Asked on Sep 04, 2016

Newly painted ceiling is cracking, peeling and falling off

by Dee

Popcorn ceiling was professionally removed from our entire home, refinished and painted. The second story ceiling in the hallway is cracking and falling off. It was redone but it happened a second time. Every other room is beautiful. Any thoughts as to why this happened?

  28 answers
    • Dee Dee on Sep 06, 2016
      Thank You William. I read the article and it reiterates things that my husband and I had thought about, too.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 06, 2016
    That looks like damage from moisture.
    • Dee Dee on Sep 06, 2016
      Thank you, Janet. That is something that crossed our minds.
  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Sep 06, 2016
    I agree with Janet. Paint will often peel if there is dampness underneath. Have you poked around the attic in that area to see if there are dark spots(mold?) or obvious leaks? When was the roof replaced? Any pipes running through the ceiling:? Check a/c ducts if in that area. Next time it rains make it a point to be up there to look for leaks from roof. Where ever it comes in the water will run down rafters and drip from any place it slows down long enough to collect.
  • Dee Dee on Sep 06, 2016
    Thanks, Deanna. We have done a little poking around, and so has our painter. He is baffled, as well. We found no wet spots in the attic, or mold, and no leaks. There are no pipes or ac ducts running in that area either. We will keep looking until we find what is causing the cracking and peeling. Moisture must be coming from somewhere.
    • See 1 previous
    • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Sep 07, 2016
      One other thought..Is the attic ventilated? Maybe high heat build-up in attic is causing expansion in ceiling and then it cools at night. Not sure why, just something I feel.
  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Sep 07, 2016
    There could be a substance on the surface that is causing the paint to peel. Example: when you try to paint latex over oil based paint. Have you tried priming with a good grade oil based primer and then repaint. The oil based primer will seal out anything that may be in or on the Sheetrock. Just a thought...
    • Hunter Hampton Hunter Hampton on Sep 07, 2016
      I paint latex over oil based primer all the time. What you should't do is paint oil over latex.
  • Bobbi Young Bobbi Young on Sep 07, 2016
    this happened to us once when we painted over dry wall that was not completely dry! What a mess==scraping walls indoors??? I am a fan of bullseye primer--then repaint. Good luck!
  • Don Don on Sep 07, 2016
    I am a plasterer with 20 years experience and from my experience this looks very much like the new ceiling was not cleaned or dusted off after drywall was sanded. Also if your new ceiling was not sealed or undercoated then this is what happens.
    • Leslie cunningham Leslie cunningham on Sep 07, 2016
      Having had experience with many ceilings I would agree with the above especially the not sealed part seal with an oil based primer/sealer
  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Sep 07, 2016
    As a retired builder "always tired" I agree with don, maybe, as you sat the other rooms are fine, then there is something on the drywall that you can't see. have the painter clean all the cracks off and several inches out from them, then sand lightly then paint with kills, I would put on two coats of kills then paint that should take care of your problem if the is no leaks as you say.
  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Sep 07, 2016
    A good quality oil based paint would help.You will have to scrape,sand,and clean any loose paint.There are oil based paints with the primer already in them.I would do two coats!
    • See 2 previous
    • Kathy Bauer Kathy Bauer on Sep 08, 2016
      Latex paint a "cheap solution"? If you buy cheap paint! A good latex primer with a good topcoat will not peel, unless you have other problems.
  • Leisa Yeager Leisa Yeager on Sep 07, 2016
    You have to use oil base paint, the ceiling is oil base latex will continue to peel no matter how many time you repaint.
  • Jeff Jeff on Sep 07, 2016
    All valid points...however I don't know what type of paint was used...Latex? Oil based? When I did this type of work (bad job by the way-NOBODY wants to mist/scrape/sand/dust/kilz popcorn ceilings)I always primed, no matter what. At this point, since it is a hallway I might consider hanging 3/8" drywall over old. Yes you will need to finish angles (the corners) and paint the walls too, but at least I would feel confident in my repair. Be sure and scrape loose areas and prime existing ceiling before covering with new drywall in case those stains, whatever they are, attempted to soak through. You did check for leaks above the ceiling, right?
  • Trudy Trudy on Sep 07, 2016
    I was wondering about a leak too...
  • Kari Roberts Kari Roberts on Sep 07, 2016
    If it was a leak you would see gold or brown discoloration. I would follow the drywall guys suggestions.
  • Pamela Robb Huss Pamela Robb Huss on Sep 07, 2016
    Check attic for water leakage
  • Cmo11437223 Cmo11437223 on Sep 07, 2016
    too much give and take. use a flexible paint/ ( paint both the attic side and a very thin coat on the side facing you. of course you are going to do it after you clean and scrape that garbage paint from the ceiling
  • Pcf Pcf on Sep 07, 2016
    Is there a bathroom with a shower close by? Does it have a shower? Possible that steam from the shower is causing the problem. Check the exhaust fan and all the associated ducting.
  • JoLeen Bolton JoLeen Bolton on Sep 07, 2016
    Was primer used? Oil based or latex? And is the paint oil based or latex? There are some combinations that will cause what you have. It looks more like that kind of problem than water to me.
  • JoLeen Bolton JoLeen Bolton on Sep 07, 2016
    I just noticed more replies and see that I've repeated some of them....sorry!
  • Connie Connie on Sep 07, 2016
    If it's not a leak causing it u might check out the styro wall/ceiling tiles. Very attractive easy to put up and paintable.
  • Carolyn Ball-Hanson Carolyn Ball-Hanson on Sep 08, 2016
    If this is an older home it might have been painted with something called Calcimite (sp?).Paint just peels off of it. We have that problem in 1 room of our home and have pretty much decided that a layer of thin plywood or wall board it the only solution.
    • See 2 previous
    • Chris Donnachie Chris Donnachie on Oct 30, 2019

      what is this mince u speak of? are painters clairvoyant?

  • Ali Ali on Sep 08, 2016
    If they didn't vacuum the surface before priming and then painting this could happen. You should contact them. In order to fix it, it had to be scraped again, spackled, sanded, vacuumed, primef and painted again. Good luck!
  • It almost looks like it might be from condensation. Considering where you live, the humidity may be a factor in "wetting" the ceiling. I would either get a dehumidifier for your home - or just put up some styrofoam or metal ceiling panels. They would dress it up without the issue of peeling paint. Good luck.
  • 1268409614 1268409614 on Sep 09, 2016
    There could be moisture in the ceiling, they have a primer for that. You'll have to buy a sponge sanding pad. But first find the leak that is causing the moisture in your ceiling & deal with that first.
  • Che7772414 Che7772414 on Sep 09, 2016
    Maybe they painted latex over oil.
    • Che7772414 Che7772414 on Sep 09, 2016
      If this is the case. Sand, seal with a primer for this purpose and repaint. Good luck.
  • Lucy Lucy on Sep 10, 2016
    My kitchen was painted professional and did the same thing. I live in Chicago and it was during the summer. The humidity was over 60% during the painting. The painter had to return and used a different paint.
  • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Sep 13, 2016
    You said this was the 2nd story, does that mean the attic is above the ceiling? Have you check the attic for leaks or condensation maybe from the A/C cooling unit? Have you called the painters to come out and evaluate the problem?
  • Ricky Ricky on Jan 24, 2024

    How crazy. I am literally sorting this problem for a friend tomorrow as he tried to get a worker of his to sort it but it came bk like this. And yes it was a fix from a water leak. Which I'm guessing the ceiling wasn't quite dried through. And that is why it has peeled. If u come across this problem. I would suggest u PVA the whole ceiling etc. And go from them. And then paint over it. That way its definitely sealed

  • The two most frequent causes are incorrect painting methods and too much dampness. You will need to start by removing all of the peeling paint, regardless of what is causing it to peel. After that, you'll need to prime, fill, and plaster the surface before painting it again and sanding it smooth.