Help me paint my bathroom
January 26, 2014 4:19 PM   Subscribe

I have a bathroom that has had some serious moisture issues over the years. I recently installed an exhaust fan and that's mitigated the problem somewhat. My big issue is this: the wall paint (semi-gloss latex) is peeling off where the wall and tile meet. It started bubbling up here and there and I made the mistake of pulling on a little piece today and the paint came off like peeling an orange. I need to repaint several of the walls in the bathroom while trying to prevent the paint from peeling off again. How do I seal the walls or at least where the wall and the tiles come together to keep the moisture out?

Several years ago I removed some awful wall paper in the bathroom and used joint compound mixed with water to fill holes and apply a texture to the walls that matched the old horse hair plaster walls in the rest of the house. Was the joint compound a bad idea?
posted by photoslob to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You want kilz. They make primer and primer/paint. Buy it at any mega homemart like home depot or Lowes. Just slop it on. It will seal in/out moisture and associated stains. The stuff is miraculous.
posted by chasles at 4:37 PM on January 26, 2014

Best answer: Sorry... after kilz then a bead of silicone caulk at the edge....

Forgot to say that part!!
posted by chasles at 4:38 PM on January 26, 2014

Best answer: Nothing is going to work particularly well if it's not completely dry. As in, you might need to not take showers in there for a couple of days or more. Personally, I'd get rid of the texture, but I've never done that so I don't know. In a bathroom, you really, really need to carefully clean the walls, because they're likely coated with a film of soap. I use Tri Sodium Phosphate cleaner (TSP, easy to find at any hardware store). Use gloves and carefully clean the walls. The let the walls dry again; at least a day or two. Then use a good quality primer, like Kilz or Perma-White. Follow the directions. You're then ready to use a mildew resistant paint (like Sherman-Williams) or a gloss paint that will do well with the moisture (ask at the paint store).
posted by kjs3 at 4:42 PM on January 26, 2014

Response by poster: Here's the level of difficulty: we only have one bathroom and not using it for a day or two is not an option.
posted by photoslob at 4:45 PM on January 26, 2014

It needs to be an option; you need to let it dry out after you paint and caulk.
posted by Justinian at 4:53 PM on January 26, 2014 [7 favorites]

> not using it for a day or two is not an option.

Then you'll never get what you want. End of story. Sorry. TANSTAAFL.

P.S. - When I did this in my own single bath, I went on vacation Fri-Fri, cleaned with TSP Sat morning, crashed at a friends Sat night. Got home 0-dark-30 Sun and put on the first coat of primer. Couple of hours later second coat. That evening paint. By Monday morning, it was dry and ready to go.
posted by kjs3 at 5:08 PM on January 26, 2014 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Yep, not an option. Thanks.
posted by photoslob at 5:15 PM on January 26, 2014

It's possible to use a heat gun to speed up drying paint. You have to be careful and make sure you have one that has adjustable temperature control. Use it on a higher heat to strip the current paint and dry out the wood underneath, then on a lower heat to dry the new paint. It probably won't look quite as nice as waiting for it to cure normally. You can often rent them.
posted by lovecrafty at 6:02 PM on January 26, 2014

Response by poster: Here's what I've figured out: I can run a dehumidifier in the bathroom for 10-12 hours at a time between showers. I'm also going to limit time in the shower to not steam things up. Thanks for the help.
posted by photoslob at 6:14 PM on January 26, 2014

Do you have a bath tub? If so, baths seem to create less steam than showers. Also, keep windows/doors open if possible to ventilate the steam out of the room as much as possible while using the shower/bath, but close the doors/windows while dehumidifying (to stop you just drawing more moist air in).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:04 AM on January 27, 2014

We did some bathroom remodeling when we bought our house and weren't able to shower while paint dried so I hopped down to the YMCA and paid $3 to use their showers. Having completely dry walls is very important for paint so maybe that's an option you can consider.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 7:29 AM on January 27, 2014

Just do military showers for a day or two.
posted by bradbane at 8:08 PM on January 27, 2014

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