What is the best way to paint a bathroom ceiling?

Ask a Tradesman

Hi all

A few months ago I had been redecorating my bathroom, which included repainting the ceiling. I had used Dulux’ bathroom specific paint – for better mould and moisture resistance.

Since then, the paint has become flaky as small cracks are appearing – surely this is too soon for any noticeable wear?

Is there any better suited paints for bathrooms ceilings? Or is there some way that the paint should be applied to be most effective?

Asked by Karen on 31st Jul 2019


Share this question


“There maybe a couple of reasons for your predicament.

Firstly when you applied the dulux specific paint the surface may have been dusty (this stops the paint adhering). Other possible reasons for bad adhesion are wax furniture polish (by accident) concentrated PVA glue(can be used for sealing surfaces), and/or the paint may have needed stirring and/or was dry when applying.

But the most likely reason for the cracking/flaking of the paint might be that in the past an oil based (satin or gloss finish) paint has been applied to the surface and then you have put a water/vinyl based paint on top. This has the effect that up-cycling people are after when trying to give furniture an ”antiquey” look.

As long as you have ruled out past water damage and/or condensation problems (bad ventilation) the solution is to firstly apply a primer/sealer (matt finish) , over which you can apply almost any paint.

As you can see there are many possible reasons for the condition of your bathroom ceiling. I hope that this answer is not too long winded. Trying to cover all bases. :-):-)”

See also  Bathroom bill – Wikipedia

Answered on 2nd Aug 2019 – Member since Jul 2019 – report

Zev’s Painting & Decorating Service

“There’s many reasons why this could have happened.

1. What was the ceiling surface like before you painted it, was it flakey?

2. Was the paint stirred?

3. Is there sufficient ventilation in the bathroom?

4. You might have needed to rub/sand the ceiling down to make it adherent.”

[external_link offset=1]

Answered on 8th Oct 2020 – Member since Sep 2020 – report

Bogdan Gheorghita

“You can use red zinsser like a primer,first coat and after you can apply two coats of diamond matt or eggshell”

Answered on 1st Jul 2020 – Member since Jun 2020 – report

m barnard

“Sounds like a reaction between new paint and old. Remove as much of the new paint as you can and sugar soap the ceiling, then wash it off and let it dry. Re-paint and it should be ok.”

See also  54 Paint for bathroom floor ideas | linoleum flooring, flooring, paint linoleum

Answered on 21st Jan 2020 – Member since Jan 2019 – report

hawk landscaping and fencing


First of all dulux isnt as good as it makes out, secondly how was the surface before you started to paint? Clean, and dust free? I would recommend removing what you can of the flaking paint and using a pva bond to seal the ceiling let dry and re paint over”

Answered on 14th Aug 2019 – Member since Oct 2017 – report

BobaJob Maintenance

“Damp seal all the ceiling then repaint with soft sheet emulsion”

Answered on 18th Aug 2019 – Member since May 2019 – report

livingcornerofficial@gmail.com decorating

“There may well have been or still be moisture in the ceiling which hasn’t dried out yet.”

[external_link offset=2]

Answered on 20th Apr 2021 – Member since Mar 2021 – report

Lg decorators

“This sounds like the ceiling has never had a mist coat from when it was freshly plastered this would be a reason or you haven’t got the correct ventilation as the steam will cause this but the paint you are using us the correct paint”

See also  Parts of Australia declare natural disaster during ‘once in 100 years’ floods

Answered on 6th May 2020 – Member since Jan 2020 – report


“You have used the right paint but not prepared the surface properly, sand down old paint and give it two coats of kitchen and bathroom paint and it should be fine


Brian from sortit4u”

Answered on 19th Aug 2019 – Member since Aug 2019 – report

Ask a Trade

Got a question that only a tradesperson can answer? We have thousands of trades ready to answer any question you may have.

Ask your Question