Asked on Jan 29, 2012

Surfactant leaching

Peace Painting Co., Inc.Dan's of Central Florida, Inc.KMS Woodworks


I also do some answers on another site much like this one. And one of the people there came up with an answer to a question that has come along from time to time both there and here. People complain of brown staining for some unknown reasons in their home. It just seems to appear out of nowhere and feels sticky almost like sap.
Well the answer is Surfactant Leaching. I learned something today about this perplexing issue that many people seem to share in common.
My question is however, why does this happen in only a few homes and not all if the trigger is moisture? Could this be poor stirring of paint, or perhaps using old paint? Any ideas?
5 answers
  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    on Jan 30, 2012

    This is inside the house? Surfactants are basically soap that keep the different components suspended or blended together. The better the paint, the more it has. I have seen them 'surface' their stickiness when too many coats are applied too quickly under less than ideal temp and humidity conditions. CP

  • Interesting. The issue appears to be from what I understand inside the home. I have seen this same question several times over the past many years I have been answering questions on other sites such as this. I am not sure if this has been asked here or not. I know people always ask why they have mold growing on their walls that is not explainable. I am wondering if this is what they were asking about? Thanks Peace. Bob

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 31, 2012

    I had this happen to a small angled "ceiling" immediately behind my espresso machine ( this was before I replaced the pressure transducer that would cause an occasional steam venting)... I wiped away with a damp sponge. I have also seen it in some clients l baths where a soffit is above the shower...a little residue on the corner of the soffit. Other than these two areas not so much experience...then again we are in a dry climate in Colorado.

  • Same as KMS here as far as the situations where I have seen this. Since the article mentions that it is most common inside houses in areas of steamy moisture (ie. shower/bath), I venture the guess that those people either don't use or don't have proper ventilation fans in those areas.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    on Feb 1, 2012

    Huh, I always figured that was vaporized shampoo and soap residue after condensing with the steam; either way it's some kinda soap, just clean the walls with it.

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