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My mini split had filled the drip pan and was not draining properly. When the wall was painted some of the paint had gotten onto the mini split and it seems like it had created a channel so that when it overflows the water would travel between the wall and the paint. You can see from the picture it traveled a pretty good distance.

Now that the leak has been fixed I was wondering how do I repair the damaged paint? Do I need to remove it and repaint the wall?

Wall with water damage

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    If it happened as you think, that would require both a) notably poor adhesion between paint and drywall paper, and b) very extreme tensile strength of the paint itself, beyond which I'd expect from any paint, least of all latex. I have a hunch you'll find that's not between the paint and the drywall paper, it's between the drywall paper and the gypsum. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 8 at 19:44
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Whether or not your theory about the path of the water is correct, you will need to remove any unsound material (i.e. loose paint, wallboard paper, wallboard material, plaster itself). There is no way to "re-bond" the damaged area(s).

I would start with a scraper and start taking out damage until there is nothing left but firm material. It is very likely that you will need to do some wall patching along with repainting...

  • I agree , the op might want to let it dry a bit prior to starting the removal of the loose paint. This might save the drywall because if it is wet and you pull the pealing paint the paper may come off also. – Ed Beal Oct 17 at 9:04

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