Prepping a wall with a bad paint job

I'm about to start painting a room in my house as a sort of test to see how it will go and I'm concerned about the previous owner's attempt at painting.
The walls are all drywall, there is a very thin layer of cheap white latex on the surface covering the original paint job that was tossed up there in the 60's. My concern is that the latex is very thin, doesn't seem to be adhering well, and in some places rubs off in big boils when a wet cloth is applied.
Am I looking at sanding/removing the white paint on the entire wall before painting it, then applying a primer, then the paint itself?
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Sounds like cheap latex with bad prep over an oil based paint. I would be inclined to get a garden sprayer, get it wet and scrape it off with a 4" drywall knife. Hint: some parsons sudsy ammonia per label directions mixed with water will greatly shorten the process. Try a test patch by getting it wet with Windex to see how easy it will come off.
Then to paint it properly you need to get it clean, use the proper primer and then you can topcoat with a quality latex paint if you like.
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Colbyt
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I was afraid you'd say that. I first noticed the crappy paint job when I wiped my towel against the wall in the bathroom, the slightly damp wall dropped a 5" spot of white paint, revealing the appalling pink paint underneath. Would one of those green scrubbing pads attached to a sander do the same thing as a scraper?
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A green scrubbing pad would probably clog up real fast. You may try a black scrubbing pad, the type with an attached handle, they are coarser and much more open weave. I have used one to remove wallpaper paste after stripping the paper off the wall. You will still need a pail of water to rinse it out every couple of minutes. The pad would also smooth out any bumps and hardened paint soaked lint from the first bad paint job, and help prep the wall for your final painting.

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You can try a "greenie" if you like. I tend to agree with EXT that will foul fast. Not sure I would use the sander. I really don't think you are going to have much trouble with the removal when it is wet with an ammonia based solution. It should come off as easy as removing warm butter from a plate.
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Eigenvector wrote:

Like a lot of other things in your house, you can put as much or as little work into this as you want. You have to decide where the point is when you start getting diminishing returns for an unreasonable amount of work.
You *coould* go to all the trouble of completely cleaning the old paint off the wall. Me? I wouldn't bother.
Scrape off what's ready to come off, sand the wall and prime. That's my preferred technique, and I don't think I've ever actually had to repaint a room - my paint jobs seem to last as long as any other.
Maybe you're one of those people that goes nuts if you've got one little bump or chink in your wall. But you've got a house that's at least 40 years old - your walls are really never gonna be like new again unless you replace the drywall. In an older house, there's a certain level of imperfection that I think you just have to learn to live with. My method won't leave you with perfectly smooth walls; there will be a bit of a texture to them, though you'll only see or feel it up close.
I just think that if you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to keep everything in your house like new, you will never have any time left to enjoy your house. But it's up to you if you want to go that far.
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Eigenvector wrote:

Is it possible that the stuff coming off is only primer? Hard to guess. I would be inclined to wash the walls with household cleaner/water, rinse, dry very well. If the paint comes off very easy, then scrub it off; if not, leave it on. Patch and feather edges where paint has come off, sand, vacuum, prime, paint. If it looks crappy after the first coat of primer, sand it lightly with fine sand paper, prime again and paint. Tough scrubbers are likely to tear into the paper layer on the drywall, and that is tough to fix. You're sure it isn't the paper that rubs off?
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On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 13:30:36 -0700, "Eigenvector"

You might try priming it with Gardz. I use it in my line of work & have found it to be excellent for penetrating & bonding unsound surfaces such as this.
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