Elementary my dear Decorator..
When does a decorator become a detective?..when they have to solve constant issues with decorating problems, especially those that aren't always what they seem.
Recently i encountered a client who had a major issue with the breakdown and consistent cracking/peeling & flaking of a bathroom ceiling, he was literally at his wits end trying to erdicate the problem having spent many hours and pounds on rubbing down and re applying paints to try and solve the issue.
Step forward a decorator and the way of thinking that years worth of experience has taught, look at the issues outside the box of painting and decorating and you may find a solution, which is exactly what i did.
initially the bathroom extension was situated on the front of the property, flat roof with nothing above and a cavity wall which seemed to have ample insulation according to the owner, so this started a process of deduction.
ventilation seemed in adequate and a larger fan to meet the size of the room was suggested to help with steam content from the shower, occasional opening of the window every time a shower has been taken will also reduce the dampness and build up on walls and ceilings, but by far the biggest factor was the flat roof with no other room situated above, this lead me to believe that not all of the problem was steam/shower related and so it appeared, upon asking the client if the room was damp or indeed wet upon entering in the morning before any heating had come to life in the radiators, the reply was yes! the ceiling has droplets of water on it in the morning.....condensation! and there you have it, damp/wet/cold, no air circulation a flat roof with cold conditions externally over the winter months has conformed to provide an environment that will break down most water bourne paints over time, especially general emulsions with no real durability..
The solution was ten fold......Ventilation...window opening on a regular basis, check radiators for its efficiency of heating the space and keep on low to bring temperature down...and finally and crucially the decorating..
Scrape all affected areas and prepare before applying a new zinseer product called "peel stop" this acts a barrier between existing paint and paint edges, an etching primer will then be applied and 2 coats of an anti condensation paint with biocidal and fungicidal properties applied...
problem solved and years of just applying a coat of emulsion to solve a re occurring problem has been banished... breaking the stigma of decorating without thinking..
ill just grab my pipe and deer-hunter...