Just bought a foreclosure house, and came to learn that Fannie Mae
hired some drunken chimpanzees to repaint the house before they put it
on the market (my apologies to drunken chimps for insulting them),
gave them some paint and rollers from the dollar store and said "have
Besides the fact that there were all sorts of runs and drips, and
paint on the stained window trim and stair bannisters, AND the fact
they painted everything the same flat white, I've noticed a problem in
the lower level bathroom (this is a bi-level).
The paint over the tub has started to slough in two spots near the
ceiling, and there is a stain on the ceiling directly over where one
would stand in the shower that looks like a water stain from upstairs
but there's no water or sewage line in the ceiling at that point.
I suspect they painted flat over semi-gloss, which is why the paint is
sloughing. I am planning on re-painting this bathroom with designated
bathroom paint - am I going to run into problems? Will my new, good
paint end up sloughing because of the crappy flat paint underneath?
Any thoughts as to what I should do about what looks like an old water
stain on the ceiling, to ensure that won't show through the new paint?
Flat/Semi-gloss has little to do with your problem. Your new paint will
stick to the existing paint. The problem is the existing paint is not
sticking to whatever's below it (possibly a damp surface or mold or mildew).
I'm sure others can advise an alternative solution to stripping off all the
old paint and properly preparing the surface.
For stains and the like, to keep them from bleeding through your new paint,
you should first cover the area with a sealer like Kilz.
Good luck on your rehab.
They didnt hire drunken chimps, they only paid a drunken chumps wages,
so what did you expect. And it could be a mess with soap residue,
gloss paint and the cheapest paint used by the chimp. Wait till you
get to the roofing and plumbing.
By sloughing, I'm assuming that you mean peeling.
They used flat paint because it hides imperfections better than shiny
paint. Little cracks and bumps show up better with shinier paint.
Use fine sandpaper on the runs.
Denatured alcohol (that's ethyl alcohol, not isopropyl) *might* remove
the overspray of flat paint from glossy trim paint. If not, try
For the peeling spots:
They obviously didn't prep properly (or at all).
* Use a scraper to get off the big stuff.
* Use coarse sandpaper to get rid of as much of the flat paint as
possible. A Random Orbital Sander (ROS) will save your arm. Hook it to
a shop vacuum to minimize the dust.
* Follow up with fine sandpaper to get rid of the sanding marks and
smooth out the edges where one type of paint blends into another.
* Go to a good paint store, not one of the big box places, and tell
them what you're facing. They'll sell you the right kind of paint. Buy
the middle grade.
* Put on a coat of primer. Primer is good at sticking to stuff.
* Put on a coat, or two, of paint.
I recommend shiny paint for baths and kitchens. Flat paint is hard to
clean, dust sticks to it, and it rubs off easier when you wash it. I
always tell my clients to use the shiniest paint that they can stand.
Thanks for the post Steve, I will have to do this myself in a year or
two. Same setup as the OP; POs of house repainted before selling, but
were a little sloppy on the prep work, they painted over some old
paint where the top layer wasn't in good condition, and it's already
starting to peel a little in the hallway outside the bathroom. Just
one question, when you say "coarse" sandpaper, what grit would you
recommend? I'm more of a car guy, so when you say "coarse" I think
something like 240 grit which I assume won't get it on checked/peeling
paint. But what should I use? 120? 80? coarser? In my case this is
over real plaster, not drywall. Will I need to skim coat with
anything before the Kilz?
I use whatever I have in my sandpaper box, but I like 80 grit to start
with. Don't press too hard, and you'll avoid the worst sanding marks.
Every case is a little different. Some paint is harder than others. The
really soft stuff just clogs the sandpaper immediately. Good luck if
you have that.
If the original is in _horrible_ shape, you can try stripper, but it's
a big mess.
The thing I didn't address before is damage to the wallboard. If water
got into the gypsum, which can happen in bathrooms, the wallboard needs
to be replaced. Check that by pressing gently but firmly on the
wallboard with the heel of your hand midway between studs. If it gives
more than the wall in your bedroom, replace the wallboard. It will only
be a matter of time until it sags, then falls.
The only things I'd add to Steve's reply (down thread) is to look at
these primers when you get to that point in the process.
You should still do the scraping/sanding/washing to get the best surface
you can before you prime.
Make sure there is a good working exhaust fan and that it is properly
vented to the outdoors. Lack of proper ventilation could explain the
apparent water stain you mention.
Make sure there is absolutely no leaks, no drips and no condensation
from above. Sometimes water will travel a distance horizonatally
before falling vertically. Is there condensation after a shower? It
is easy to suspect lack of paint preparation, but in this case you
need to keep an open mind. You may want to pre-prime the discolored
areas with a coat of shellac-based primer. If all is fine, then spend
time in the prep work and apply a good brand of primer and semi-gloss
(or gloss) kitchen/bath paint. The kitchen/bath paint will last much
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