Painting disaster! any others have similar problems

Hi All
Have just painted the bathroom from hell - new villa board walls, etc - I completely ripped old bathroom out and started from new concrete floor upwards to my 15 foot ceiling! Kristine I can now spin on the second to top rung of the ladder! sweat a lot though!!!!. I have saved the entire rotten mess and was wondering if anyone else has come up with some ways of rescuing a disaster paint job - I had new villa board walls done by the plasterers. Went to paint shop obtained sealer for appropriate product - sealed wall twice, undercoated then two coats of paint that was made up to match the tiles - colour was perfect, but boy, was a thick bloody awful messy paint. After two rollered coats and three (different colour)on the ceiling, could see so many roller marks - something like grease spots on the plaster walls that just did not want to be covered in paint. It was like sections of the plaster walls and ceilings would not accept the sealer - kept thinking it would get better with every coat, it didnt. the paint on the walls is a gloss acrylic (how do you do spell check on this new system???) - which shows up lots of imperfections I know- anyway, crying didnt seem to be getting me anywhere, and after many dollars of products and a very tight time frame, I went to Bunnings at 8:00pm - bought a $15.00 marble paint effects roller - got what was left of the bloody thick blue stuff and resisted throwing it against the walls, rollered it on instead thickly with the groovy new roller - i love the effect, it had disguised all the original marks and areas where it looked like air bubbles, bits that wouldnt accept the paint etc - has a bit of a groovy old flock wall paper look about it now with the gloss finish. I saved it in time for the plumber to start at 06:00 the next morning, the high back period bath has the same blue coating on the outside, I didnt realize it has a textured look about it also-hey presto! - both walls and bath now have a similar finish. I am very happy with the wall effect after such a disaster and all down to a $15.00 roller. I am actually a very good painter, have done many walls and ceilings in my life time just dont know what happened to this job - do any of you have similar "saved it" stories and could tell us how you managed it, any hints or tricks you found along the way that could help others out of "sticky" situations - I hate ceiling paint, I dont like using it and use a low sheen acrylic (bugger that word again), instead - anyone know if this is the wrong thing to do, and do you use something other than ceiling paint? any hints, suggestions, stories, gratefully ingested. I do love the look of the old full gloss enamel on doors and window frames though! Unfortunately my plumber has just finished leaning against the wet door frame in the famous bathroom - off I go again!
Denise:D :cool: :mad: :p :)

I dips my lid to you. 15 Ft Ceilings, second top rung of the ladder eeeeoooogh!!!

I recently bought a Bailey's extension ladder with self levelling legs (no wise cracks, please!) for getting up to the 5 metre gable ends of the houses. Has it's limitations, though, when used in the narrow alley between the house & fence. Not enough bracing distance at the ground means a near vertical climb higher up. Painting with one's nose almost on the wall, doing an elaborate arm movement passing the brush under the rungs to dip into the paint then back again (never mind using the orbital sander under the rungs), thanking God I didn't tie the extension cords together when the grinder jagged on a nail and spun out of my hands while still whizzing at high speed Aaagh, the thrills of the renovator.

Your paint solution sounds wonderful. Some more detail on the ceiling paint dilema would be good. I've got eight ceilings to do, very cumbersome while wearing bi-focals. Last time I painted eaves, I used a low sheen acrylic and a small foam roller, could do about one square metre at a time but easier to handle and easier on the neck than a long handled full size roller.

I have found that a day painting with Solagard, even though it's outside, leaves me with a blinding headache and a distinct hangover next day. Yes, I should wear a respirator, but don't want the neighbours calling the police because the aliens have landed!

By the way, in the nicotene room, I used a very strong Tricleanium soluntion with a bit of sugar soap as a surfactant, sponge/scourer pads balanced on the back of my hands pressed up against the ceiling, and scoured in a circular motion, wiping away the gunk with a 'turtle' shaped sponge, and rinsed the walls after scouring with multiple changes of clean water, until the paint 'squeaked'. I knew that even sealer couldn't save the paint from lifting off such a greasy surface. Plus, I intend to rinse all the ceilings and walls again to remove all the timber and plaster dust before I actually paint.

And in the was a bedroom became a bathroom and is now a laundry someone has painted the very irregular ceiling with full gloss acrylic. Words fail me!~ this will actually have to be sanded back, while manouvering the sander around the light fittings, exhaust fan and IXL unit and the enclosure which I have had installed around the existing WC.

On a lighter note, the french colonial terrace doors will be installed next week, so I'm off to the Brass Company to choose some delectable and very classy brass handles. Ooh! La! La!


I had a water stained ceiling (HWS let go befor we purchased I think) I used undercoats and sealers without much success and gave up, I changed the lights instead. I then spoke to a painter on a building site and he said all he does is thin down an oil based white with turps, about 50/50 and uses it as a sealer then use a couple of coats of ceiling white.I haven't tried it ,will wait for a change of tenants .
Hi Kristine and Bushy

Bushy, a question about your painter from the building site - that sounds very interesting - with the oil based thinned 50/50, I can see you would get better coverage, would you then have to coat over this with oil based again? - I know you can do water based followed by oil based - but did not think you can go oil then water based over the top? I dont know that I would do the entire reigime again, seaers, undercoats etc, still looking to avoid that ritual if poss.
(Anyone know how to do spell check)????
Kristine, I hate ceiling paint as I find it chalcky, watery and just plain horrid to paint with - find the low sheen water based preferable, Painters always shake their head at me and tell me I should be using ceiling white - I probably should be. I dont know, whats the difference, does ceiling paint have some addative in it that other paint doesnt?, dont know, I thought all the better paints now days have mould inhibitor and the like in them. The little roller trick, I swear by them. They are just brilliant for cornicing, I get a perfect job and a great finish.
This job i did go to the big roller on a "stick" after much brow beating by the paint shop man - I dont have control over it like I do my hand held little roller, and I have always had a better finish. Some Heritage painters once told me "little rollers, little mistakes" easier to fix up than great big ones, and I swear by that piece of advice, but I acknowledge it does take longer though. Any painters have any opinions on ceiling paints as I am about to do more also - I keep forgetting the plastic bag in the tray trick, dam, next time.
May all your painting problems be very little ones.
Denise:( :D :cool: :rolleyes: :eek:Bushy, Kristine,
Hi there,

I know this is a little off the subject, but has anyone had experience with painting Besser brick walls (ie. on the bottom storey of a house).

I was wondering if there were any tricks to come up with a better finish and what would be the best type of paint to use, number of coats etc.

I have had very little painting experience but really want to have a go at it if I can feel comfortable that I am using the right materials.

PLEASE HELP ! (otherwise this could end up being a "painting disaster" - lol)


I have painted more than a few ceilings.. and I swear by Dulux Ceiling whilte.

It's thick, so it doesn't drip, and has great coverage, so it only takes one coat. (It is neither chalky or watery!!)

Yes, it's more exxy than your home brand paints, but the reduction in pain-in-the-arse is WELL worth it!!

hope this helps,

asy :D
G'Day all,

In response to the questions on ceiling paint.

The Ceiling Paint formulation is basically a dead flat finish.
The reason for this is that it doesn't reflect the light and therefore minimises the visually detractive plaster joins and imperfections that become evident at night with the lights turned on, if one has used a a low or higher sheen product.

I dont know if the product is still available but Bristol used to sell a product called 444 Dead Flat Latex, which was absolutely brilliant for coverage. I think the product is the same but the name has changed.
I hate painting, I have done enough to last me about 20 lifetimes.

Also another tip that I used to find really helpful, a great and cheap undercoat or surface preparer can be made up by mixing 1 part "Bondcrete" with 4 parts water, sticks to practically anything.

Hi Jakk and Asy

Thank you both for the helpful advise - thanks Asy, I will give the old ceiling paint one more go, will follow your product suggestion.
The boncrete mix sounds very interesting, when you mix it up is it of the consistency to "brush on" the surface, or would you apply by other means?

Many thanks
Denise, he didn't mention anything about water based over oil based or if you still needed to use oil/latex undercoat .If anyone else knows it would be appreciated
regards Bushy
Hi Denise,

Though not having used it, there's a product called "ESP" which is supposedly some sort of paint "super-glue". You prep the surface, apply the ESP; let it dry; then paint awayyyyyyy.

I saw it at Bunnings in the paint section and there were a few others like it as well.

At the Dulux painting night, Someone asked the dulux guy if you could paint water based over oil based. He said it depended on the paint, but you needed to sand back the oil paint till it was "dull" and then test it. Sometimes it will work sometimes not.

Hope this helps.


ESP is short for Easy Surface Preparation, and it is!!!


I would CERTAINLY NOT advocate using it on a ceiling, it is petrol based, and I wouldn't want it to drip on you!!

To use it you wipe it on, leave for the prescribed time, then wipe it off.. It is VERY easy to use, (but don't put it into a plastic take-away containers, it eats them ;) ). I used it to paint enamel over laminex for a cheap-and-easy makeover, and it looked fantastic, and worked really well.

However, Noddy is Right, ESP is great, and worth a look at.

If you are worried about painting straight over another paint, you could always check-test it. This is where you pick about a 5cm area and cross-hatch it with a stanley knife about 2ml apart. Then take a piece of masking tape and apply it to the area. Rip the masking tape off like an old band-aide ;) and see how many of the cross hatches come off. You can then judge the adhesion of the underlying paint.

hope this helps,

asy :D
Denise and others,

The Boncrete solution is quite easily applied by brush.
When mixed 1 part Bondcrete to 4 parts water, the solution looks like skim milk, but dries clear. read the instructions on the back of the can for other uses.

The product ESP has been mentioned and no doubt a good product, but fairly expensive.

I am not going to tell you that the Bondcrete solution is as good as ESP, but would suggest you give it a try.
I have used this solution on flaking paint when there seemed no end to the flaking, I have quickly sanded down the flaking area and applied the Bondcrete solution and has given me a new surface to apply paint to.

On really, really bad areas of flaking paint, I have applied a first coat of Bondcrete solution, then a quick scuff down, another quick coat of the Bondcrete solution, then applied the paint.

Good advice by Denise

Earlier in this chain of replies to the original question, Denise gave a bit of advise about using rollers, being that "Little rollers, little mistakes".

Last night, I put this into practice by painting gloss paint (my friends and family suggested getting a painter for this) onto my skirting boards and door frames. The finish was so much better than I expected and it was really easy to control the amount of paint going onto the surfaces

Bunnings provided the ammunition, a 70mm foam roller for around $7. 30 metres of skirting and 1 door frame was done in about 2 hours. Once I have bought 2 new internal doors, they will be next.

We like to use the flatest paint possable on a ceiling. It hides most flaws.

Have used ESP before with excellent results.

Also marks in ceilings from water or in the don't know category come up well with chlorine. Spray it on - safety gear ++, and old, old clothes - let it dry and paint away.

We like the flat pad type brushes for any tricky bits, ie window frames, skirting etc. Quick and easy.

For general rolling use a Paint Stick - trick toy. For your besser bricks or rendered surface most specialist paint shops sell a wool roller. Expensive but great finish, fast and easy. Cleans up exceptionally easy for future use.

My 2 cents worth. Live long, reno and prosper.:D
I recently painted the interior of my IP and requested the local paint shop chap to come over and explain to me what was needed to be done and how much paint to get etc. Some of the walls were gloss painted and some were acrylic (bugger, that word again, Denise). The recommendation for painting the gloss walls was a paint called "Cover-Stain", which is a USA paint (1 US Gallon or 3.75 lts). I was advised that this paint good for surfaces where there's smoke stains and the like. (The label reads like this: White-pigmented oil-based primer sealer, stain-killer, bondcoat. One hour dry, paint thinner clean-up. Over glossy surfaces, general priming, stains Graffiti, great adhesion to glossy surfaces).

So it was just like normal paint. I dusted down the surfaces, painted one coat of Cover-Stain, an hour later (no time for a beer) applied the next two coats of the normal acrylic. It costs me $57 a tin (I ended up using a tin and a half), so it was bit pricy, but hey if it's quicker and easier then sanding down gloss surfaces, then why not.

Danny D :p
Originally posted by Denise
the paint on the walls is a gloss acrylic (how do you do spell check on this new system???)
Denise:D :cool: :mad: :p :)

Fantastic post. Got heaps of ideas from it.

My 3c worth is to answer the spell check querie. Use your favourite text editor (eg MS Word) and cut and paste into the forum after using the associated spell checker.