Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>Garage drywall paint is peeling
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Garage drywall paint is peeling

When we bought our house over 20 years ago, the paint in our garage was peeling. Since then, we have scraped what we could and repainted multiple times, to no avail. We’d love some advice on how to get paint to adhere.

• The walls and ceiling are drywall, which were not primed originally, but were primed at some point when we were exploring ideas as to why the paint would not adhere.
• The walls were last painted in 2007 with Duron Everlast interior Alkyd / Oil.
• Our dryer vents into the garage (and no, there’s now good way to vent it elsewhere).
• The paint peels whether or not we open the garage door when we run the dryer.
• The drywall does not appear to be troubled by mold or mildew.

The latest suggestion was to put new drywall over the old and to paint it with exterior paint. This was based on the assumption that the current drywall had somehow become saturated with moisture. There are no obvious signs that this is the case.

I’d like for folks to weigh in on whether applying new drywall is necessary. If so, what type of drywall should we use? And whether or not we use new drywall, how much would scraping, priming, and painting with an exterior paint move us toward a successful outcome?

Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

A. Spruce
Re: Garage drywall paint is peeling

My suspicion is with the dryer venting in the garage, the humidity level is high, resulting in the paint releasing from the drywall. You really need to get the dryer vented to the exterior, even if that means installing a helper fan to move the moist, humid air out of the garage. From there, scrape as much of the loose stuff off as possible, prime, and repaint.

On a similar note, what you describe is very similar to what happens in an unvented bathroom where steam and moisture can't escape. Not only does mildew result, but the paint also starts releasing from the walls. The combination of warm, moist air is what's causing the problem, get rid of that, and the paint should behave.

Re: Garage drywall paint is peeling


I think Spruce is dead on with his analysis of what is going on. Unfortunately, the origin of the problem was not having sealed the drywall way back when. Primers have a definite function which paint does not fill. Primers have the abiltiy to penetrate into the paper and mud of the drywall, therefore helping to assure that subsequent coats of paint will not break the bond with the drywall.

You might put veneer drywall right over the existing drywall. It is only 1/4 inch thick and only makes for minor adjustments in woodwork trim to allow for the aditional thickness. Veneer drywall is often glued on, but I would not trust glue fastening alone as the paint you would be glueing to is not stuck to the wall. Use drywall screws. The same would apply to any kind of paneling or fiberglass sheets you might want to use to cover the problem. Glue alone might not hold. Stick with mechanical fasteners.

Frankly, I would not do anything until you get that dryer vented to the outside. Contact a good HVAC guy about getting it there. A powered auxilary fan with a sail switch (senses the air flow from the dryer and kicks on the blower) might be neccessary.

As to what type of paint to use if you re-drywall: make sure you prime with a quality 100% acrylic drywall primer, not just a PVA primer. Then topcoat with a quality interior paint intented for kitchen/bath environments.

Ironically, your good intentions of using an oil paint in the garage might have actually aggravated the peeling situation. Oil paints are hard and brittle and expand and contract at different rates than flexible acrylic paints under heat and humidity variations. This could have furthered the breaking of the bond to the drywall. This is why it is a bad idea to put oil housepaint on top of latex paint outside.

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