Problem Solver
Painting Tips
Consumer Section
Contractor Section
Dealer Section

Surfactant Leaching

Back to exterior problems...
Blotchy (usually tan colored) glossy water soluble spots on latex paints.

Leaching probable causes - painting in cool, humid conditions or just prior to their occurrence, such as late afternoon or just before or after rain. If moisture from any source collects on fresh paint before it has thoroughly dried, leaching may appear.

Leaching solutions - no painting when temperatures are below 50°F. Coolness extends drying. Surfactants that usually evaporate rise to the surface. The residue disappears from weathering in about a month and doesn't harm the paint. It is best to let nature take its course, but rinsing sometimes will easily remove the residue. Leaching cures itself in a little time.

Surfactants are necessary to paint formula. They evaporate and never are a part of the dried paint. Slow drying due to coolness or humidity, prevents the surfactants from evaporating and a blotchy sometimes glossy residue appears.