How to Fix Peeling Paint on Ceiling

How to Fix Peeling Paint on the Ceiling – Easy Paint Failure Fixes

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Peeling paint on ceiling surfaces can be a huge eyesore, as flaking paint tends to hold a lot of dust and dirt. Due to the additional moisture, it happens most frequently in bathrooms; however, this problem might occur in any part of your home. Bathroom ceiling paint peeling is common in humid rooms or areas that were not properly prepped before painting. We have taken the liberty of providing you with all the information that you would need to learn how to fix peeling paint on ceiling surfaces below.



Explanation of the Problem

When looking at peeling paint, it is essential to understand that this problem can be split into two categories. The first is intercoat failure, which is when one or more coats of paint peel from the bottom coat. The second is total film failure, and as the name suggests, this is when all of the coats are peeling.

Paint will peel for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to ceiling paint peeling, the most common reason for peeling is moisture. Additionally, other reasons include direct damage to the paint, poor paint quality, bad painting techniques, poor preparation, and the age of the paint.  

Reasons for Ceiling Paint Peeling



Importance of Fixing the Peeling Paint

The main reason for fixing the peeling paint in your bathroom or kitchen is due to underlying issues that you could have in your home. Some would argue that it is merely an aesthetic choice; however, even if it was, there is no reason to keep your ceiling in that state.

Paint cracking on ceiling surfaces is a sign of a much bigger issue that needs to be addressed.

Below, you will find some of the main causes of peeling ceiling paint, so you will not need to ask yourself, “why is my ceiling paint peeling”, again.


Causes of Peeling Paint on Ceiling

Ceiling paint flaking is a major concern for many households. Due to the additional moisture, it frequently happens in bathrooms. However, this problem might occur in any part of your home.

Bathroom ceiling paint peeling is common in humid rooms or areas that were not properly prepped before painting.


Water Damage

Paint peeling can be caused by damage from water and other factors. The combination of heat and humidity in different locations, such as kitchens and bathrooms, tends to cause paint to start peeling faster than in other places.

Water-Damaged Ceiling Paint


Poor Adhesion

The paint that you have chosen may be of insufficient quality. Ceilings with high humidity and heat require a paint that adheres better and is more flexible. This allows it to expand and contract in response to moisture and heat.


Age of the Paint

Everything ages, especially the paint found on your ceiling. It may just be the right moment to repaint the surface of your ceiling. It is also a good idea to take a look at the lifespan of the paint that you have chosen.

Why Does Ceiling Paint Peel


High Humidity

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air and some types of paint do not deal with it very well. You could also end up conducting an extensive bathroom ceiling repair project if you leave the paint as is.

It is best to use paint that is designed for high-humidity areas in your home.



Preparing the Area

Thorough preparation is essential for a lasting paint job. Strip any flaky or peeling paint with a putty knife or wire brush before applying the new paint. To achieve a homogeneous surface, smooth down rough parts and lightly sand them.

Clean the ceiling thoroughly to eliminate dust, filth, and grease, since these might interfere with paint application.


Removing Furniture and Other Items

The first step is to vacate the room from anything of value or that you do not wish to get dirty. Furniture, carpeting, rugs, and wall décor must be removed to protect them against contaminants such as dust as well as wet paint. Masking tape can be used to cover other surfaces such as doors, windows, and baseboards.


Covering the Floor and Walls

To protect the floor from paint, drape it with a drop cloth. As you remove the flaking paint, the drop cloth should catch it. Place it beneath the area with flaking paint and cover the floor beneath each damaged location on your ceiling if the damaged areas are scattered across the ceiling.

Tarp for Fixing Ceiling Paint

Drop cloths may be purchased online or at a nearby hardware shop. Canvas or plastic can be used. Get a garbage bin as well for simpler cleanup, and while it may be used for helping to hold down the cloth, it is also useful for removing pieces of flaking paint.


Getting the Right Tools and Materials

Most people who are inconvenienced by the paint-peeling issue employ painters to address the problem for them. However, we can assure you that residents can restore peeling paint themselves provided they have the necessary materials and, of course, sufficient time to do so. Some of the tools and materials needed include the following:

  • Protective gear
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Ladder
  • Masking tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Trashcan
  • Drop cloths
  • Spackle or patching compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Wire brush
  • Paint scraper
  • Putty knife



Removing the Peeling Paint

When learning how to fix peeling paint on ceiling surfaces, it is important to know how to remove the peeling paint. To get started, you will need a paint scraper, and this will be the most important tool in your arsenal. 

Fix Peeling Paint on Ceiling


Scraping the Loose Paint

Remove the loose paint using a paint scraper. Set up a little step ladder that will allow you to reach the ceiling securely. Holding the paint scraper at a 30-degree angle to the ceiling, push it into the loose paint. Strip enough paint to reveal the underlying layer.

You will not have to take off any of the remaining old paint.


Sanding the Surface

Lightly sand the ceiling with 150-grit sandpaper. Remove the previous paint from the entire visible area. Also, wipe down the margins of the original paint, as they will most likely have some of the patching solution on them. Scrub the ceiling softly, just enough to roughen it up without leaving scratches. This helps the mending material and new paint adhere.

Sanding Peeling Ceiling Paint


Cleaning the Area

Wipe the surface of the ceiling with a lint-free cloth or soft sponge after filling a small bucket with warm water. Remove any sanding dust from the ceiling. Take special care to remove any visible stains, since they might also hinder the fresh patch from sticking.

Check for any leftover debris or moisture after rubbing the ceiling dry. If the ceiling is not completely dry, the coating may split again. It is also likely that stains and dust will appear beneath the paint.



Repairing the Ceiling

Whether you are conducting a bathroom ceiling repair or any other ceiling in your home, you will need to ensure that you get the best possible finish. Below, we have provided all of the information needed to ensure that you are able to perfectly repair your bathroom ceiling.


Applying a Primer

Primer may be an excellent barrier against moisture and humidity. The most important step here is to ensure that your primer is completely cured before the paint application. Open your windows and perhaps bring in a few fans to provide cross-ventilation; however, opening a window or two will be more than enough for proper cross-flow.


Filling In Gaps and Cracks

When the surface is smooth and clear of debris, patch up any spots wherever the peeling paint had been. Apply a uniform coating of patching material for spackling to the surface of the ceiling with the help of a putty knife.

After the first coat has dried, make sure that you apply a second, and let it dry overnight.

Repair Cracks in Ceiling


Sanding the Surface Again

After that, you will need to put on the face mask and protective goggles once more to sand the spot down. Smooth everything out so that there are no irregular or lumpy places on the ceiling. Be sure to maintain consistent pressure to ensure that you get an even surface without putting any holes in the surface.


Applying a Topcoat

When you are ready to paint, pick a ceiling paint that has a flat sheen. It helps to conceal tiny flaws and creates a generally smooth finish. Hopefully, your peeling ceiling paint difficulties will be resolved by then. The topcoat is something that should be chosen with the utmost care, so it is important to ensure that you choose the proper sheen and paint type.

Paint Ceiling After Repair



Tips for Preventing Peeling Paint on Ceiling

While it is a good idea to learn how to fix peeling paint on ceiling surfaces, it is not something that you should be doing every few months. It is critical to prevent paint from peeling on your ceiling in order to retain its visual appeal and extend its lifespan.

Implementing a few basic measures can greatly decrease the likelihood of experiencing this prevalent problem.


Fixing Leaks Promptly

Leaks lead to moisture, which leads to peeling paint. If you have a leaking pipe or a hole in the roof, it is best to fix this problem as soon as you can. Leaks will result in damage to the ceiling as well as the surrounding walls if left unattended, resulting in a quick fix becoming something that could cost you thousands of dollars.


Using the Right Type of Paint

As we have discussed before, it is important to choose high-quality paint made exclusively for ceilings. Consider choosing bathroom or kitchen paint, which is designed to tolerate heat and moisture better.

Investing in high-quality paint promotes improved adhesion and durability, lowering the chance of peeling.


Maintaining Proper Ventilation

You have likely seen most bathrooms fitted with extractor fans and these can guarantee that you can get rid of unwanted humid air. While a window does a good job too, the extractor fan will allow adequate ventilation without exposing yourself to the elements in colder months.

Preventing Peeling Ceiling Paint

Proper ventilation is also needed when you paint the ceiling, especially when you have used a paint that contains mildewcide.


Avoiding Harsh Cleaning Agents

Some cleaning agents can be incredibly harsh on paint to the point where they could strip the paint from the surface. This will lead to paint peeling as it will lose its adhesive properties, so if you would like to clean your ceiling, it is best to use warm soapy water and then completely dry the surface. This will prevent the paint from peeling while also keeping your ceiling clean.


Now that you know how to fix peeling paint on your ceiling, you can get started with a simple DIY task that will have a drastic effect on your bathroom or kitchen. While you could hire someone to do this job, we recommend that you try it for yourself, as there is nothing more fulfilling than completing a job yourself. We wish you the best of luck with your project!




Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Best Method of Preventing Paint Cracking on Ceilings?

This comes down to the preparation measures that you have taken when you initially painted the ceiling. It is important to allow the primer and the paint enough time to dry before you expose it to moisture. Furthermore, the quality of the paint that you use will also play a big role when it comes to preventing peeling paint on ceilings.


Why Is My Ceiling Paint Peeling?

If you are asking yourself how to fix peeling paint on ceiling surfaces, then the best approach would be to get to the root of the problem. Nevertheless, the most common reason for peeling ceiling paint is moisture, but the use of cheap paint and primer could also lead to peeling.


Can I Learn How to Fix Peeling Paint on Ceiling Surfaces?

Yes, you can. Learning how to fix peeling paint is easier than you were led to believe. Our guide provides you with all of the information that you would need to conduct a proper repair on your bathroom or kitchen ceiling.

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