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Old 06-06-2013, 09:34 PM   #1
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Bathroom Paint Streaking


Hello,

A little while back I painted my master bathroom using Behr ultra Satin Enamel paint. Ever since I notice the paint above the shower stall is streaking and in some places is actually putting a few blue runs on the wall tile. Every so often I take a paper towels and wipe down the wall which helps for a few days but then it starts back up again.

The paper towel always has blue residue from the paint as well - but I don't notice it fading anywhere, but it's definitely rubbing off on the towel.

The bathroom is around 200 sq feet and I usually leave the door open since the only vent fan is above the toilet which is in its own room inside my bathroom (not sure why the builder didn't put one in the main bath area as well). It barely has the suction power to hold up a dryer sheet anyway.

Any ideas why it streaks? The previous paint didn't do this and was more on the flat side.

Reason i'm asking is because I want to paint my guest bath - the current paint doesn't run and is also more on the flat side but since is much smaller (around 50sq ft) I don't want to magnify the issue of my master since the humidity level is 10 fold in the guest bathroom due to the smaller size. It has a vent but it too has crappy suction.

Should I try a flatter finish?

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Last edited by adgjqetuo; 06-06-2013 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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Bathroom Paint Streaking


That is super odd.... I know blue is often added to whites to make them brighter. Doesn't make sense though that the pigment would be bleeding out like that. Maybe the paint wasn't mixed well ? Hard to think of a technical answer to that.
I have heard of enamel streaking in a bathroom once before. I assumed it was a special case, since enamel use is common in baths. Usually with no problems.
Maybe a bher issue, or a bad batch. I have got a few gallons that didn't get shaken after tinting and had blobs of pigment.

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Old 06-06-2013, 09:51 PM   #3
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Bathroom Paint Streaking


Just use some decent paint. Go to SW and pick up some of their Bath paint http://www.sherwin-williams.com/home...oatings/paint/ or you can use their SuperPaint, as it also works well.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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I thought Behr was supposed to be a really good brand of paint?

Here is a picture but it's not the best since I just wiped it down s few days ago - before it was 10 times worse. You can also see it a lot more in the sunlight. The streaks were all over on top of the stall from the ceiling to the tile.

Keep in mind the last time I used the shower in there was early this morning.

Do you think egg shell would fair better?
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:25 AM   #5
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Bathroom Paint Streaking


On the label on the front of the can...does it say what base it is (white base, pastel base, deep base, something like that)?

That's a relatively deep color,and I'd be curious to know what base it was mixed in.

As Jmayspaint said, it's probably a batch issue.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:15 AM   #6
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Here is what it is. You need another proper fan

http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/f...ctant-leaching
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:45 AM   #7
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Bathroom Paint Streaking


Interesting article - that almost suggests user error and not bad batch - I guess I'll have to contact Behr and see what they say. They have excellent customer service. I did more research on leaching and that's exactly what i'm experiencing.

I've painted nearly every room in my house with Behr and the only other place I had an issue was with the deck stain. They covered the cost of 4 gallons of stripper and cleaner plus 3 gallons of stain so it could be redone!

The base number is "7753" I'm not sure how dark it is but I would think its on the darker side.

My wife and I couldn't find a color we liked so we took one of the sample colors we purchased and added some white into it until we found the shade we liked and then had HD color match it from a sample we painted on a paint stick.

We painted in February when the humidity was low and didn't use that bathroom for 2-3 days afterward so it could dry.


EDIT:: I called up Behr and they said its usually normal for humid areas and that the paint could take up to 4 weeks of low humidity to fully dry in humid places like a bathroom.

They said the leaching won't hurt the actual paint and that it should eventually self-correct. They recommended using a sponge, warm water and dish detergent to wipe gently then let air dry overnight. They said this will help speed up the auto correction.

They also said if wiping it down doesn't correct it within a few weeks that they will reimburse the cost for new paint to have it re-painted.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:59 AM   #8
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Bathroom Paint Streaking


Hiya Adg...

Let me begin with what your problem isn't. This problem is not a "bad batch" of paint, nor is this the result of paint not being mixed thoroughly, I s'pose it's possible that the wrong base could've been used - but, even if, that's not the primary cause of this issue. It is not necessarily the result of a low quality paint and it is definitely not surfactant leaching.

The situation you're experiencing is not even an uncommon phenomenon - matter-o-fact it is very common. What you've described is colorant leach, not surfactant leach. It is very common when finish latex paints are subjected to humidity and condensation. With any paint film, your colorants (tinting pigments) are very close to the film's surface. A latex film, which softens when exposed to heat and humidity anyway, is not an impervious coating - in other words, it can absorb moisture (condensation) - as the moisture is released from the film, it sometimes brings traces of tinting colorants from beneath the film to the surface (thus the blue color on your paper towel)...(don't use paper towels, btw). Even if it doesn't bring traces of colorant to the surface (that can be wiped off), the absorbed moisture can/will/does cause those same to "blanch" (lighten) only to resume their color after the surface is entirely dry (usually). This happens with all colors, including white - but is way more noticeable with darker colors. After the film dries and the color returns, often times the drip lines can still be seen (usually from a parallax angle) and appear as a slightly flatter sheen than the original film.

A lower sheen product is not the answer due to the pigment load differences between sheened and flat products (I'll be happy to explain that, bit it'll require a couple more paragraphs of this riveting prose to do so). At this point, suffice it to say that while a lower sheened product may not "show" as much of this colorant leach as another product may, the problem is till there and could result in additional problems later (film degradation, mold/mildew, etc.).

The problem is humidity. You need to minimize the amount of steam generated and stop the walls from being the point where this steam condensates. Start with your exhaust fan - placement of the fan isn't as important as the amount of air it's capable of moving. 200 square feet is kind of a large bathroom and you'll need a fan powerful enough to accommodate that size room. If changing the exhaust fan isn't an option, a portable fan will help, at least temporarily - even opening windows will help.

Other ways to minimize this issue is to take shorter, not-so-hot showers - and/or, and I realize this not the time of year to be saying this, raise the room (specifically wall) temperatures to alter the dew point away from the walls (keep in mind that by doing this, the steam is still going to condensate somewhere - trust me on this).

Repaint if you must, but I would not recommend trying a lower sheened product - nor would I consider anything other than a top quality acrylic product - but without addressing the steam, condensation and air movement issues, you may just end up in the same situation you're in now. I hope this info is helpful to you - good luck and let us know how things work out.

Last edited by ric knows paint; 06-07-2013 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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I didn't see your last post before submitting mine so I gotta couple things to add...While I think Behr was probably addressing the same thing I described (colorant leach versus surfactant leach), they made a couple of curious statements...(1) it is true that the longer an acrylic finish is allowed to cure in a dry atmosphere, the less probable the happenstance of leaching will occur. Is that a realistic expectation though? Is it realistic for a mfr of an interior use product to expect their consumers to paint a bathroom and not expose it to what's considered the normal "ravages" of heat, humidity, steam and condensation for 4 weeks? If so, why wouldn't that clearly be marked on the label in the app & care instructions? ...(2) if they were in fact addressing surfactant leaching, rarely (in interior environments) will surfactant leaching "self-correct" - when that happens inside, it often requires multiple clean-water washings (being careful not to scrub) to remove surfactant - and many times may even require a vinegar solution wash, followed by a clean water rinse to correct. So let's say they weren't talking of surfactant, but rather colorant leaching - rarely will colorant leach self correct, for the compositional reasons I mentioned earlier. The actual color run may diminish somewhat, but the streaking will most likely reappear each time the walls get wet...(3) many people on this here forum won't agree with me regarding this next statement, but applying just a little logic and common sense will prove my point. Never - never - use dishwashing liquid to wash painted walls with...if this were actually surfactant leaching (it's not), this type of detergent may Actually exasperate the problem. If it's colorant leach (it is), dishwashing soaps leave a residue (surfactant) on the surface not a whole lot unlike the very component that IS the problem of surfactant leaching. Dishwashing detergents are great for grease cutting and general cleaning, but they all contain lotions and emollients to protect your skin from caustic burn - these emollients penetrate and softens/compromises a paint film, gather dirt and provide food source for mildew and can make repainting difficult. A better detergent to use would be non-sudsing Dirtex or Soilax powder.

Again, I hope this info is more useful than confusing - peace.

Last edited by ric knows paint; 06-07-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:56 AM   #10
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Curses...I'm typing on an I-pad this morning and my big, fat, stupid fingers can't seem to always hit the right keys - then I can't figure out how to correct my errors, so apologies for all the spelling errors
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:24 AM   #11
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No worries - thanks for the great information. Where can I find non-sudsing detergent ? Would my HE laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent work? Both are non sudsing I believe.

I agree no use for 4 weeks is very unrealistic - even the rep said that she realized it was too.

I can add an additional vent fan, but I just find it weird the old paint never had this issue and my guest bath currently does not have an issue with this in its current state.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:34 AM   #12
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I wonder if a product like 'Aura bath and spa' would be more resistant to these issues.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #13
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If I can interject a bit here: no don't use your laundry or your dishwasher detergents, no matter how low-foam they might be. The reason has to do with residues and rinsing versus foaming or not. Dirtex (and I believe Spic 'n Span - but I may be wrong) are non-residual, no-rinse products and thus don't interfere with the subsequent layer of paint...Laundry detergents may contain other surfactants that may be low foam but leave a residue.

I think the point ricknowspaint was making is that this 'leaching' - call it surfactant or colorant - they're all part of the water-soluble components of a paint formulation - is due to an excess of these same components that comes from the addition of so much colour to the paint i.e to make it that deep a colour blue.

Good paint formulators try to minimize these components so that the paint film is created quickly - by the choice of ingredients. Simplistic explanation, I know...but when you add colours to a paint, you are precisely adding an excess of these components that come out of solution under certain weather conditions - like high humidity.

I am not sure whether this happens with the better brands of paints; I have a feeling it doesn't. Behr is not what I would call a 'better' brand of paint...

So what's the solution?

Since it doesn't really harm the finished paint film, I'd continue to blot it up and wait for it to subside - which it will in time. You are just helping along what is meant to happen anyway by doing that i.e those water-soluble components are meant to evaporate over time.

Hope I haven't spoken out of turn.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:08 AM   #14
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No - I appreciate all the great advice!


Just trying to understand though - maybe I'm on information overload but would it be best to use solely warm water and a rung out sponge? Or a product like spic and span?

If I use spic and span should I mix with anything or just spray it on the wall and wipe down with a soft dry sponge? Should I wash out the sponge in-between wipes to get the residue off?
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #15
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OK, we may be talking at cross-purposes here...I think the point that was being made was that - if you need a detergent to wash the walls, then use Dirtex for example, not dishwasher or laundry detergents.

But I don't think ricknowspaint was advocating for you to wash the walls at all in this instance - at least that's not the way I read his post. He was making a point about washing walls in general.

That being said, I wouldn't wash your walls at all, no need to, so forget about Spic and Span. I would use your sponge and warm water and blot up the drips, ring it out, and repeat. Some varaition on that theme, I reckon. Nothing else; as I said, the problem will correct itself in time.

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