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Tacky paint

A contractor painted my house (new costruction) a couple months ago. I have a problem with the paint they used on the front door. With the sun shinning on the door...the door heats up...the paint felt tacky but didn't rub off but also gave off an unpleasent odor. There is a tight seal between my front door and my storm door which is why,I thought, I could notice a smell. As for a slight tacky feel...I am stumped. Old paint? Not mixed well? Suggestions?

Re: Tacky paint


My guess is that your front door was painted with a latex paint. Latex/acrylic paints do not form a hard film as does oil. It remains somewhat tacky, especially when it is humid out. Often doors with latex on them will be hard to open , as the paint grabs the weatherstripping. You can test if it is latex by rubbing it with either a product called Goof-Off or with alcohol. Both will soften latex paint immediately, but will do little damage to oil paint.

Latex paints have a wide range of odors. Many have a strong ammonia smell. I have opened up old cans of latex paint and smelled a very rancid odor, so bad that I elected not to use the stuff. I would not doubt that the high heat build-up between the storm door and door would aggravate the odor.

What to do about it? Painting the door with an oil paint would probably seal in much of that foul odor. It would also stop the tackiness. You could strip the door first, but that is a lot of work. See first if just topping it with oil paint solves your complaints.

Latex paint does have some redeeming qualities, however. It is much more colorfast than oil paint. That tacky, soft film also allows it to stretch with the changes in temperature and humidity. This is an attribute on panel doors where the panels are actually designed to expand and contract. The most vulnerable area on a panel door is the point where the panels meets the rails and styles. A paint film that cannot flex is prone to crack and be vulnerable to moisture penetration.

Re: Tacky paint

Same thing happened today, that afternoon sun just heats it up, the smell came back along with slight tacky feel. I tried some Goof off and it came right off. With small children in the house, I don't think i'll be able to use stripper. Probably sand it, prime it and use an oil based paint. Thanks for the advice.

Re: Tacky paint

Make sure you sand and then prime with a high quality primer first.

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