Yellowing, Cracking and Efflorescence on newly painted walls

4 Nov 2008
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United Kingdom
Hello All,

I’ve painted the walls and ceiling around my backdoor 3 times with a brilliant white matt emulsion paint. The reason i coasted it three times is because the paint on the top half of the wall to one side of the door, and part of the ceiling turned yellow within hours of applying the paint). 2 weeks later the bits of the walls and the ceilings that have turned yellow are very damp to touch, and if i run my fingers across the paint i get a white residue on my fingers. Now the bottom half of this wall has an entirely different problem. This has browned in patches, cracked and there is an awful lot of white fluff stuff coming through (Efflorescence?). This bit of the wall is more dryer and warmer to touch. All the other walls in the area e.g the one to the other side of the door are absolutely fine. If i run the hot water in the adjacent toilet, the condensation forms in the areas where the paint has yellowed (e.g higher up) so i wonder if these walls have just go very damp over time? Also, naughtily, i used to leave the back door open, which has probably not helped! The problem is I want to put the house on the market and I’m not quite sure what to do to stop ) the yellow discolouration on the upper damp walls and ceilings 2) the brown patches,cracking and Efflorescence on the lower (not so damp walls). Any advice would be very gratefully received!!!

Ps. These walls have not been recently plastered

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Hi Nina

It sounds like you have a combination of a couple of problems, probably staining from damp and or damp actually occuring.

What I would suggest you do it sand down all surfaces and coat a sample of the worst affected area with a product called Zinsser 1-2-3. This product is designed to dry before the stain can come through.

Once your sample is dry I would leave it a day and see if the stain re-occurs, if it doesnt then I would coat all surfaces with the Zinsser product followed by finished the surfaces with your prefered system.

I hope you find this useful.

Cladding Coatings
Hi Mike,
Thankyou very much for your advice!! :) I had a look over the weekend for some Zinsser 1-2-3 in Homebase and B&Q but to no avail. Tried some Thomsons Waterproofer which the chap i brought the house off left behind, but hasn't made a difference. Currently experimenting with a layer of gloss followed by emulsion. Came across some Ronseal Anti Damp Paint in Homebase but unfortuntely it said it wasn't suitable but surfaces with efflorescence. Might try some Polycell Damp Seal if i have no look with the Gloss/Emulsion experiment - seems to have some good reviews. Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply
All the best

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