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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good people of paint talk! Heya how are yous?! I’ve been lurking a longish time, not much for posting but I’ve come across something the other day requiring some inquisition. Figured it would be a good time to pop up and engage. I’ve gotten a ton of useful knowledge outta here. Been painting around about 10 years all with the same company and just started off on my own about a year and a half ago. I learned a lot over my time at my old gig but only through higher end interiors which never really presented the same kind of issues I’ve been getting. Reckon that’s a just a different tax bracket type of thing lol. Any how, I went out to look at a job the other day and I wanted get a idea if I’m on track with what is needed here...
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Looks like oil??? I’m not sure wth is going on here but my approach would be to knock down all of the failing paint, bin spray or killz any of the mold or water staining, patch up as needed, loxon primer, whack it with new ceiling. What do y’all think?
 

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First off, I'd tell the customer that unless they get a fan/vent installed in there it's just going to happen again. From the looks of things they need a good one. I have no idea how people let things get this far without thinking that something is wrong and doing something about it.

Your approach seems reasonable. I hate skimming stuff like that. Chunks just keep falling off as you go and getting into your mud.

Tell the damn kids to limit their time in the shower!
 

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The paint is fracturing like an oil base would. All it takes is one fracture to begin the "under-cutting" process.

As far as cause, it could be a number of things. For example: Improper ventilation, insulation issues, improper paint, improper mud and coating application, etc.

The easiest remedy would be to scrape all of the loose paint, lightly abrade the surface, remove dust and debris, apply a water borne primer (followed with skim coat and primer), and top coat with a waterborne finish. The only time you would need a shellac, or oil base primer is if water stains appeared.

Note: If upon scraping, the drywall paper surface is damaged to a significant level, I would recommend GARDZ as a full coat treatment.
 

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The only time you would need a shellac, or oil base primer is if water stains appeared.
interesting, i thought a coat with a strong primer would help "seal" the ugliness but i guess youre not really blocking anything is that correct
 

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interesting, i thought a coat with a strong primer would help "seal" the ugliness but i guess youre not really blocking anything is that correct
"strong primer" isn't a thing. There are stain blocking primers, bonding primers, etc... Some primers do a lot of things, some are merely to help seal fresh drywall.

Water-based stain blocking primers are always worth a shot, to avoid chemicals, but they aren't as good at blocking stains as oil or shellac.
 

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"strong primer" isn't a thing. There are stain blocking primers, bonding primers, etc... Some primers do a lot of things, some are merely to help seal fresh drywall.

Water-based stain blocking primers are always worth a shot, to avoid chemicals, but they aren't as good at blocking stains as oil or shellac.
i know, just lazy wording. ill be more clear next time
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The paint is fracturing like an oil base would. All it takes is one fracture to begin the "under-cutting" process.
Yeah, absolutely. Wouldn’t something only turn into the ol’ alligator scale if it was top coated with oil?? Is it even commonplace to paint a bathroom ceiling with straight up oil paint?? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Then again, I do not consider myself a veteran painter with that bundle of knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"strong primer" isn't a thing. There are stain blocking primers, bonding primers, etc... Some primers do a lot of things, some are merely to help seal fresh drywall.
Idk. I reckon there is truth in the saying that your paint job is only as good as your primer. Gotta mean something, no? There are some gnarly strong primers out there at least far better than others.
 

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Yeah, absolutely. Wouldn’t something only turn into the ol’ alligator scale if it was top coated with oil?? Is it even commonplace to paint a bathroom ceiling with straight up oil paint?? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Then again, I do not consider myself a veteran painter with that bundle of knowledge.
Depends on the age of the place for the most part. There was a point where you didn't have a choice. You could test for oil, if you can find a spot that's stable enough. If it is oil, I'd hit it with STIX or some bonding primer after the scraping/sanding/dusting, etc. If you get stain bleed, spot it with oil or shellac. Mud/sand until it looks good then hit it with a water base primer and top coat.

First of all, personally I'd tell them I wouldn't even start things until they got a vent fan installed and I wouldn't budge on this issue. If they've owned the place for a while, they're procrastinators and will wait until it starts failing again. Then, you're back at square one. If there's one there, hold a single piece of toilet paper up to it. If it sticks to the fan cover it's moving air and doing it's job. If not, there's a problem with it.
 

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As others have already posted good solutions, won't chime in on that count.

As for ventilation, not only a good fan, (Them; "But we have a window!" Me; "Uh, Yeah, that's not adequate - especially if you forget to open it."), but also have them strongly consider installing one of the digital timer switches for it. That way they will actually be inclined to turn it on for an adequate amount of time without the risk of forgetting about it and having it run all day.
 
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The timers are a great idea. That way hopefully people won't just walk out of the bathroom after a half hour long shower and shut off the fan and light at the same time. Also beneficial for those moments when the 'air quality' in the bathroom is significantly compromised and it might need to run for a smidge longer than a dash until it is once again breathable.
 

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One thing that absolutely drives me crazy is when people wire the fan so that it comes on when the light comes on. I'm sure that people do it so their kids won't not turn the fan on when they're having a shower or 'otherwise', but nothing sucks more than spending a good part of a day painting a bathroom with that thing blaring away in the back ground.
 

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The timers are a great idea. That way hopefully people won't just walk out of the bathroom after a half hour long shower and shut off the fan and light at the same time. Also beneficial for those moments when the 'air quality' in the bathroom is significantly compromised and it might need to run for a smidge longer than a dash until it is once again breathable.
When he was still at home our son primarily used the downstairs bathroom. He was great about turning on the fan but then we'd come home in the afternoon and find it still running. Installed the digital timers (takes the place of a rectangular switch - and if you are electrically inclined enough to swap out a light switch then you can put in one of these) and have used them in all our bathrooms ever since.

I never stopped beating the drum about how great they were for every customer I did painting for in a bathroom. Especially if they were having excessive moisture issues.
 

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IDK if it's feasible given the space, in your skill set or in the client's budget, but when I see stuff that bad I send pics to the boss man and say if they want this to look really nice, it ought to get 1/4" sheetrock overtop. Just start fresh. If that was going to happen I would still give it a quick scrape-down for the loose stuff and de-mold/mildew it before sheetrock.
 

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Idk. I reckon there is truth in the saying that your paint job is only as good as your primer. Gotta mean something, no? There are some gnarly strong primers out there at least far better than others.
I agree. Compare Fresh Start 046 to Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 and I guarantee that Fresh Start 046 is "stronger" in every way, if it's coverage, adhesion, stain blocking, etc. There's still a time and place for 1-2-3 sometimes based on budget, what you're doing (bare drywall or a skim coat in a dry area) but 046 Fresh Start would be way stronger.

For what it's worth, even MPI basically agrees.

MPI # 17 Interior bonding WB primers.
MPI # 50 Interior normal WB primers.
MPI # 137 Interior stain blocking WB primers.

Might be some disagreement on the lists from people here, but even MPI basically says that some primers are "stronger" than others, but some primers do all 3 lists no problem.
 

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MPI did include Zinsser 123 on their list of recommended waterbase primers.

The reason I recommend Zinsser 123, is that for an all purpose waterborne interior/exterior bonding primer, it is more readily available than any of the others because just about every hardware and paint store in the country carries it. It's certainly not the premium of primers, but it is a worthy mule non the less.
 
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