I recently removed wallpaper from my bathroom and painted the walls with the primer and mildew resistance included in the paint. One section in the shower area has developed bubbly spots, almost looking like alligator skin.

Can you tell me what can cause this and how to fix it.

3 Answers 3


There are a few reasons that paint wrinkles. The most common reason is using an oil based primer or paint over a latex painted surface. If you only have a small area of problem, this is probably not the case. I suspect you may have left some wallpaper sizing or glue behind. Some soap may have leached behind the wallpaper also. When removing wallpaper, it is very important to really clean the surface well. Sometimes a skim coat of joint compound is needed to smooth the walls and create a good bondable surface. Another possible cause is that the primer was not dry enough when you painted. If the primer didn't wrinkle after it had been on and cured, then maybe something contaminated the surface before you painted. As you see, there are several reasons for the paint failure. Check the options or add more detail to the question.


I ran into a problem involving a small section of wall where the finish refused to stick. I fixed it by stripping it back down and painting it with Zinsser Gardz, which is a problem surface sealer, before reapplying the finish. I wasn't painting over a previously wallpapered surface, but the product information suggests this is a standard reason to use the stuff. Gardz is hard to find, very few stores carry it in stock. I ordered a quart online through Amazon. Next time I will buy a bucket of the stuff and use it to start with. It would be cheap insurance to avoid the problems I had with that one small section of wall.


Assuming that the walls were stripped to the original drywall, I think that you should have used a drywall primer first. In my experience even though a paint says it includes primer, it will not work well on unprimed drywall. I also agree with @shirlock homes that it sounds like some residual was left from the wallpapering.

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