Tiny specs on a dry plaster wall - mould or something else?

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Hi,

Just redecorating our nursery. I found some small dots behind a canvas painting (sorry no picture). Just wondering if anyone knows what they might be?

It was the strangest thing. The canvas is a box frame wooden canvas bought in Australia. We’ve never had any mould issues at all and the walls are dry. They were behind it but not against the frame, so in the hollow bit.

They looked raised, wet/glossy and dark golden/brown. Not really rusty looking. They were shiny and had little halos where it could be oil or water soaked into the paint around them. Overall about the size of 4-5mm.

If they were wet I’ve no idea where the water could have come from as the rest of the wall is bone dry.

The wall is internal and next to the stairwell. No plumbing or wires that I know of. The wall is dry lined and the house is only 20 years old and well-built.

Anyway, just wondering if it sounds like mould and anyone would know the best way to remove it? I’ve got some HG Mould Spray, or is it better to try to cut them out of the wall and then fill over?
 
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CazDIY, good evening.

OK completely off the wall?? BUT??

Could these marks be some sort of infestation? caused by some sort of fly / beetle / bug? but that has hitched a ride from Australia on the frame ?

About 5 years ago, a friend of mine suffered a spider bite that had really serious effects on him.

It transpires that a neighbour had been on an overseas fishing trip / holiday, the spider that inflicted the bite had made a nest, a really easy to identify gaff, in a fishing bag taken on the trip, the spider then arriving in the UK went for a walk and bit my friend.

As original sentence [Off the wall??] BUT?

You appear to have eliminated water leaks, no condensation Etc, indeed all the "normal suspects" ???

Ken.
 
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Might they be the result of the paints used in the picture releasing solvents that were trapped in the void?
 
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CazDIY, good evening.

OK completely off the wall?? BUT??

Could these marks be some sort of infestation? caused by some sort of fly / beetle / bug? but that has hitched a ride from Australia on the frame ?

About 5 years ago, a friend of mine suffered a spider bite that had really serious effects on him.

It transpires that a neighbour had been on an overseas fishing trip / holiday, the spider that inflicted the bite had made a nest, a really easy to identify gaff, in a fishing bag taken on the trip, the spider then arriving in the UK went for a walk and bit my friend.

As original sentence [Off the wall??] BUT?

You appear to have eliminated water leaks, no condensation Etc, indeed all the "normal suspects" ???

Ken.

This is what I’m afraid of. It is so strange.

I’m quite anxious about it to be honest. Especially as it’s in my baby’s nursery. The reason for decorating is that alcove is going to have a fitted wardrobe installed soon. I really hope it’s not some Australian thing?? I wouldn’t even know how to find out. Anyone know of an Australian forum that I could ask?

I really don’t know what to do about it. I’ve just covered it with masking tape at the moment. It’s only a few specs, covering an area the size of a 50p.

My first thought was that it’s something from the picture itself. We stuck some small bits of blu tack on the bottom corners to help the picture hang straight (not ideal I know). The blu tack has left some oil marks. These specs have a similar halo that the blu tack has left behind but are brown/gold and wet looking. I don’t think it’s blu tack though.

To be honest it’s a picture that I’ve had for 10 years. It’s been in a few locations and never have I noticed this before.
 
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Might they be the result of the paints used in the picture releasing solvents that were trapped in the void?

Maybe. That’s what I wondered too. It’s only a very few specs covering an area the size of the 50p.

The back of the canvas is plain and unmarked. I guess there would be about half an inch between the canvas and the wall where they were.
 
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It could well be this. There were only a few specs. The weird thing that baffled me were that they were wet. Really hope it’s just a UK house spider that’s gotten behind the picture at some point.

I’ve seen the black marks flies leave around the house and this was definitely different to this. Kind of brown and raised. The halo around it too where it’s absorbed into the paint.
 
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Anyone any ideas how to get rid of it. Kind of worried it will come back when the wardrobe is there. Want to get it sorted before we put all our things inside it too.
 
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Can't you post a picture? It would help.

I often see mould behind wardrobes and furniture (including pictures) that butt up to the wall. There is no evidence of mould elsewhere but the lack of airflow behind them promotes the growth. However in general, I only see that on exterior walls- the moisture that builds up from breathing/drying clothes/showering hits a "cold bridge" and condenses. The fact that the air can't get to it means that it cannot evaporate off.

With respect to fellow contributors, I have never heard of an insect that burrows into gypsum. Nor am I aware of any antipodean insects that do so. If someone else cares to correct me I will be happy to research the matter. In the absence of any such evidence, can you tell us if it is an exterior wall?
 
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Can't you post a picture? It would help.

I often see mould behind wardrobes and furniture (including pictures) that butt up to the wall. There is no evidence of mould elsewhere but the lack of airflow behind them promotes the growth. However in general, I only see that on exterior walls- the moisture that builds up from breathing/drying clothes/showering hits a "cold bridge" and condenses. The fact that the air can't get to it means that it cannot evaporate off.

With respect to fellow contributors, I have never heard of an insect that burrows into gypsum. Nor am I aware of any antipodean insects that do so. If someone else cares to correct me I will be happy to research the matter. In the absence of any such evidence, can you tell us if it is an exterior wall?

I’m sorry I can’t post a picture as I covered it temporarily with masking tape whilst deciding what to do.

It’s on an interior wall with no traces of damp at all and no plumbing or wiring behind.

As JohnD suggested I’m now thinking that it’s likely to be something like a spider or insect that might have got behind it and left some droppings. Strange though. I’ve rechecked the back of the canvas and there’s nothing at all on it.

I understand what you’re saying about lack of airflow and mould. It could well be this too but the wall seems bone dry.

Think I will just wipe off with antibacterial/disinfectant and carry on.

When the wardrobe is installed there I will keep the door open a little bit to start with to keep ventilated.
 
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