PennCoat’s Paint Failure Series – Peeling Ceiling

Reasons for Peeling of Ceiling Paints

Painting walls are easy and can be done quickly.  But painting ceilings can be equally difficult and tricky. But experienced commercial painting contractors should have an easier time conquering such tasks.  Ceiling painting is time consuming and can be frustrating, even for experienced painters. Even adequate time and efforts required for commercial painting, it can run into problems is painting is not done properly. In case of large buildings or warehouses, it is important to paint ceilings to create bright and clean work environment. Whether you are inviting clients to your warehouse or arranging an upcoming food inspection, it is important to have the facility presentable. Ceiling paint is a vital factor that influences the appearance of any industrial facility. But, if the ceiling paint starts peeling or flaking, it can be very frustrating as it directly affects the look of your structure.

Industrial painting of ceilings is quite different than painting ceiling of residential structures. In industrial structures, a ceiling is subject to different temperatures, moisture and chemicals.  Quality of air at ceiling level in warehouses or commercial building is highly contaminated with remnants of solvents and chemicals. Additionally, high temperatures are common in these environments, and can cause contaminants to settle on ceiling surfaces. There are several reasons for paint to peel off ceilings, and it includes –

  • Presence of moisture – Higher proportion of moisture in the air is a common reason for peeling of paint from ceiling. Application of paint that has sheen reduces absorption of water and accelerates process of peeling in ceilings. For such areas, you should use epoxy coating (such as Sherwin Williams MacroPoxy) as they have better adhering properties to concrete and other surfaces. Epoxy paints are more water resistant too.
  • Incorrect application of paint – If an incorrect variety of paint is applied to ceilings of industrial structures, paint does not soak in properly and becomes unstable due to presence of chemicals. This results in peeling.  As always, when it comes to painting, substrate preparation is vital to adhesion success.
  • Applying too many layers – Applying extra coats of paint creates extra pressure on the surface.  These extra coats can become too heavy, affecting the adhesion to the ceiling surface, which can lead to paint failure.
  • Paints composed of calcimine – Calcimine was a popular and economic solution for painting in 19th and early 20th century. Industrial unit ceilings that were once painted with calcimine commonly face problem of peeling. Calcimine was basically chalk, and its water base mixture was applied on the ceiling. But this mixture lacked sufficient binding and adhesion properties, hence old structures face a bigger issue of ceiling peeling.

Clean and bright ceiling are not only important to increasing aesthetic value of the workplace, but also to create a safe working environment. If you find paint peeling from ceiling, address it immediately by preparing the substrate, then apply the appropriate paint that will address the specific properties of each substrate.