Tag Archives: Repair Paint Peeling Off Walls

Paint Bubbling & Flaking Off When Rollered – Looks a mess!

Paint Bubbling & Flaking Off When Rollered – Looks a mess!

This is a common occurrence – you start to roller your paint onto the wall or ceiling and as you roll, the previous paint colour peels off onto the roller!

In another post I have explained why this happens – see here – but knowing why it’s happened doesn’t solve your current problem i.e. a wall or ceiling that looks an absolute disaster.

There are a few things you can do to remedy the situation depending upon the severity and size of your problem surface.

I do not recommend anything that simply covers the problem up – I recommend sorting the problem out.

Key to successfully solving the problem – drying time.

A lack of drying time is what caused the problem in the first place so in order to solve the problem properly, several days need to be set aside for the job.

Tools for the Job:

Before starting the job, buy a large tub of bog standard matt white paint, any brand will do, and a bucket.

You will also need a scraper and a sanding block with some rough sanding paper.

Sponge and bucket of water.

Cover sheets – it’s going to be messy.

To Start – Assess Your Particular Problem Area

Peeling paint problems are dormant most of the time and usually only raise their ugly head when you try to repaint the surface.

So, to find out just how bad your wall or ceiling is effected, you need to get it wet with paint so that it will start to peel.

This might sound completely bonkers but it is the best way to reveal where the problems are and it also dampens and softens the underlying paint, allowing it to be scraped off more easily. There is method in the madness.

You need to protect your surrounding surfaces because the paint you will be scraping off will be wet.

So, paint roller loaded with white matt paint – watered down & made sloppy – roller a section of wall. Take your scraper and scrape off the entire painted surface including the peeling areas. The underlying paint should come off easily.

Not all areas of your surface will have the problem so if part of the wall has paint that doesn’t peel off easily with your scraper that is fine, that section is okay.

The scraping should be easy – just messy.

Paint another section of wall and repeat the process until you have removed all the worst offending areas from the surface.

Now take your sponge and bucket filled with water and soak up the excess paint on your surface, rinsing your sponge as you go – apart from getting rid of excess lumps of paint you are also evening out the surface.

Leave to dry overnight.

Next day, if your surface is completely dry,  take your sanding block of rough sanding paper and sand over the entire surface to provide a key for painting.

(If when sanding, it is obvious that the surface is still damp, allow it more time to dry. If it is still damp after two days, this is a sign that you have an underlying damp problem.)

Assuming there is no damp problem, paint your surface with a sloppy mixture of matt white paint & water. You are priming the surface. Any small remaining problem areas will raise their head – deal with each of them by scraping off.

Allow to dry overnight.

Paint in the colour of your choice.


It is winter and everything is cold and damp. So have your heating on to ensure that walls and ceilings are warm and in a dry atmosphere  throughout this repair process.

Another Solution would be to…..

Whip out the electric sander and sand the entire surface back to the bare plaster.

Again, this will be a very messy job and a mask and goggles should be worn. Goes without saying that all surfaces should be covered and doors through to other rooms closed (have a window open), the dust will get everywhere.

Once you have a bare plaster wall, prime it with a sloppy mix of matt paint and water.

Allow to dry overnight.


Paint in the colour of your choice.


Both solutions are very messy but as long as you do not have a damp issue, they will solve the problem.

Now, at the beginning of this post I stated that I wouldn’t recommend any solution that simply covered the problem up.

That is a very easy statement to make when it is not your wall or ceiling!

So, if the above solutions sound like too much hassle and time consuming mess, then another solution would be to apply lining paper to the surface. Only do this if you are absolutely sure there is no underlying damp issue.

Yes, lining paper is simply covering up the problem but sometimes that is all you want. Good luck.

Any queries regarding your problem surface, please be in touch.