Paint cracking and hanging from ceiling

Our bedroom ceiling paint is cracking in many places and the peels are hanging. It looks like shit. The color of the layer that seems to be the base layer is a kind of mauve. This layer predates our time in this very old (76 + years) house.
About five years ago we had the same thing happen -- it peeled to this mauve layer. I went to Home Depot and their paint guy advised us to coat the ceiling with an oil-based paint, not the normal enamel. He claimed that the oil would permanently bind all the numerous layers together and this kind of peeling would no longer happen.
Well, five years on, we have the peeling again, and again the mauve layer stays and does not peel. What's going on here? How can I ensure that the next repaint of this ceiling will last? is this an issue of poor paint choice, too many layers of paint, or insufficient cleaning of the painting surface? Is there truly something that can "bind" all the layers together, or is there probably too many layers now and too much weight to achieve this?
Suggestions, please!
thanks, Be
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BE wrote:

Maybe all of the above.
Well, too many layers sounds unlikely. You can pile on the paint forever and it should still stick if you've prepped right. Some areas of my house look like they've got about 15 coats of paint on them and they ain't coming off even if I want 'em to.

I'm no pro but what the HD guy told you sounds fishy to me.
So the deal is you paint, and over the years the paint layers *under* your new paint start peeling? If that's the case, it sounds like whoever painted the old paint either used bad paint or didn't prep well or both. Best option is to get that paint off of there, in that case. Might not be easy to get it all off, along with your new paint, and then sand and clean and get a smooth ceiling back.
Second-best option is to just replaster the ceiling and start over. You can do this yourself but it's really not that expensive to have it done professionally. They'll put a wire mesh over the ceiling that'll both hold and reinforce the new plaster and prevent anything under it from poking through later. Then you just leave all that old paint there and forget it even exists.
If you want to try and scrape all that old paint off there, use a heat gun to help you out, then spackle where needed afterwards and sand. Clean the whole ceiling thoroughly, prime and then paint. You should be ok after that. That's a lot of work, though, especially if you want it to look perfectly smooth.
Personally, I'd just replaster. (In fact, I just did in one room with similar problems.)
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To peel in large pieces usualy means moisture problems, what is above the room, the attic?
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remove loose paint- putty knife, scraper, wire brush. sand with vibrating sander. Roll on texture with fair amount of granules. paint.
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KILZ primer original formula sticks to even glass.
BE wrote:

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On 7/4/06 5:31 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@storefull-3134.bay.webtv.net, "m Ransley"

No moisture problems. Above the ceiling is another wood-floored room (the upstairs of our over/under duplex).
I had not thought about re-texturing the ceiling - I am leery about spending too much. We rent. We have no complaints about the landlord - he's fixed LOTS of problems. We don't mind spending a little to fix this up - he's been very good to us. Plus, right now the land under the house, a 50x157 lot, is worth about $600,000, so we don't want to push him toward selling and washing his hands of further troubles.
Be
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