Trying to tile a wall i can go up to picture rail height ok but any higher the tiles fall off.Ihave been told previous owner may have put up distemper or something like it.Wallpaper in another room has done the same.Any idea how to seal wall and start again
If it is distemper, the only way is to completely remove it.
Steam and scrape,messy but effective.
As it is water-based any water in any thing applied to it will make it peel as it sits on the surface and does not really soak in.
Distemper is a form of paint made by mixing pigments and a binder with glue.
If it is distemper what is happening to you is exactly the same as what happens when peeps try and tile over PVA. The glue goes live again on contact with mositure and result lack of adhesion as all that is holding the tiles up is a thin layer of white glue.
It is quite useless for decorating over and must either be removed or sealed. If you are painting sealing is normally enough but for tiling or papering it MUST be removed.
To remove it use a steam wallpaper stripper to soften it up (don't make it go very runny or it'll just turn to mush) and scrape it off. Then prime the wall with an acrylic primer before tilng.
I'm intrigued though as to how distemper got on the wall of the bathroom above picture rail heght. Picture rails are not normally installed in a bathroom. Has there been a change of use of the room?
Rosebury has got it .The room was a bedroom now a bathroom there is a white sealer coat above picture rail .this was put up at the height of original rail which was taken down but when tiles would not stick above this height the rail was put back up.Iput up a second ceilng in this room leaving original in place so i have to do the ceiling in bedroom next door again because this is where the paper came off some days after it was put up so i have the same decision to make.Black bitty mortar is on the wall and ceiling throught the house and you know what a mess that is.THANKS for the info PENSIONER