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Need some advice. We acquired an older property a few years back that had a kitchen ceiling with water damage from the past, just past a foot wide. (Culprit was apparently a lack of/damaged caulking in the bathtub/shower above, which was remedied). The damaged part of the ceiling was patched over but we never regarded it as a great looking job. Still, since more extensive remodelling is in the future when we have the budget for it we decided to sit tight with this stuff for now. However, after this highly humid summer we began to notice a flaking off from the so-called repaired area. No sign of "coffee-stains" suggesting a new active leak. Flaking pretty much stopped on a daily basis with the end of summer weather but every time we do something on the stove requiring boiling and an increase in kitchen humidity we see a few more flakes fall. I think the previous owner's patch involved a compound where the water in the compound didn't dry fast enough and led to a slow break down. I was thinking of a redo using actual plaster/plaster of paris in conjunction with primer and sealer. Am I headed the right way?enter image description here

  • Is this drywall or plaster? If it is drywall, cut out the back section (and a few inches past) and replace it. Even if you don't do a perfect patch/sand/paint job now, it will take care of the problem. – manassehkatz Jan 2 at 19:00
  • Seems to be a non-drywall flaking... – Thomas Twell Jan 2 at 19:29
  • Hard to tell from the picture, but it kinda looks like efflorescence... if so, there's a little more work involved, than just patching it up. Is the ceiling plaster? – tahwos Jan 4 at 1:27
  • Did the thumbnail test where you try to poke the ceiling - did not want to give, unlike the drywall ceiling upstairs, so I concluded it's plaster. Old house, built in 1929. – Thomas Twell Jan 4 at 17:29
  • but in the middle of the picture you see, it (thumbnail) went in pretty effortlessly, which lead me to believe the original "patch" job was with using a drywall compound. – Thomas Twell Jan 4 at 17:31

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