The main reason why paint peels off the ceiling is improper initial painting or rather preparation of the surface. Moisture and heat can also help to trigger the process. The good news is that this problem isn’t huge and can be easily fixed. It’s a DIY job, but if you live in a rental unit, you should check whether you are allowed to do it just to be on the safe side.
One word of caution here. If you live in one of the cheap apartments in Boston built before the 1980’s, there is a chance that the ceiling paint could contain lead. If you have even the slightest reason to suspect that this is the case, you should check immediately. Only a qualified professional can remove lead paint.
For this job, you will need patching compound, primer, paint, putty knife, fine-grain sandpaper and painting brush or small roller. Consider oil-based primer for the bathroom and latex-based one for the other rooms. Paint with gloss or semi-gloss finish will be the most resistant to damage as it doesn’t absorb moisture easily. Many people who live in cheap apartments in Boston where moisture is not uncommon prefer products which are resistant to mildew.
You must wear a dust mask and clear goggles for protection from the small dust particles which will get released while you are doing the job. Consider putting gloves on too. Another key thing is to cover the floor, so that cleaning will be easy.
Achieving Excellent Results
Begin by peeling off the loosened paint around the affected part of the ceiling using the putty knife. You should stop once you reach paint which sticks firmly to the ceiling. Sand the area where the paint was with the sandpaper to prepare it for the next phase of the repair.
Apply a thin layer of patching compound over the sanded area using the putty knife. Once the compound is dry, add as second layer to make the surface perfectly even. After the second layer dries completely, sand the area and brush off any excess dust.
When the ceiling section is ready, apply primer using the painting brush or roller and wait for it to dry. Then you can apply the paint that you have chosen.
There are various simple additional measures which can be used to prevent ceiling peeling. The main one is to ensure proper ventilation. Keep the bathroom and kitchen vents open and open the windows too, when needed.