How do I remove peeling latex paint from walls?


My daughter just bought her first home, the bathroom needs help. Someone painted over oil base with latex and with the moisture issues in this bathroom the "cranberry color" paint has big bubbles and peeling issues. Thinking of a wainscoting for the bottom 5 feet or so but not sure if the paint can be stripped off the upper part or if the walls need to be replaced (new drywall/green board)?

  7 answers
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Aug 01, 2019

    Hi! Honestly, it's going to take some time and effort, but, you can do it. First scrape all the loose paint off you can with a plastic scraper. Then, make a bucket of warm water with a squirt of dish detergent. Using a sponge, start scrubbing that wall. As the paint loosens, use that plastic scraper. Now, the wall may look worse than it did before. Don't despair. Using a small container (I like small yogurt containers) using Citristrip, apply a light coat in sections. I would recommend following the label directions, but, I admit I am impatient, and after painting on a second or third section, I watch for the paint on the first section to start lifting and go back to it, scraping the now loose paint off. If I get it all, I wipe the treated section with a damp, soapy sponge or cloth to remove the residue. Keep going and you will remove it all. Patch and sand any rough areas. You can paint over oil base paint if it has been sanded lightly and sealed. Hope that helps.

    • Cathy Cathy on Aug 01, 2019

      Thanks, very helpful, wasn't sure I could use a stripper on the wall.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Aug 01, 2019

    Cynthia has the answer. Sorry for your problem. I hate it when people do that.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 01, 2019

    I have only one thing to add to Cynthia, watch the stripper carefully to make sure that you don't let it begin to dry. It's a horrible mess if it does. Perhaps you can take photos and put up a project once completed to help others. Unfortunately, too many people make these mistakes.

  • Cathy Cathy on Aug 01, 2019

    good to know, I wonder if you can spritz with water if it starts to dry to quickly, or would that weaken the stripping agent too much

  • Cathy Cathy on Aug 02, 2019

    Got it! Have to work in small sections. Thanks again!

  • Betsy Betsy on Jul 24, 2021

    Hi Cathy: You can try using Citristrip. It's great for horizontal and vertical surfaces. It will take off all of the paint. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape the wrinkled paint off so as to not gouge the wallboard.

    Good luck

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jul 25, 2021

    Hi Cathy, sorry that's happening. Here's a great video that will give you tips and show you how to remove the peeling paint -