Saturday, January 13, 2007

Crazed ceiling paint

Now that I’m thoroughly entrenched back in the upstairs bathroom remodeling project, I’ve noticed another issue that’s going to need to be resolved: crazed paint on the ceiling.

As I mentioned in my December 27, 2006 post, Upstairs bathroom: primer, the bathroom fan in our upstairs bathroom hasn’t been used faithfully by all family members over the past three or so years. Frankly, even if the entire family used the fan dutifully, I’m not sure the $19.99 Home Depot-special bathroom fan would be powerful enough to get all the steam out of the bathroom during hot showers.

The result can be seen to the right. If you click on the image you’ll see the ceiling paint within the shower nook. The ceiling within the shower nook is only 6-feet, 8-inches high, while the primary portion of the bathroom is 7-feet, 8-inches high. The bathroom fan is located outside of the shower nook, on the higher ceiling. With a cheap bathroom fan that didn’t draw enough air out of the shower area, the steam stayed in the room and started “crazing” the paint. (You can see the blueprints of the bathroom, including the shower nook, in the “Upstairs bathroom: primer” post shown above.)

This next photo shows an area of the ceiling outside of the shower nook. If you enlarge the image you’ll notice that I tried a quick test repair. I first took a putty knife to remove the loose paint, and then used sandpaper to see if I could get the area smooth. As you’ll notice in the photo, not all paint comes off, so if it’s painted it won’t look good.

At this point I’m note sure how I’m going to tackle this problem. My initial assumption is that I’m going to need to remove all the old paint off those areas and take it down to the plaster. If I don’t, the areas that would be sanded would be recessed, while areas that were in fine shape and not sanded would be at a different thickness. In other words, you’d be able to tell where I had sanded. I would use spackling, but I’m not certain that’s the right solution... my gut says no.

Do I sand the entire ceiling areas down to the plaster? (Those areas would include the shower nook and lower ceiling marked “arched lower ceiling” on the blueprints, which isn’t arched, simply flat.) If so, do I just drop the hammer with my random orbit sander? Or, is there a paint stripper that will quickly remove the paint but not harm the plaster? Off to the Internet to do some research on this problem.

Oh, the joys of an old home. I know there’s great plaster under that old paint, but how do I get to it? If you know, please click the comment button below and share!

1 comment:

  1. I think you have to remove all old paint for a better result but you can consult an expert before planning anything.