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The paint from my ceiling has fallen off due to humidity/no extractor fan being used. The exposed white rings are not leaks etc but salt so I’ve been told by a plumber who inspected it.

The smell of plaster is coming off the ceiling.

Im a sensitive person so want to seal the plaster smell in or reduce it to negligable levels etc.

  1. Will any water based paint seal the plaster smell in sufficiently or will I need to use shellac?

  2. If I were to use shellac how long does it typically take for the shellac smell to go?

  3. Is it neccesary to paint over shellac or can you just leave it as it is without painting?

  4. Were one to paint over the shellac, how long do you let shellac dry for before you paint?



You need to find the source of the humidity and correct that first before applying and paint shellac or varnish. When you fix the problem you should remove as much of the old paint coating as possible, then paint the surface with a shellac product like BIN Primer before painting. If you do not fix the humidity or the moisture problem from above nothing I know of will stick to that surface.

  • As mentioned I do know the source of the humidity - I had Not been using the extractor fan for a long time. Am using the fan now so no problem. Why do I need shellac why can’t I just paint directly, won’t it reduce the plaster to negligible levels? And even if I did paint, wouldn’t the shellac fumes go through the paint? Thanks – James Wilson Jan 23 at 15:58
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    You have to remove the loose and peeling paint first that is a must. Using a shellac based paint as this answer is the best possible path forward. Not only will it cover the different surfaces of painted and plaster it will seal the surface and that will eliminate the smell and if you can smell the plaster because moisture and you don’t get it fixed your next project will be plaster repair as it starts coming down. So use a quality shellac based paint. – Ed Beal Jan 23 at 17:06
  • @Ed Beal Are you saying just normal paint won’t seal or at least reduce the smell? Thanks – James Wilson Jan 23 at 18:53
  • @Ed Beal and how long will the shellac smell last for? I’m quite sensitive so I need fumes from plaster or shellac paint etc to stop ASAP. Thanks. – James Wilson Jan 23 at 18:56
  • James, do whatever you want you have been advised in this answer and my comment, if we thought just any old paint would work we would not have suggested the shellac, your sensitive issues will not be stopped with the plaster until it is sealed plus you have a mess there to scrape off anything less will take multiple coats if it ever covers. I have seen 5 coats bleed through where 1 coat of shellac paint sealed the base the choice is yours good luck with anything less. – Ed Beal Jan 23 at 21:16

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