Painting bathroom?


Hi again,
this weekend's project was to mount a new shower curtain rod in the bathroom. The girlie insisted on a curved one because she likes 'em... eh, whatever. So I had to patch the holes from the old one. Got that done, but while doing so I noticed that there was a soft spot in the wall just above the tile in the shower area. This is a house built in the late 40s and has the typical walls tiled halfway up around the room, going up higher in the shower area. After fixing everything up and spot painting, I started paying attention in the shower and noticed a couple of things:
1) The PO painted the bathroom with some environmentally friendly crap paint that frankly doesn't work. I'm noticing alligatoring and peeling on the ceiling already, and it's only been maybe 6 mos. since it was painted (not long before we moved in.)
2) There's evidence of repairs in the plaster above the tile in the shower stall. I had no idea how recent it was, but when showering this AM I noticed that simply by standing under the shower and letting the water hit my back, water was hitting the wall above the tile. Doesn't appear to be anything I can do about this.
So... it looks like at least a repaint is in order in the near future. I am guessing to get a proper job I need to sand all the plaster surfaces at least 1-2 coats of paint back to get a smooth surface that new paint can grip to.
questions:
1) what do I use to sand? Regular garnet paper, or would a drywall sanding screen actually work better for sanding paint?
2) Is there any specific product that would be good for leveling out problem areas? Is there such a thing as a spackle or patching plaster that is more water resistant than normal?
3) Could really use some recommendations for primer and paint, as to what would be the MOST water resistant. I realize that the "right fix" would be to add another course or two of tile in the shower area, but I don't see that happening this year. I'm thinking Zinsser primer followed by a good coat of high quality paint, but I don't know what paint to use or if there is a better primer product.
4) I'd like to add an exhaust fan as well. It would have to be a through the wall type due to the unique configuration of my house, unless I find that the actual wall of the house extends above the level of the ceiling enough to install a vent up there. I kind of doubt this is the case, so... any gotchas on a through-wall fan? Recommendations for any specific brand/model? Currently I am just using a fan in the window, but it is a PITA to open the window and set it in every time I want to take a shower.
thanks for any advice...
nate
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Regular sandpaper. The sreen won't do anything worth while.

How about some other material, such as a sheet of Formica or melamine? No paint is truly that waterproof if yo are splashing during a shower. That is just asking for more problems. Heck, even hanging a heet of oly would be a benefit.
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oly? sorry, I'm not following you here. I never thought of melamine though, that might work. I'll have to see about getting it past the design dept.
Would it be a problem to paint over the melamine after installation? i'm kind of running with your idea here... i'm thinking the thinnest sheet I can find, simply glued to the wall with construction adhesive. then caulk around all edges. SWMBO will probably want a uniform color/gloss throughout the bathroom so she'd want to paint over it, if I did a neat job then the only way to tell would be two small vertical steps in the wall above where the tile jogs down.
nate
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N8N wrote:

Most likely due to poor surface prep. Perhaps that oily shower cleaner was sprayed indiscriminately then painted over. Or perhaps a previous paint job used oil based paint, then the oil based was covered with water base with no primer.

Don't sand! Anything built in the 40's likely has lead based paint. If you sand lead based paint, you are releasing lead dust that you and your family will inhale. Lead poisoning is no joke for adults, it is even worse for children and pregnant women.
I suggest you read the following linked pages carefully and completely.
http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadpdfe.pdf
http://www.nsc.org/library/facts/lead.htm
Cheapest would be to scrape the loose paint, then encapsulate what is left with a few coats of primer. Spackle (use the water resistant kind) the rough spots as needed. Then sand lightly, taking great care not to go below your primer coats.
Or, you could rip out the plaster, and replace with new green board.
To be sure about the old paint, get a lead test kit. Perhaps you will luck out and there won't be any lead.
--
Tony Sivori


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