I am having trouble painting plaster walls of an entryway/kitchen. The paint crackles like reptile skin as soon as it dries. See photo.
What I’ve done: I washed the walls prior to painting (they are currently painted with an old oil based paint over top of several layers of lead paint) I vacuumed the walls and then washed in sections by spraying water mixed with a few drops of dawn dishsoap, rubbing with a sponge. I had a bucket of clean water with a washcloth to rinse and I dried the wall with no lint cloth after rinsing.
About 6 hours later I applied a primer coat. It crackled when it dried. I lightly sanded, applied a little spackle, caulked the joints/gaps, washed again the same way, and painted with (thoroughly stirred) Behr premium plus paint. 24 hours later and I have alligator walls again. Has anyone dealt with this before? What is going on?
Other possibly relevant details:
The other side of the wall is a poorly ventilated bathroom. But the wall is nearly 7 inches thick. The house is 120 years old.
UPDATE: Last night I was scraping the same wall a little further down (where it transitions to drywall) to prep it for repainting and my blade sliced right through the wall. I discovered this: I think I will need to create a new question to handle this. There appears to be moisture, maybe some mold, and/or possibly some kind of insect droppings??
UPDATE 2: I had some plumbers out today to check out all the plumbing and they told me that there’s no active leaks but showed me where repairs had been made recently. (Probably before they sold me the house). He said it looked like they’d fixed it without cleaning up the water. The moisture meters read that the walls were dry.