Posted by: greenpinkies | May 18, 2011

What Happens When You Don’t Prime Existing Wallboard Before Painting or, “The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling” -Chicken Little

Oh my word!  …and I would have stood there, gawking upward with my mouth open except that the ceiling texture was sloughing off onto my face and I didn’t want to eat it!

So this is what happens when you do not prime existing drywall before you texture it:  The primer, being water based, melts the new texture off the old ceiling drywall and it comes down in 4 inch to dinner plate sized splats. And it doesn’t all come down nor is it in any way even. This is not artistic!  It is another ‘one step forward, two steps back’ nightmare.  Undoing this oversight after the texture was sprayed on is ten times more time consuming, (and probably still won’t be successful), than simply rolling on the primer after scraping the popcorn off would have been had we done this the right way.

But the walls primed up just beautifully, I thought, why is the ceiling so bad?  Answer: the walls were new drywall, the ceilings were the existing drywall simply scraped free of popcorn.  Lesson:  All old drywall must be primed before adding any paint or texture to it.

What to do? We certainly don’t want to scrape the ceilings in the entire house, we have a deadline here. So, on go another two coats of primer and……off comes bigger splats.  We tried a problem solving, quick drying primer from Lowes.  Still more peeling.

The bottom line (up top) is that we are forced to scrape the entire ceiling and start over.  Then we’re going to try oil based primer before texturing.

If this fails?  What is the alternative?  Pull out all the ceilings and start over with new drywall?  We certainly hope we don’t have to go there. …and this leads us to pass on a very important lesson to you all, dear DIY’rs:

If you don’t know what you are doing, count on doing it twice.  Throughout this entire project, we have built everything twice:  Once our way and once over again, the right way.


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