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Perry Straley
Sticky Walls

My tiny central New Jersey home is about 100 years old. I'm not sure what type of contruction it is called, but there is no sill plate, meaning that behind the plater & lath wall there is an opening from the basement to the atic. Every so often, especially in the winter months, we have what appears to be sticy yellow sap running down some walls from the ceiling to the baseboard. This week, I've noticed alot of it in my bedroom which was painted about a year ago on the outside wall. The wall feels damp when the others don't. That side of the house faces about south east and receives a lot of sun all day. What is this sticky substance, why is it happening and how do I stop it?

Re: Sticky Walls

I can't offer much other than it sounds like an ingredient of the paint is leeching out.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Sticky Walls

sounds like you describe balloon construction.

do you or did the former occupants smoke? did you strip wall paper from the wall before painting?

did you seal prime the walls before painting? did you use a water clean-up primer? (betting if you did prime you didn't use an oil-based primer/sealer).

dampness behind the wall or condensation can really bring this out.

wash wall well. seal and prime with an oil-based sealer/primer let it dry/cure completely. avoid added humidity to room, keep heated and even run a dehumidifier so it fully dries. avoid finish painting with a water based/laytex paint on cold days and make sure you have room low humidity while it cures. avoid humidity loads like unvented bathroom activity, laundry and cooking while the laytex paint is fully cured (about a month).

since that's about impossible this time of year, (avoiding condensation on cold outside wall and ceiling) you might want to keep living with it and do the job in the late spring or use oil based finish paint.

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