Emulsion paint cracking - how can I fix it ?

Hello All,
A week ago I painted a room in our house, which was previously painted, with light green silk emulsion paint. I washed the walls first with a very mild detergent solution. The old paint was fine, no damage or anything.
The first coat went on fine, but then when the second coat went on it started to crack - like the paint on old oil paintings, and over the next few days it got really bad.
So I left it for a few days to dry out, then put quite a thick third coat on, the same thing happened - not new cracks - just the same ones showing through. It looked like a muddy field when the baked by the sun.
So now, I sanded down the worst areas, not to the bare walls, just enough to take the tops of the cracks (its very tough stuff, I doubt I could get down the walls if I tried), and painted again with a one coat quality thick stuff paint. Guess what, the cracks started to come through again - its not that you can see their shape - they actually seem to pull the new coat apart and you can see the original colour. Its like painting on wax.
Apart from the first two coats, I am now only painting in little segments to see what works, so my walls look like a patchwork quilt.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to over come this. I dont really want to have to put a quarter of an inch of paint on it the get it sorted.
Thanks in advance. Liam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What brand of paint did you use, was the room previously painted with anything of higher sheen than flat, were the walls washed and sanded
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
L. Healy wrote:

No, you don't. In fact, that is what caused your problem. That and insufficient drying.
Reticulation - the cracking - occurs when you apply another coat of paint over a rather heavy coat that hasn't had time to completely dry. The first coat has skinned but continues to dry after the second is applied; as it dries it shrinks; that shrinking cracks the top coat.
There is a second possibility but it seems unlikely...if the new paint has a vehicle that will dissolve the old paint you may get alligatoring (checking). For example, if you applied lacquer over a painted surface the lacquer could cause the paint to check.
How to avoid? Paint should not be put on in thick layers and it should be allowed to dry well before coating again.
How to fix? First of all, you can continue adding coat after coat and it will do exactly nothing. You could fix it by...
1. Letting it dry *completely*, skim coating with drywall compound to fill the cracks, sanding the compound when totally dry (you may need to apply another coat), priming and repainting.
2. Make it a feature. Wipe on a colored glaze and wipe it off leaving the glaze in the cracks.
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.