling anything you shouldn’t; it’s a must to protect your eyes and lungs. Remember, if your house or paint is on the older side, be aware that you may be dealing with lead-based paint. If you have any concerns about this, call a reputable painter, and they can come to take a look at it for you.
Use a step ladder, and have a spotter, just in case.

How to scrape paint off the ceiling or bubbled wall

Use a putty knife or scraper to scrape away all the chunks of paint on the ceiling. Try to do an excellent job to catch the pieces that are being scraped off to avoid having a big mess to clean up after the fact, because picking up pieces of paint isn’t the most fun. Using a trash can or small pan you can hold underneath you as you go, will do the trick.

What to do after removing paint from the ceiling plaster

Once you’ve cleaned up the ceiling, it’s time to apply new plaster!

Fill and plaster the areas you’ve scraped off and make sure they are as even as possible. If you need two coats, make sure your first coat of plaster is dried before applying the second.

How To Seal Flaking Paint On WallsOnce you’ve done that and the coats of plaster are dried, go ahead and sand them down, first using medium grain sandpaper (150 G) and then a fine grain (220-240G) to make them smooth, even and blemish free. Make sure to pay close attention to detail, as imperfections can be difficult to spot at the time in natural light, but once it’s painted, they’ll be amplified, so make sure to check thoroughly with a flashlight.
Peeling paint on the Ceiling be gone!

Painting Your (now fixed) Peeling Plaster Ceiling

Primer first!

  • Primer is the first step for preventing moisture damage. You may have had a peeling plaster ceiling, because the wrong primer, or not enough was used. Some are even specially made for extra protection.
  • Apply the primer to the ceiling with a paint roller. With a brush, make sure you get all edges and corners.
  • We will be doing two layers for a plaster ceiling. Let the first layer dry for a bit, then apply another one.
  • Let the primer dry completely before you continue.
  • Now for the Paint
    ● It’s time to repaint! It’s best to repaint the entire ceiling, not just paint the places you patched. There will be a glaring difference from the fresh paint to the old paint that is still there, even if it is the same colour and brand, just only due to age and normal weathering.
    ● We recommend using a roller to do the whole ceiling and then using a small brush to get the small details, along with the edges and corners. Let the first coat of paint dry completely before going over a second time.
    ● Once that first layer has had some time to dry, the second coat goes up. Now leave to dry.
    ● After your paint has dried completely, it is time for clean up.

If you’re inexperienced or feel like this isn’t a job you think you want to take on, Royal Home Painters Toronto would be happy to take on a project like this for you – this type of work is what we love to do!

Get a Peeling Plaster Ceiling Repair Estimate!

With over 15 years of experience as a top rated Toronto Painter in home restoration and renovation, we can get this done for you on time and efficiently, making your ceiling look better than ever. Call us at (647)492-3993 or fill the form to get a FREE quote for your ceiling repair.