I recently had my bathroom renovated. Before the renovation I had noticed some minor cracks in the ceiling. The building is 1962 and the walls are plaster. I had semi gloss paint used which I know can highlight imperfections a bit more.

However I did notice an area which I had never noticed before and I have included it in the photo. My questions:

  1. Is it possible that I didn't notice it because of the change from eggshell to semi-gloss?
  2. Is it more likely that something went awry while painting and this caused the problem (improper priming or something like that).
  3. Maybe a better question- how to fix it?

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  • Wheres the photo? Jan 2, 2013 at 14:05
  • @maple_shaft - sorry-- just added it.
    – ek_ny
    Jan 2, 2013 at 14:50
  • Just curious, is the guy who did your tile floor the same guy who installed the shower head? I think we might be seeing a trend in either laziness or incompetence. Jan 2, 2013 at 15:50
  • @maple_shaft - yes same guy-- and unfortunately a nice guy -- I don't relish having these conversations about this with him.
    – ek_ny
    Jan 2, 2013 at 16:51

3 Answers 3


The damaged area could have been the place the shower head pipe may have originally projected out of the wall. When the rain type show head was installed it may have been moved to a lower level.

If this is the case then the damage that you see is just a shoddy hole repair. Fixing it up so that it looks decent will involve scraping, sanding and repainting the area as a minimum. Worst case it may mean removing the old patch and filling in with a replacement patch that was done correctly. Patch technique will depend somewhat on the type of wall it is. You mentioned plaster - is it on lathe or plaster backer board of some type?

  • 1
    hmmm.. that's interesting. Definitely not backer board-- I think that it's plaster on top of some kind of brick-- at least that's what if feels like when drilling into it. It's an apartment building. Someone had told me that the bricks were "gypsum" -- I recall seeing something like that when demolition was done on some of the walls. Load bearing walls are concrete. Building was built in early 60's in NYC.
    – ek_ny
    Jan 2, 2013 at 16:56

It could be an ugly looking patch over a hole for an old shower head (or someone messed up when installing the current one and made a hole where they did not want to).

Another idea, especially if you want to blame the painters: if someone or something scrapped along that area of the wall after a coat of latex paint had started drying but was still wet it might bunch up. I am imagining the paint getting a film on the top layer but it has not fully adheared to the wall yet. Then if someone/something scraps along it the top layer gets all bunched together. It is hard to see from the picture exactly how high the ridges are. If it were semi-dried paint I would imagine it would not protrude from the wall a lot.


It is hard to say but my initial guess is that since I see what looks like a shower curtain rod right below this damaged area, that I would think it might be plaster damage from a previous shower curtain rod mounting.

When talking about shower curtain rods there are really two types, compression and mounted. Mounted rods are superior in strength and cause less damage to the wall, but take a bit longer to install.

Compression rods apply horizontal force to hold the rod against the wall. They are not as strong and can fall rather easily. They can also pretty easily be installed too tight to where it cracks or damages the surrounding plaster or drywall. If it is mounted properly and sombody were to pull down on it before relieving the tension then that is another way that these types of rods can damage your wall.

I have seen similar damage around the edges of shower surrounds before caused by compression shower curtain rods.


That makes sense now that I look at it that it is a shower head pipe, there isn't enough room on the side to justify a shower curtain rod.

Apparently there must have been a shower head above that new shower head at some point in time. What you are seeing is either an incredibly amateur or incredibly lazy attempt at repairing the hole in the plaster wall where the previous shower head existed.

  • 1
    that's not the shower rod-- it's the actual shower head pipe (it's a rain shower head)--- thoughts?
    – ek_ny
    Jan 2, 2013 at 15:33

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