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Painting over wall with peeling paint

I was going to paint the bathroom wall today, but i've realised the old eggshell paint is peely and cracked in places. I don't know what to do - what it the fastest way to get this into a painting state. Can i sand it down a bit and use a good primer?

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marked as duplicate by Steven, Niall C., ChrisF Nov 11 '12 at 20:42

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As we always advise, the secret to a good paint job is proper preparation. It can be a pain, but you must remove all loose and peeling paint, wash the surface and Spackle holes and cracks before priming and painting. Often a light sanding is a good idea, especially on any glossy finishes. Be aware of lead hazards on any paint applied before 1978. The actual application of paint is the easy part, don't rush the prep, it is the most important part.

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