How to Fix Peeling Paint on the Bathroom Wall & Ceiling

Painted walls and ceilings in bathrooms have a tendency to peel over time. This is due to the high levels of humidity often present in bathrooms. Moisture causes the paint to loosen from the wall surface. This causes the paint to flake and peel after drying. Address the issue by determining and eliminating the cause, removing the old paint and replacing it with a fresh layer.

  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Primer
  • Enamel or oil-based interior paint
Determine and correct the cause of peeling bathroom paint. Peeling paint near the sink and bathtub is often an indication of splashed water, rather than excess humidity. Splash guards are available at many home improvement centers. Check for bubbling, peeling paint on the ceiling. This usually signals a problem with ventilation. Steam clings to the highest point when it cannot escape. Install a bathroom fan if you don't already have one. Check for blocked filters on existing fans. Make it a point to open the bathroom window after showering to encourage good air flow.

Remove the old, peeling paint. Sand any loose edges of lifting paint. Look for bubbles that have not yet started to peel, and sand these down to the underlying surface. Look for areas of mold. These areas often signify the beginning of paint problems. Clean your freshly sanded walls with a clean, dry cloth. Buff away all dust particles from walls and ceilings.

Apply a good-quality primer to the bathroom walls and ceilings. Cover the entire surface of the walls and ceilings before painting. Do not prime or paint your bathroom within 24 hours of bathing. Make sure your surfaces are completely dry before painting. Use a good paintbrush or a roller to apply the primer.

Allow adequate drying time after applying your primer. Consult the directions on the primer package. Keep the bathroom warm and dry during curing time. Apply a good-quality interior paint to your primed walls. Select a paint formulated for humid interior environments. Enamel and oil-based paints are usually good choices in bathrooms. Apply the paint according the directions, allowing sufficient time to dry between coats. Allow paint to thoroughly dry before using hot water in your bathroom.

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