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Peeling Interior Paint

The paint on all the drywall in the house peels off really easy. If you ever tape anything to the wall, the paint often comes right off on the tape. Not consistently enough to just strip the walls with tape, but often enough to be a problem. I don't know why this happens. Speculation is that they didn't prime before painting, painted on dusty walls, used really bad paint, or a combination.

Anyway, to get new paint to stick to the walls, you really need to remove the old paint first, since to paint directly on top of the old paint would just give you the same problem in a different color. We did this once with my first daughter's room. We manually scraped the old paint off the drywall, plastered the gouges and such, cleaned off the dust, primed, and repainted.

For future reference, like when we decide to paint the baby's room, I would like to know if there is an easier way to get the original paint off the drywall than just scraping it off dry. Is there any sort of stripping solvent or something that would work? Would steaming work, like with wallpaper? Scraping it was a lot of work. I'd prefer something else if possible. But the old paint definitely needs to be removed before repainting.

Any suggestions?

Re: Peeling Interior Paint


I think you have correctly identified the original problem as improper priming. In years past, there were products marketed as one step primers/paint. They sucked! New dry wall needs a dedicated primer and it should be back rolled to assure adhesion.

I ran into a similar problem years ago. The drywall when exposed felt almost like waxed paper. I could literally zip away paint with a flexible spackle knife. The paint was absolutely not stuck to the drywall paper, but was adhered to the mudded areas.

I am afraid I can't offer you any quick solution. I would ask however if the paint is lifting off the wall when painted over? If not, I would just live with the situation. I would also caution you to never consider trying to hang wallpaper over the old paint. It is quaranteed to break the bond of the paint and you will have lifting seams everywhere.

J Roper
Re: Peeling Interior Paint

I agree with ordjen. Unfortunately, the hardest thing to do is to correct a problem from something being done wrong before you got there. Be sure there is no mold behind the spots that the tape pulled the paint off.
If it's clean then the causes you mentioned are the most logical. Sorry but to make your walls look and act like new again will take some time, patience and elbow grease.
P.S. Stop using tape!

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