Asked on Oct 27, 2017

Why is my paint sticky/tacky ? Can this be corrected?

Zoe BrewerWilliamBrenda Ellison


Have recently built (well my hubby built, I designed) an awesome pedestal stand for our front loading washer/dryer- (since I think the plastic drawers are useless, ugly and expensive) -- once built, we sanded, primed and painted 2 coats of name brand paint- satin finish I think (sherwin williams line of paint )-- and have let it cure/dry/etc.... for more than enough time (couple of weeks); not to mention we live in AZ, so its not humid here. It still has a tacky rubbery feel. Why did this happen? Can it be sanded and start again with a diff paint? Will it even sand properly? what should we have done differently?

7 answers
  • this is from a website called STACK EXCHANGE where someone asked the exact same question

    It's called "blocking" and often happens w/latex paints - especially if the 1st coat wasn't allowed to dry fully before the second coat was applied. It's not much of an issue on walls, but horizontal surfaces are a different story.
    The ultimate solution is time - possibly a few months. The inner coat's moisture is blocked from evaporating by to outer coat. It will slowly wick through the surface over several weeks.
    You might be able to reduce the stickiness by spreading some fine talcum powder on the surface, then lightly vacuuming it off - but TEST in an unobtrusive area, first, because if it's too sticky, you could end up with permanent, visible, dust built into your paint job.
    You may be able to speed the process by blowing warm (not hot) air across the surface for several days (hot air can cause the paint to peel). This can open the pores in the paint to allow slightly more rapid evaporation, but a lot depends on what paint you used, how much moisture is trapped in the undercoat, etc.
  • Kit23306710
    on Oct 28, 2017

    You should have used a flat enamel paint. We , my husband and I, built our own too. I always use flat paint because it doesn’t have that tacky rubbery feel. You can sand down the job you did and paint with flat. I wish you luck.

  • Cindy Hagemann
    Cindy Hagemann
    on Oct 29, 2017

    It sounds to me that it has not dried completely for some reason, rainy weather, cold weather, primer was not dry before painting, or did not let it dry completely between coats of paint. Best solution is to just let it continue to dry - put a heater or fan on in the room to help.
  • Kathyy
    on Oct 29, 2017

    It won't sand nicely, semi gloss paint is awful stuff. I'd try the powder trick, a top coat of varnish or place a sheet of something thin on the horizontal surfaces.

    I've had great success using thinned flat paint in several coats, allowing to cure for 4 days then using watered down wipe on water based poly sanding between coats until I'm satisfied with the uniformity of the gloss. I expected to have to wait a week to use the piece but a trial showed zero blocking after something like 12 hours. Seems like a ton of extra work but the sanding is to remove dust so super fast and easy and each coat is dry in a couple hours so it can take just a day to put all that poly on.
    • Karen gibson
      Karen gibson
      on Sep 22, 2020

      Hi keep seeing people saying use a flat paint what is this please if I varnish over the stickiness will it cure this please

  • Brenda Ellison
    Brenda Ellison
    on May 25, 2018

    Paint that is stacks
  • Zoe Brewer
    Zoe Brewer
    on Feb 26, 2020

    Dont know what to do I painted the banister gray not gloss been 3 day not dry still sticky what can I do

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