After complaining about this, I had a guy repaint the ceiling. There is a window but it doesn't fix what is a damp bathroom. A short 15 minute shower cracked the new repainted ceiling because all the steam gets absorbed by it. We were about to install a fan in the windows but I doubt it will solve the problem because the steam rises up pretty fast and not at the windows direction.

What's the problem, the paint or the windows?

From what I can see about the paint, it peels off the ceiling, revealing a grey smooth drywall. And I don't particularly live in a humid environment so why is this bathroom so problematic.

2 Answers 2


I think at this point it's safe to say the drywall above the shower is shot, and now you're going to need to replace it all. While you're in there, install a proper exhaust fan. Yes, I know that's exactly what you don't want, and that you're trying to cheap this out, but that hasn't worked, and you've given "cheap" the full tryout. All "cheap" has done is nickel and dimed you to death.

Working with this bathroom as-it-is would require very different bathroom discipline. It might work for other people. It doesn't work for you (or other family members). You just don't have the patience. Get the exhaust fan.

  • no, its not about being cheap. is that even the exhaust fan wont fix this. the moment steam touches the ceiling it cracks. i want to make sure the paint is done right first and dont want to blame it on the fan which would hardly do anything here other than prevent mold.
    – Altoban
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 16:17
  • I'm not referring to the fan you want to put in the window. You really need a proper exhaust fan that is in the shower stall above the shower. If the paint won't stick after you followed my previous advice, it means the substrate is literally gone. There is nothing stable to stick paint to. Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 18:39
  • what does the substrate look like? the layer surface behind the paint, not sure whats it called, just looks like a glossy smooth grey. I cant have exhaust fan above the shower, no vents up there and the ceiling is lower in this bathroom because the floor is elevated. Only exhaust i can have is by the windows.
    – Altoban
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 19:43
  • "Substrate" is the word for the surface you are trying to paint. You would need to provision a vent somehow, what you are doing just is not working. You need to get the humid air out of there. Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 19:52
  • its an apartment, i dont think there is space for ceiling vents. You believe thats the problem and nothing to do with the paint?
    – Altoban
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 21:04

Bathrooms need special paint that's glossier than normal walls. If this wasn't used, your drywall may have absorbed moisture. It sounds like you may need new drywall at this point. If it's painted right, it should hold up even if some steam condenses on it, although ventilation from an open window or fan is still good.

  • i had a mold problem before as well. my thinking is that the ventalition is what solves the mold problem. but steam shouldnt affect paint, am i right? Because the painter thinks its because i havent installed a fan. I want to make sure the paint is done right first.
    – Altoban
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 16:16
  • I think flat paint would absorb moisture. Last time we bought paint, the paint guy said very specifically that bathrooms needed different paint and it should be very glossy, and it was because of moisture.
    – EL_DON
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 17:57
  • Although glossy paint would also be easier to clean if the moisture caused mold to grow, so maybe that was the real reason.
    – EL_DON
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 18:02

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