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Peeling paint from ceiling

New Contributor

Peeling paint from ceiling

Hello all, have this paint peeling off  from the hall way/living area ceiling. The house is from the 70s and the bedrooms' ceilings are just fine. There is no sagging or wetness anywhere.  Have mixed opinions from tradies who we consulted. Some said, just strip back the paint and do an undercoat primer and then paint again. Another advice was to remove the whole ceiling and put new Gyprock that also involves new cornice replacement. Looking  for your valuable advices on these if you had come across a similar situation. Thank you!unnamed (1).jpg

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Peeling paint from ceiling

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @JoshKing. It's fantastic to have you join us and many thanks for your question.


It appears that there is significant delamination of the products applied to your plaster ceiling. This could be due to age, moisture or inferior/incompatible coatings being applied. On this scale, it would indicate to me that the entire ceiling would need to be prepped and not just the individual areas peeling. I would suggest investing in some quality scrapers like the Uni-pro 50mm Precision Tungsten Carbide Scraper and Uni-pro 75mm Angled Heavy-duty Paint Scraper to remove any loose material. 


In an ideal circumstance that entire coating which is peeling away should be removed from the whole ceiling. The amount of paint that has peeled now is just an indication that more of the ceiling coating is destined to come away. You'll need to start scraping away the loose material and then extensively chase the degraded paint across the ceiling until you hit a solid area. My guess is that you won't find too many areas where the paint is still binding well to the plaster.


After the degraded paint layers have been removed you'll need to sand and patch any damage before a good quality primer similar to Taubmans 3 in 1 Interior And Exterior Primer Undercoat Sealer White Paint 4L can be used.


If you are having a tradie do the job make sure they are prepared to remove all the degraded paint and not just the localised areas which have peeled away already. This will ensure the new coating has a solid surface to adhere to.


Let me mention a few of our helpful members @Brad, @Peggers, @redracer01, @MartyH that might like to give their opinions on the situation.


Please let me know if you need further assistance or had questions.




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Re: Peeling paint from ceiling

Hello @JoshKing 


If the house is from the 70's there's every possibility that there has been moisture damage to the primary barrier of the ceiling gib board. There are many causes to paint peeling but the most common one is moisture contamination between the substrate and paint. What kind of roof do you have? Is it tiled or steel roof. If your ceiling gib had a moisture barrier odds are it might have failed or there was none placed when it was built. It is a more common occurrence in tiled roofs where moisture gets in and forms condensation on the gib. A good remedy for it is to use a Dulux primer with a sealer and binder. This should shore up any of the failing gib. But before doing that I suggest doing a little investigation and see if you are getting condensation in your ceiling cavity. Worst case scenario is you may have to replace the ceiling gib all together. Please ask our paint professionals at the store to get a second opinion. Good luck and stay safe.





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Budding Contributor

Re: Peeling paint from ceiling

Hi Red

I am no professional but live in a 1970's building and our plumbing contractors use moisture readers on the ceilings, a handy little device. We have a couple units with ceilings with significant paint flaking like in this picture but both in non ventilated areas, signs of mould and yes moisture coming in from the apartment above.

I have contractors at my apartment now fixing up the sins of the 70's and patched over ever since...I've been trolling this amazing forum for ideas all day! Excellent ideas and contributions by the way.




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