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Painting in Bathroom

Does anyone have any insights on how to properly prepare and paint a bathroom that is the only bathroom in the house? I am in the process of applying drywall self-adhesive tape to the joints of the walls which separated over the years and am using drywall compound to repair the areas. I then plan to address the walls by repairing any small "dings" with drywall compound, prime, and paint. My issue is that this is a time intensive process and I am wondering how to best avoid primer and paint cracking / peeling. This is the only bathroom in the house and, therefore is in daily use for showers during this process. Is it ok to leave the sanded and "ready to be primed" drywall compound open to the air before priming and painting despite the moisture? I plan to let the area dry out before priming (let cure for 4 hours) and painting (let cure for 12 hours. Is this adequate or am I way off base? Thanks for your help.

A. Spruce
Re: Painting in Bathroom

Unless you're using dry mix joint compound, you're going to need much more than a few hours for it to dry, at least 24, maybe more depending on the thickness of the layer applied and humidity in the room.

My recommendation would be to get all the repairs done and let it dry for a day or two before priming and painting. Prime - two coats, paint two coats, following directions on label for drying time between coats. If time does not allow all four coats in one day, break it across two, prime one day, paint the next.

You can continue to use the shower during this process, however DO NOT do it while the paint is still tacky, let it dry for several hours at least, preferably with a fan circulating the air for faster drying. When you do use the shower, take quick, mild showers to minimize the amount of condensation that occurs on the walls that will soften uncured paint and cause runs. I would even go so far as to run a circulation fan after the shower to help dissipate shower moisture.

Re: Painting in Bathroom

Thank you for your reply and recommendations. I plan to follow them. Just to clarify, can I complete the drywall repairs over the next couple weeks while the shower is in use, then dry the room out for 2 days, prime and paint?

Thank You!

A. Spruce
Re: Painting in Bathroom

Absolutely. You just need to be careful that you keep splashing to a minimum so that you don't soak the drywall before it's sealed with paint. You could staple plastic at the ceiling above the shower and tape it inside the shower, this will protect you well enough

From your descriptions so far, it sounds like you're doing a smooth wall finish rather than applying texture. While there is nothing wrong with that look, I recommend texturing because it will hide a multitude of sins, both in the finishing of the drywall and any irregularities in the paint..

Re: Painting in Bathroom


Spruce has got you on the right track.

Just a few additional thoughts: I always carried an high spped circulating fan in my work van summer and winter. It will definitely dramatically shorten the dry time of your mud, paint and primer. Actual curing times for latex paints are as long as 4weeks. Follow the paint manufacturers recommendations as to re-coat times. Cool temperatures and humidity lengthens the dry time.

If you have any deeper patches, consider using "hot mud" for the first coat or two. Hot mud dries chemically, unlike regular mud. I always carried "Durabond Easy-Sand 20" in my work truck. It dries to a touch in 20 minutes, has great adhesion and, when thouroughly dry, sands easily. I seldom used pre-mixed patch products because they freeze during the cold Chicago winters. There is nothing wrong with them, just my force of habit. I did frequently use pre-mixed drywall compound for general skim coating of walls.

I doubt high humidity will damage the dried , un-protected drywall compound, however, heavy splashing of water on it might. Drywall compound remains water soluable until primed and painted.

Your primer and paint will surface dry within an hour if you use a fan. Also, put the furness fan on "run", if you have such a setting on the thermostat. If you have a bath exhaust fan, keep it running too. As Spruce advised, keep the showers short.

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