How To Fix Peeling Paint on Ceilings

Cracked and peeling ceiling paint

After you’ve looked up and noticed chips, cracks, and flakes on your ceiling, you may wonder how to fix peeling paint on ceilings. Besides being uncomfortable to deal with, paint peels and dust may be dangerous to your health. Peeling ceiling paint should be corrected before it causes trouble in your home.

Why Is My Ceiling Paint Peeling?

If your ceiling shows these types of damage, it’s time to repaint:

  • Peeling
  • Cracking
  • Bubbling
  • Streaking
  • Chipping

Before diving into a painting project, you should know why your ceiling paint is peeling. Inspect your ceiling’s edges, corners, and damaged areas to discover underlying reasons for peeling ceiling paint, such as: 

Amateur Paint Job

Painting a ceiling with a roller

Homeowners love the idea of DIY home repairs. However, many paint-happy homeowners overlook cleaning and priming their surfaces, inadvertently turning their hard work into a temporary paint job.

Poor Quality Paint

Trying to stretch your dollar by purchasing low-quality paint won’t help you in the long run. Low-quality paint won’t be as adhesive or flexible as paint of higher quality, and you’re likely to see peeling sooner rather than later.

Choosing the Wrong Paint

Bathroom ceilings have to withstand high humidity, while other rooms may use an unconventional material for their ceiling. Specialty paints meet these particular circumstances. It’s a great idea to find out how to choose the best bathroom ceiling paint.

Excessive Moisture

Bathrooms and kitchens produce a significant amount of moisture that adversely affects paint. Poorly-applied or improper paint types react badly to humidity and may bubble up and peel.

Since you’ll need to remove lights, vents, and other ceiling equipment to repaint, now’s a good time to inspect everything. Check any plumbing in your ceiling to catch leaks before they worsen, and test your ventilation system to ensure air flows well. Repainting your ceiling also allows you to change out lighting fixtures.

Build a Repainting Project Plan

Before learning how to fix peeling paint on ceilings, have a plan in place. Build your strategy around yourself and your family’s schedules so you don’t have to rush the job. Ask these questions to help you design your repainting project plan:

  • What day and time will work best for everyone in my home?
  • Where will my pets and young children be safe while I repair my ceiling?
  • Have I addressed all issues contributing to my peeling paint?
  • Do I know what colors or textures I want on my ceiling?
  • Have I chosen a high-quality primer and paint?

How To Fix Peeling Paint on Ceilings

Man fixing peeling ceiling paint

A trip to the hardware store provides you with everything you need to begin repairing your ceiling paint. Hardware store associates may have suggestions depending on what kind of ceiling you’re painting, so take advantage of their expertise. Ensuring you have everything before you start repairs makes completing your project easier and quicker.

Equipment You Need To Fix Your Ceiling Paint

  • Ladder
  • Plastic or canvas drop cloths
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Paint scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper (we suggest 150-grit sandpaper)
  • Small bucket
  • Scrub sponge
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Dish soap
  • A patching compound
  • Wire brush (optional)
  • Trash can (optional)
  • Work gloves (optional)

Step 1: Clean the Ceiling

Remove everything you can from the room and push anything you can’t relocate towards the center of the room. Lay drop cloths over any remaining furniture and cover the floor. If you have a trash can in the room, use it to weigh down your drop cloths in addition to being a place for garbage.

Step 2: Get Ready to Scrape Paint Peels

Open up doors and windows to help ventilate the space. Make sure you have all of your equipment accessible to you, then put your goggles and dust mask on. Find the area with the worst peeling and use your ladder to climb up to it. 

Step 3: Peel Away Loose Paint

Hold your paint scraper at a 30-degree angle to the ceiling and scrape at the loose paint first. Work away at each layer of paint until you’ve reached your ceiling’s base surface. If the scraper doesn’t work, use your wire brush to scrub away the extra paint.

Step 4: Blend the Cleared Area With the Surrounding Ceiling

Scrub your ceiling with sandpaper once you’ve removed the loose paint. You want a flat transition from the remaining paint to the area you scraped, as uneven edges will be noticeable once painted. Lightly scrub your ceiling so you don’t accidentally leave scratches. When finished, clean the area with soft soapy water, then dry with a lint-free cloth.

Step 4: Patch up Holes or Cracks

Fix cracks, holes, or other surface damage with a quick-setting patching compound. Scoop some up with your putty knife and smear the mixture over the damaged area. Wait 24 hours, then return with your sandpaper to blend the patch into the rest of your ceiling.

Once you’ve completed the repair, you can move on to painting.

How to Paint a Repaired Ceiling

Man painting a ceiling

If you plan on painting your ceiling, you’ll need:

  • An oil-based, stain-blocking primer
  • High-quality acrylic paint
  • Paint bucket or basin
  • Flat-bristle paint brush
  • Polyester paint roller
  • Paint roller extension pole (optional)

Step 1: Prime the Ceiling

Apply an oil-based primer to the area you’ve sanded down and cleaned or over the entire ceiling if you’re going for an all-new paint job. Make sure you’ve purchased a stain-blocking primer if you have stains or watermarks on your ceiling. Use your extension pole and paint roller for priming if you need to switch from the paintbrush. After applying the primer, wait 8 hours for it to dry.

Step 2: Paint the Ceiling

Brush or roll your high-quality acrylic paint onto your ceiling. Cover patched areas by painting outward from the center to the edge. Give your paint 24 hours to dry, then add another coat.

Peeling Ceiling? Rea Pro Construction Can Help

Repairing a peeling ceiling and painting it takes time and labor that not everyone wants to give up. If you don’t want to fix peeling paint on ceilings, painting professionals can help. Contact Rea Pro Construction today through our contact form to get a quote for your ceiling repair project.