Ceiling and Stop Peeling Paint

Peeling paint is a common issue that many homeowners face, particularly with ceiling painting. It's an eyesore, with unsightly patches of paint cracking on the ceiling or flaky ceiling paint creating a mess. Many people ask, "Why is my ceiling paint peeling?" and more importantly, "How to fix peeling ceiling paint?" This comprehensive paint guide will provide step-by-step advice to help you restore your ceiling to its former glory.

Why is my ceiling paint peeling?

why is my ceiling paint peeling

Several factors can contribute to bathroom ceiling peeling or peeling paint on any other ceiling in your house. Some common reasons include poor paint adhesion, moisture issues, poor surface preparation, or simply the age of the paint. When the conditions are not right, the paint doesn't bond well with the surface, leading to paint cracking on the ceiling.

Removing paint from your ceiling: the first step

removing paint


Before learning how to fix peeling paint, it's vital to know how to remove paint from the ceiling correctly. The first step is to clear the room or, at least, cover the furniture with plastic sheets to protect them from falling paint particles. Wear protective gear, including gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask.

Next, use a putty knife or a paint scraper to gently scrape off the peeling paint on the ceiling. Be careful not to damage the underlying surface. This process of removing paint from the ceiling can be labor-intensive, but it is crucial for a smooth and well-adhered paint layer.

How to fix peeling ceiling paint: prepping and priming

prepping and priming


Once you've managed to remove the ceiling paint that was peeling, the next step is to repair any imperfections on the ceiling. Use a patching compound to fill in cracks or holes, then sand the area to create a smooth surface. Remember to wipe away the dust with a damp cloth.

Next, apply a primer to the ceiling. This important step ensures better adhesion of the paint and helps prevent future instances of paint cracking on the ceiling. Primers also help to mask any stains and provide a uniform base for your topcoat.

Ceiling painting: the finishing touch

Now that your ceiling is prepped and primed, you're ready to tackle ceiling painting. When selecting paint, opt for a high-quality product. It might be a bit more expensive, but the finish and durability are worth it. Use a roller for a smooth, even finish. Start from one corner and move across the ceiling in a straight line. Overlap the previous line slightly each time you start a new one to avoid visible lines. Apply at least two coats to ensure full coverage and a professional finish.

It's worth noting that bathroom ceiling peeling is a common issue due to high moisture levels. When painting your bathroom, consider using a paint specifically designed for high-moisture areas to prevent future paint peeling.

Choosing the right tools for ceiling painting

Arming yourself with the right tools can make the process of fixing a flaky ceiling more efficient. For removing paint from the ceiling, consider investing in a high-quality scraper that can efficiently remove peeling paint on the ceiling without damaging the surface. A telescopic pole for your paint roller can make painting the ceiling easier and less strain on your arms and back.

Types of paint: what works best for ceilings

types of paint


When it comes to ceiling painting, the type of paint you choose can significantly influence the results. Flat or matte finishes are typically preferred for ceilings as they don't reflect light directly, helping hide minor imperfections. 

For bathroom ceilings, a semi-gloss or gloss paint is a better option due to its moisture-resistant properties. You could also consider a mould-resistant paint that significantly reduces the chances of mould or mildew build-up. In wet areas, mould-resistant paint is a great option that will increase the longevity of your paint job.

Preventing peeling bathroom ceiling paint 

Bathroom ceiling peeling is especially troublesome due to the high levels of humidity and condensation in this room. In addition to the regular fixing process, you should also consider investing in a quality bathroom fan or dehumidifier to reduce moisture and thus the risk of paint peeling. It's also vital to ensure that your bathroom is well-ventilated to prevent moisture buildup.

Professional tips for a perfectly painted ceiling

We’ve asked our tradie painter customers about the next techniques to use when fixing flaky ceiling paint. Here’s what they suggested:

  • Always cut-in: this painting technique involves painting the corners or edges of a wall or ceiling with a brush before using a roller to cover the larger, central area. It ensures a smooth, professional finish.
  • Avoid lap marks: these are ugly stripes caused by uneven layers of paint buildup. They occur when you roll over paint that’s already partly dry. To avoid lap marks, maintain a “wet edge” so that each stroke of your roller overlaps the previous stroke before the paint can begin to dry.
  • Apply consistent pressure: when applying the paint, ensure consistent pressure on the roller for an even coat. Too much pressure can lead to ridges, while too little pressure can result in an uneven coat.

Fixing a flaky ceiling is an achievable DIY task. However, it requires time, patience, and the right techniques. Understanding why your ceiling paint is peeling and how to fix it can save you from costly professional paint jobs.


Restoring a peeling ceiling can breathe new life into your space. While it may seem like a daunting task, with this comprehensive guide, you now know how to fix a flaky ceiling. From removing the paint from the ceiling, treating the surface, selecting the right paint, to applying it correctly, each step is crucial for a successful transformation.

Remember, patience is key here. Don't rush the process, and let each layer dry properly before applying the next. Follow these steps, and you'll have a beautifully painted ceiling that enhances the look and feel of your home.