How To Fix Peeling Paint on Your Bathroom Ceiling or Wall

Peeling paint is a common issue with bathroom walls and ceilings. Customers often ask us why paint peels in their bathroom wall, and how they can fix it. Not only does it make an otherwise beautiful bathroom look bad, it serves as a breeding ground for mildew and bacteria.

What are the causes for peeling paint? Peeling or bubbles happen when you start painting in high humidity or when paint is applied over built up water and soap scum. Usually around the things you use every day – the shower, sink and toilet.

 Repairing peeling  on Bathroom walls or ceiling can take a lot of time but it’s not hard.

If your Toronto house was built before 1979 (and many of them were), there is a chance that lead-based paint was used. You might want to consult a professional painter if this is the case, just to be safe. If you want to try to fix your peeling paint in your bathroom wall or ceiling yourself, follow these steps for a great finish:

Step 1: Scrape Off the Peeling or Chipped Paint

  • Begin to remove peeling paint with a putty knife. This will make the surface uneven.
  • Make sure you wear protective eye gear and a dust mask. This prevents dust particles from getting into your eyes or your lungs.
  • Use a fine-grain sandpaper to sand the area where you removed the paint blisters. Brush off any dust.
  • Be sure to remove flaking paint in all areas. The only paint left on the wall should be firmly stuck to the wall.


Step 2: Patch Where Peeling Paint Had Been

bathputtyWhen the chipped paint or paint bubbles  are removed, the surface will be uneven. Some areas will have a layer of paint where others won’t.

  • Use a patching compound to even out the bathroom walls and the ceiling.
  • Apply it in a thin layer. Use a putty knife for this process.
  • When the first coat is dry, you can apply a second coat. Allow it to dry overnight.


Step 3: Sand (Again)


  • Don’t forget to put on your goggles and a dust mask again!
  • When the patched areas in your bathroom are dry, sand them down with fine sandpaper. This makes makes sure that there are no uneven edges.
  • You can use a vacuum for the ceiling instead of sandpaper. This is to avoid dust dropping directly on you. This protects your eyes and your lungs.



Step 4: Prime the Bathroom Wall First

  • Usually, bathroom walls start peeling because they weren’t properly primed in the first place. Primer is the first defence against water and moisture.
  • Use an oil-based primer for the best results in your bathroom – you won’t get any more peeling or blister, but the smell will be stronger than with a latex primer, so make sure you can air the bathroom out while it’s drying. Want to learn more about oil-based paints? Read our other blog article on Oil-Based Paint vs. Latex.
  • Prime the area you have prepared with a brush or small roller.
  • Let the primer dry completely.


Step 5: Paint your Bathroom


  • When the primer is dry, paint your bathroom with any colour you choose – need some help? Check out the Top Bathroom Walls Ideas .
  • Choose a paint that has gloss or semi gloss finish. These paints don’t absorb moisture like other paints do, and they won’t peel or flake over normal bathroom use. A higher-gloss eggshell might also work, but don’t go any lower than that.
  • If it absolutely has to be a flat finish, check out the Benjamin Moore Aura Bathroom walls & Spa Matte. It’s a little more expensive, but it will give your bathroom that sharp finish that flat paints usually provide.
  • If you are concerned about stains, pick a paint that is mildew resistant as well.



You might be worried about all the debris and dust that comes from peeling and sanding your bathroom ceiling or walls. You may not have the time do it yourself, or maybe you’re at the end of your rope with recurring problems. If this is the case, why not give us a call?


Home Painters Toronto has over 25 years of experience making bathrooms look their best. Call us now at 416 494 9095 or email us at for a free Bathroom peeling paint Repair or bathroom ceiling paint cost estimate.