I live in a house built in 1959. Not sure if ceiling is sheetrock or plaster. Although I don't have any 'stains' or obvious leaking, even during heavy rains, in a couple of different rooms I have a flaky, almost cottage cheese texture in a small area. In one bathroom, I have flaking ceiling paint, even though the bathtub in that room is rarely used. I have repainted that one at least twice, even with a primer and Kilz, but it flakes again after a while. In the other spots, the 'cheesy' paint can be sanded off. Does this sound like a leaky ceiling or bad paint?

  • Did you ever get this resolved? If so, please give a check-mark to the answer or write up your own answer explaining what you did to get it fixed and give yourself a check mark. That will help others with this kind of problem know that this has a resolution and is a good place to look for their answer. – FreeMan Aug 17 '20 at 11:26
  • Much better to go in the attic to look for rain leaks rather than wait for ceiling damage. – blacksmith37 Dec 15 '20 at 16:09

The powdery, 'cheesy' places are definitely a roof or ac vent leak.

The flaking paint, if not accompanied by the cheesiness, is probably just a latex-over-oil issue. Even with multiple layers of cure-all primers and stain killers, some bad paints can't be cured. Try a primer called 'bonding primer'. It should work well to gather up the particulates and really, as the name implies, bond the paintjob together. Go two good coats of this newer style 'paint amd primer in one" paint junk that's so popular now. It's not really primer, just a thickened paint, but it may help to isolate your issue.

If that fails, might be time to start thinking of furring the ceiling down and installing a new one.

  • Agree with @NPM but be sure to inspect the roof first for damage and repair that before repainting. Also, if the drywall is wet, let it dry before scraping, priming, or painting it. I would have thought you'd see discoloration. – noybman Aug 31 '17 at 3:31
  • Thanks! One thing 2 of these locations share in common is that they are near each other and there is a bathroom vent stack near by. Although my roof isn't real old, I plan to get it replaced soon. – Lee A. Aug 31 '17 at 20:57
  • Aha! That could be your culprit. Get somebody up there with a tube of silicon and goop all around that vent pipe & flashing. Modern vent flashings are made of cheap plastic, and dry-rot in the sun quickly, in most climates. – NPM Aug 31 '17 at 23:12

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