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Sticky paint


The previous owner of our house painted the wooden master bath vanity a color we did not like. Plus, even after years, the paint was never truly dry...it was always a little tacky and the paint would cause the doors to stick a little bit.

So I removed the doors and hardware, stripped the paint, sanded everything, brushed on a coat of primer, then brushed on a coat of Valspar interior latex (mildew resistant) paint. Now, after 24 hours, the paint is still a little bit tacky (just like the previous paint was after several years). It is also difficult to sand with 220 grit before the second coat because the sanding doesn't produce fine powder, but rather tends to rip off small pieces of paint.

Is there something I did wrong? I guess it would've been better to use spray paint, no? Can the project be salvaged without major effort?

Thanks in advance,

Re: Sticky paint

The only thing you did wrong was to use a Latex/acrylic paint for this application. Latexes never dry hard as do a good oil based enamel. They also do not level themselves as well as oil when brushed. This stickiness will never go away and will be accentuated whenever the humidity is high.

Short of re-stripping and starting over, which would be the best, I would give the latex paint a couple weeks to cure as well as it can and then top it with a good oil enamel.

Such stickiness is common on entrance doors which have latex paints on the edges which come in contact with the jamb or face of the door. One must give the door a good shove to get it to break loose. I never used latex paints on doors, casement windows, or other fine woodwork for this reason (I spent 40 years as a contractor).

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