Emulsioning Bedroom Ceiling

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Zubar | 22:12 Sun 16th Aug 2009 | DIY
3 Answers
I last decorated one of the bedrooms in our house eight years ago, with the ceiling being a particular problem. The paper on the ceiling had deteriorated really badly, so scraped it off & repapered it with some woodchip paper. Once emusioned it looked ok, but was never really satisfied with the result. Fast forward eight years & I thought I would do the job properly this time. When I removed the paper I was left with 'brown stains', remnants of the orginal paper & adhesive , in patches on the ceiling. I made good the cracks in the ceiling & then proceeded to sandpaper the ceiling-must have done it five times! But how ever much I sandpapered, some small areas of the stain would not budge. As the ceiling had been quite flakey in parts,,with some patches of ceiling with no emulsion on at all, eventually just diluted some uni-bond and sealed off the ceiling. With two coats of white emulsion on it it now looks fine. But I was just wandering what a professional painter & decorator would do, if faced with a similar problem to the one that I had. I have spoken to other people who have had a similar problem & they have more or less done what I did. But what would a pro do ? Any answers would be greatly appreciated.


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You have done exactly as others would have done.
UniBond is PVA adhesive and when dliuted acts as a sealer that prevents the staining bleeding into the top surface of the paint, which can then be seen.
A professional will take a view on whether a ceiling can be quickly sealed in this way, but is unlikely to engage in sanding processes that you get to get a smooth finish - it is far quicker (and hence cheaper when time = money) to bring a plasterer in, to reskim a poor surface finish.
Hi Zubar, as buildersmate says if the ceiling is that bad maybe it would be quicker and cheaper to get it reskimmed. That way you would have good surface to work with. As for the other with the paint flaking if it is a very old ceiling it could be what they call ceiling white under the emulsion and this will cause it to flake and peel. The only way to stop this is to remove all the ceiling white first. If you do have this on your ceiling reskimming may not help as the weight of the plaster will probably bring it down. You will know if there is ceiling white on the ceiling, where the emulsion has flaked or peeled just wash it and it will come off leaving bare plaster. As for sealing the stains I have always used a mix of 50% white gloss to 50% undercoat mixed together well, paint it on, allow to dry then a couple of coats emulsion will give good finish. The mixture of the 2 allows the emulsion to adere to the surface.
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Many thanks for your answers, always interesting to hear the views of professionals. I guess the half gloss & half undercoat does the same sort of the job as the UniBond, but is a useful tip if somebody has no UniBond to hand.
Anyway the ceiling looks fine now, so was worth the effort in the end!!
Thankyou once again
Peace & Light.

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