Asked on Mar 06, 2020

How can I repair fresh paint that is peeling without redoing it?

Lil darlin
by Lil darlin

So i just painted by bathroom wall. It was a purple and I painted over the purple with a gray which covered nicely. BUT if anything catches the wall or if i scratch at the wall it starts to peel. Im so not happy! I washed down the walls before I painted and the store recommended the gray paint to cover the purple and it would be a good paint for a bathroom. Pics are below of the before and after and both paints that were used in the bathroom. Am i really going to have to peel all the new paint off and sand the walls down or there something much easier I can do that will save me time and effort.Before painted this color about 3 years ago

  13 answers
  • Gk Gk on Mar 06, 2020

    I think part of the problem is that you didn't use a primer over your old enamel paint. Prepping first with a straight up primer NOT a paint with a primer in it may have alleviated this problem. Hopefully you didn't use the tub/shower in this room shortly after you painted. Moisture/humidity in the bathroom doesn't help. Paint may feel dry to the touch but it does have to cure for a few days to reach it's final hardness. I think I would lightly sand off this area so it's smooth and repaint that area. Don't keep peeling or you will have to sand everything! I don't know how helpful I am being. Perhaps another Hometalker can add more.

    • Lil darlin Lil darlin on Mar 06, 2020

      No I just painted this a few days ago but I haven’t done anything in the bathroom because I’ve been remodeling it and this is just a spare bathroom so the shower hardly gets used.

  • Washing the walls just isn't enough. What did you use to wash? I ONLY use TSP before painting walls. Then let dry thoroughly, a portable fan helps speed the process up a bit. Then use a prime coat or two, THEN your desired wall color. Your end result is only as good as your prep work. And exactly why I do not care for "all in one" paint formulas. The paint needs something to "grab onto" which is why a proper prime coat is recommended.

    In your case, the walls may not have been squeaky clean, or the walls were not thoroughly dry and the lack of a prime coat leave the possibility of bubbling, scratching, peeling.

    So so sorry this happened to you, and now you know better. See if these help you.

  • on Mar 06, 2020

    this can happen if you use oil paint over latex. Could this be it?

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Mar 06, 2020

    LIl: Uh oh... did you try to paint over oil paint with a latex? needs a "buffer/binder" of a good primer to do that.

  • It could be several reasons but yes, you'll need to peel and remove all the paint you just applied unfortunately. Apply a primer, probably more than one coat, then you can repaint. Make sure the primer is a separate primer from the paint you're using, not a 2-in-1.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 06, 2020

    I would recommend cleaning the walls and letting them dry. Then prime with Zinsser Bullseye. Then paint.

  • Oh no! That is super frustrating indeed! If you have the ability, I'd give it some time. Paint does need at least 30 days, depending on humidity, to cure. There is a chance your fresh grey paint is just still too fresh and needs to cure. If it were me, I'd wait at least a month and see how it is after that. If your home is super humid, it may take even longer. If on the outside chance you painted latex over oil base paint, then curing isn't the answer... but I'm thinking you probably wouldn't have used oil paint in there when you did it 3 years ago.

    • Lil darlin Lil darlin on Mar 06, 2020

      That’s what I was thinking maybe the paint isn’t fully dry but I don’t think I have the luck on this one. I think I’m going to have to peel all the paint off and use so elbow grease to sand the wall for prepping. Ugh no fun!

  • Linda Linda on Mar 06, 2020

    There are so many possibilities as to why this is happening. Here is a post that might help.

  • William William on Mar 07, 2020

    Should have primed the walls with a primer. I always use Kilz. Then paint. The all in one paints don't really have primer in them just more paint solids.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Mar 07, 2020

    It looks like the purple was a glossy paint, so that's why the grey paint is just peeling off. It seems like the grey might have to come off so you can add primer. Such a bummer that this happened. I've done projects like this at home and going backwards in a project usually takes twice as long.

  • Janice Janice on Mar 08, 2020

    There's been much information offered on your frustrating problem. I would take the picture you posted to the store where you purchased the paint and ask for their advice too! They may give you a break on your next purchase....which likely will be primer! I, used the paint with primer included just as you did on a vanity with drawers and though the paint covered very nicely using two coats, it never has dried to a real hard surface and my drawers continue to stick if I don't use them often. Most frustrating because of the high price of the paint/primercombo I was encouraged to buy to save time!  Lesson learned.

    • Lil darlin Lil darlin on Mar 09, 2020

      Yea the vanity i am putting in this bathroom i painted as well. I didnt sand it down and painted one coat on it. Sure enough it scratched just like the wall so i had to sand it down. Luckly it was much of a pain like these bathroom walls. Seems I have to always learn the hard way but o well i will know for to use primer on my other bath when its time to update that one.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 13, 2020


    If the paint is a vinyl paint that might be the problem! Should really only use a flat emulsion in the bathroom. Go back to the store with the paint pot and bill and ask them to explain why this has happened and what they suggest you should do to resolve it! Best wishes..............