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Old 02-27-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


Hi,
I really need help with this question. On 5 walls in 2 rooms of my house have a white powder like coating that i have tried to clean off with water and an all purpose cleaner. Patches appear to come back up in a matter of minutes. What could this be? Please help. Also to note one room is a bedroom with two perimeter walls the other two walls do not have a bath tub or toilet beside them. the other room is a living room with the same problem. both were painted at different times. years ago.

Thank you to any who can help in any way.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:09 PM   #2
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


that is what is called frosting and you wil need a oil based primer then a good 100% acrylic paint to top coat it. Frosting is surfactant bleed through and it happens with dark colors that get exposed to some sort of moisture before they are fully cured. you can try and scrub but it won't go a way!
or your house is possessed by a evil paint and its sending you a message

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Old 02-27-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


Thanks for the reply is frosting harmful in any way. also is there other options besides re painting the rooms?
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:23 PM   #4
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


No, but it's fattening. I can't say I've ever seen that bad a case. The most I've ever seen is spots. What country do you live in?
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


Surfactants are a soap-like wetting agent that can be brought to the surface by moisture while curing. They can be washed off with clear water when they are fresh. However, if I understanood you and from looking at the pictures, this looks different than surfactant staining. I am going to guess that perhaps there was wallpaper on the walls and the paste wasn't thoroughly washed off.

In either event, a full prime coat of oil-base primer, such as Zinsser Cover Stain, should be applied and a new 100% Acrylic finish should solve the issue. If they return, consult an exorcist.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


I would say that washing before any priming/finishing is essential. I don't know if clear water or a detergent is needed, but I guess a detergent can't hurt. Just be sure to rinse. I would try that route and monitor your results before jumping into full prime/repaint.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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The evil paint spirits !!

The guys have pretty well nailed it. Just one more consideration- was it painted while it was very cold and are those outside walls without much insulation? Another cause of all of the above-
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


If you just trying to get out of the work of repainting, it's not going to happen. Going to need the oil based primer. Have it tinted close the the color you going to paint the wall. If it's two differant dark colors just tint it gray.
If not plan on at least three coats of finish paint.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


I really need help with this question. On 5 walls in 2 rooms of my house have a white powder like coating that i have tried to clean off with water and an all purpose cleaner. Patches appear to come back up in a matter of minutes. What could this be? Please help. Also to note one room is a bedroom with two perimeter walls the other two walls do not have a bath tub or toilet beside them. the other room is a living room with the same problem. both were painted at different times. years ago.

Thank you to any who can help in any way.


Hey D3...

There's a part of me that wants to agree with Nailbags that what you're experiencing is "frosting" - although frosting has nothing to do with surfactant leaching...and an oil primer may, or may not, be the best thing to prime with. Surfactant leaching and frosting are both problems that are kind of atmospherically activated...kind of...Trouble is, both of them usually show up shortly after application and both can be easy, or difficult, to correct.

For lack of a better term, frosting is an imbalance, or a reaction of calcium carbonate with other pigments or colorants, and ultimately the resin in a coat of paint - especially (but not always) in less expensive paints that are short on resin and have a higher ratio of filler to prime pigments. Calcium is not a bad component, and is found in most paints regardless of quality. The problem is if it's not bound, or kicked out of the mix during abnormal, or forced, drying - it may show up on the film as a white powdery haze that may or may not wash off. Surfactant leaching usually shows up on the surface as a somewhat sticky clear or amber film that may or may not wash off easily.

Your comment about wiping it down and it re-appearing upon drying is kind of representative of calcium carbonate. As I mentioned earlier, Calcium Carbonate is a filler pigment. Filler pigments typically turn transparent when wet and opaque when dry (it is also the ratio of filler to prime pigments that determine the hiding characteristics of paint film as in Wet Hide versus Dry Hide products)...(but that's another boring topic for later).

The problem is frosting can be kind of difficult to treat. In extreme cases, untreated frosting cases can have impact on the adhesion of subsequently applied coatings. Usually the best product to prime with is a resinous masonry sealer (clears sometimes actually work better). Acrylic products like Seal Krete Original (wonderful product, btw) would probably work fine. Test a wall before committing to the entire project, but I think that'll take care of it. Topcoat with a high quality wall paint (for darker colors, stay with at least an eggshell sheen rather than flat).

The only part that doesn't fit is the fact you say it was painted years ago. Are you saying it only showed up recently? ...or has it always been there and you're just now getting around to correcting it? ...As a possible other consideration, are these plaster walls? ...or drywall? Any other info you can provide would be helpful. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


BTW TWIMC- (By the way - to whom it may concern)
The guy known as ric knows paint, knows paint.
I know how to use it- he knows whats happening with it chemically.
Listen to him.

Glad to have you around ric.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:36 PM   #11
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
BTW TWIMC- (By the way - to whom it may concern)
The guy known as ric knows paint, knows paint.
I know how to use it- he knows whats happening with it chemically.
Listen to him.

Glad to have you around ric.
Thanks, save me a trip through google! 100% agreement about Ric, though he's usually somewhat over my head, I do manage to grasp some of it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:38 PM   #12
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


Thanks everyone for the replies.

-The house is in the city of Toronto, Ontario.

-The weather here is not too cold for winter, barely any snow or frost.

-This has been a trouble before and we would just wash it though now the situation looks worse so Ive only started to do research into it.

-The man who's bedroom it is ill and on a limited income for a while. So I was looking for a quick fix for him.

-I have washed the walls and its not as drastic as before though the white still comes through.

-Im not sure if this may help but not all the walls that were painted same colour same time have this problem, as a matter of fact its always been the same walls

The walls, not sure im assuming its drywall

Also there has never been wallpaper on these walls


Once again thanks all your comments are helping
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:43 PM   #13
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


Are they exterior walls, meaning is the other side of them the outside of the house? Is there any on interior walls?
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:43 PM   #14
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Please help!!! Weird white streaks on wall


Wow...thank you for all the kind remarks. Now I kinda feel bad about making all the stuff up...
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:45 PM   #15
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Wow...thank you for all the kind remarks. Now I kinda feel bad about making all the stuff up...
I knew there was something funny about you. I'm renaming you "sheldon knows paint"

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