Paint won't stick to Artex type ceiling

Hi,
    Having recently bought and moved into a Victorian terrace I've been feeling pretty pleased with myself for not having any DIY disasters in the first few months.... but hey it couldn't last.
    I was just doing a bit of painting. The living room ceiling, which has bobbly artex type stuff was painted.. standard Dulux Vinyl Matt Emulsion - White...no problems. I then proceeded to do the back room, which has the same bobbly artex type stuff. The paint dried and immediately started to crack badly and peel in areas where I may have "overapplied" (in hindsight) paint. I brushed some of it down, and took the following pictures (apologies for the low quality digicam).
http://www.altcountrytab.com/images/Set35_01.jpg
http://www.altcountrytab.com/images/Set35_02.jpg
    There doesn't appear to be any damp... its dry as a bone. The only thing I can think of is, and this is a shot in the dark, is that the room has an open fire and I suspect the previous owner may have "wood burned" on the fire, I wonder if that may have created a layer of layer of filth in areas than should have been cleaned before I tried to paint over.
    I'd appreciate opinions on what has happened, and what I can do to rectify the situation... I can't just paint over the top.
    Oh and I don't particularly like the artex type stuff, but I'm not sure if it will come off easily.
    Thanks in advance...
Warren
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On Mon, 08 Sep 2003 16:24:39 +0100, Warren Owen

Is the ceiling quite powdery under the peeling paint? I had a similar problem and used a masonry sealer before repainting - worked a treat
Alan
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On Mon, 08 Sep 2003 21:28:13 +0100, Alan McGowan

Yes, brushing off the cracked paint did produce a lot of powder. Did you apply the sealer on top of the existing good bits of the painted surface or did you completely strip the ceiling. The thing is that it is only affecting 20% of the ceiling and I don't want to strip the whole thing if I can avoid it.... (OK, I know perhaps I should)
I'm thinking of stripping the affected areas, sanding a little to ensure smoothish progression from stripped areas to OK areas, and then reapplying paint by brush lightly.
Alternatively I was thining of stripping the Artex, but if it is up there to smooth over a messy ceiling then I might regret it.
Masonry sealer sounds a bit dramatic (it isn't masonry after all), but in the absence of other suggestions I may give it a go. Or would plaster sealant be better... as in... http://www.diy.com/bq/product/product.jhtml?PRODID &929&CATID3730
Thanks for the response, it gives me an option, and makes me feel better in that something similar has happened to others.
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wrote:

If you are using a vinyl paint dilute it 10-20% with water and paint it on freely - that will act as a sealer. Then when dry overpaint it with neat fresh paint.
You did wash the ceiling first, didn't you? Paint doesn't like to stick to grease, and ceilings can get VERY greasey.
--
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On Tue, 9 Sep 2003 21:01:02 +0100, "harrogate"

Thanks, I will try the dilute Vinyl Matt Emulsion first, seems like a low risk option as an initial effort.
And no, I didn't wash the ceiling... hindsight is a wonderful thing. But as the living room was fine I stupidly assumed the diing room would be similar... I now realise that the presence of the open fire probably should have come into my thinking - but hey I won't be so stupid again.
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Warren Owen Wrote:

I had a very similar experience with a new house. I found that using sealant on each and every ceiling in the house I never has the crackin and flaking. The sealant I used was Dulux and was quite expensive bu did the trick. Having recently moved I am now back to square 1!!!!! will definately try diluted emulsion as the sealant is horrible to use.
--
muppet17


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muppet17 wrote:

diluted pva
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Steve Walker wrote:

I'd use a diluted PVA as well but also sugar soap it first if there is any grease.
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Not as well. If the ceiling is greasy or the previous tennant used oil paint on the ceiling, dilute emulsion is going to make things worse.
I'd consider removing the whole lot with a steamer and scraper. Dust mask time though, so leave it for the cooler weather.
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Michael Mcneil wrote:

I didn't mention diluted emulsion.
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