How to paint over a bad surface?
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  1. #1
    Registered User danis11's Avatar
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    Default How to paint over a bad surface?

    Hey,
    Does anyone know a way round this? Matt paint has been used over the top of silk paint, which may have been used over the top of bathroom paint, and the result (unsurprisingly) is a crazed and cracked surface. Is there any kind of undercoat or something that could be put on top of this before repainting? We are trying to avoid scraping all the walls.
    Any ideas that don't take hours of work or cost a huge amount would be welcome.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    Couple of things that we do at our rentals -

    If you don't want to do any kind of wall prep and just paint - get yourself a roller with a really high 'nap'. These are rollers that are designed for painting rough surfaces (like textures or popcorn ceilings). Trying to use a roller designed for a smooth surface will give you terrible results if you don't have a perfect canvas to begin with.

    Drywall mud - one of the greatest gifts to the planet- lol

    Two different things you can do with it. First off you need a large bucket of it (contractor size- not a little pail used for a quick repair.

    Get another clean bucket and get some globs of the drywall mud into the bucket. Ad water and mix. Depending on what you are going to do will determine the the thickness that you want your mud to be.

    1) You can make it super thin & a little watery. This will allow you to use the mixture in a paint tray and 'paint it on the wall'. You can at this point either go ahead and add the paint and have a one step repair- or roll the mud on- let dry & paint the wall afterwards. Now keep in mind that this is mud and will take a l little longer to dry than just a coat of paint.

    2) Another option- make yourself a texture on the wall with the drywall mud. Thin the mud down to a thin workable mix. Spread on the wall with a large drywall knife. Then take a big sponge and dab the mud back off in another design that you like. We like to make swirls on the wall with the sponges. (Just make quick flicks of your wrist). The key to making this work properly is to keep a clean fresh bucket of water beside you and rinse the sponge after every swirl. If you do not, the mud on the sponge will pull too mud off the wall with each swipe. Also, work in very small sections at a time (about 3-4) feet, so that the mud stays very pliable.

    Let the mud dry & then paint. Both options are really quite easy and cheap to do. Drywall mud around here is about $20 for 5 gallons. You can do a whole bunch of house with watered down mud.

    Good luck~

    “After the last tree has been cut down, after the last river has been poisoned, after the last fish has been caught.
    Only then will you find that money can't be eaten.”

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrelvssammy View Post
    Let the mud dry & then paint.
    Let the mud dry & then PRIME!

    If you paint over mud w/o priming your paint will eventually peel and flake off the walls, and will look like crud until then.

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    Registered User SwirlyThing's Avatar
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    If want a texture, you could also put up paintable textured wallpaper. Then paint.

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    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    Let the mud dry & then PRIME!

    If you paint over mud w/o priming your paint will eventually peel and flake off the walls, and will look like crud until then.
    Opps- thanks Greebo- I totally forgot that step....(little secret- if you find primer to be expensive in your area - use what we do. Ceiling paint. It's flat and does just a good of job as the primers)...and here it is CHEAPER than primer.

    But, if you mix the paint into the mud (which you can do- I have many times) it will work and last. It is not my preferred method though because I like to do the texture with the sponges. (Helps me work out all my frustrations- lol)...

    Speaking of drywall mud- here's a really cool thing we have done-

    Take a stencil (the plastic, washable kind) and hold it to the wall. Take a glob of drywall mud and spear the entire back of the stencil with it. (This can be as thin or thick as you want). Pull the stencil away (you must do this very carefully, quickly and pull straight back)...what you will be left with is a 3-D version of your stencil made entirely out of drywall mud. Let it dry (takes days in some climates if it is really thick) and the either leave unpainted or paint. We painted our walls a hunter green to start with and then left the stencil unpainted (mud dries completely white) - because it was at the perimeter of where the wall met the ceiling - it was fine not being sealed and never damaged.

    We got more compliments on how neat it looked and I had to show many a friend how to do it in their own homes.

    “After the last tree has been cut down, after the last river has been poisoned, after the last fish has been caught.
    Only then will you find that money can't be eaten.”

    ~ Cree Indian Prophecy










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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    If it's not a large room you could rent a sander. My guess is you'll only need a few light passes with a hand sander to smooth out the worst of it.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

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  8. #7
    Registered User sabrelvssammy's Avatar
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    My guess is that someone painted over an oil based paint with latex. That is usually what causes all the cracking, peeling, etc...

    You can paint oil over latex, but not the other way around.

    I would talk to your local home improvement center about what they carry to seal the whole thing over and then start fresh. If the wall texture is smooth then you should be able to paint over it once you get a sealant on it.

    “After the last tree has been cut down, after the last river has been poisoned, after the last fish has been caught.
    Only then will you find that money can't be eaten.”

    ~ Cree Indian Prophecy










  9. #8
    Registered User jennyandrew's Avatar
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    I think you could obtain the same type of surface by applying plaster and working it and leaving the marks made by the tool.. You can also put new Sheetrock but that is little more expensive than plaster.

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    My concern would be the cracking. If it is old and stopped, it my not come
    through again, but there is some risk.

    I'd lightly sand it, prime, then paint.

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