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  • FIRST POST
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 20th Mar 17, 11:20 AM
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    shortcrust
    What's the wet 'paint' on my damp cellar walls?
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:20 AM
    What's the wet 'paint' on my damp cellar walls? 20th Mar 17 at 11:20 AM
    The cellar in my Victoria terrace has a wall which is damp to the touch (really common round here). The brickwork has been painted but the white 'paint' is wet and sticky. It can be easily scraped off (or even sponged off!) and leaves a putty like substance that smells a bit mouldy. I think it's been there for years. Anyone know what it might be? Some attempt at damp proofing? Just paint?! I've got an urge to scrape the whole lot off as I've an inkling that the stuff is holding the moisture on the wall. Would exposed bricks be better? The brickwork is in reasonable condition considering. The cellar is fairly well ventilated and cardboard boxes stored down there from before I moved in don't seem to be suffering ill effects.

    I might get the whole lot tanked at some point but that's for the future.
    Last edited by shortcrust; 20-03-2017 at 11:22 AM.
Page 1
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 20th Mar 17, 11:27 AM
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    Gloomendoom
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:27 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:27 AM
    I paint mine with limewash. It is very permeable so doesn't hold in moisture. It can be sponged off like you describe.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 20th Mar 17, 11:30 AM
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    shortcrust
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:30 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:30 AM
    I paint mine with limewash. It is very permeable so doesn't hold in moisture. It can be sponged off like you describe.
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    I wondered about limewash but didn't think it would be a sticky layer. I suppose the fact that it feels wet means that it's allowing the moisture through.
    • London50
    • By London50 20th Mar 17, 2:40 PM
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    London50
    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 2:40 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 2:40 PM
    It COULD be Soft Distemper on the walls, that would feel sticky/putty like if the damp is coming through
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 20th Mar 17, 2:56 PM
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    shortcrust
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    It COULD be Soft Distemper on the walls, that would feel sticky/putty like if the damp is coming through
    Originally posted by London50
    A quick google makes me think you might be right. I guess it's not going any harm but is there any advantage having it there rather than bare brick? It's a bit grotty!
    • London50
    • By London50 20th Mar 17, 6:19 PM
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    London50
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 6:19 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 6:19 PM
    A quick google makes me think you might be right. I guess it's not going any harm but is there any advantage having it there rather than bare brick? It's a bit grotty!
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    I would not think so, as long as you are happy with the look/feel after all it is just the same as decorating with modern materials and personal choice
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 20th Mar 17, 7:10 PM
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    shortcrust
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 7:10 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 7:10 PM
    I would not think so, as long as you are happy with the look/feel after all it is just the same as decorating with modern materials and personal choice
    Originally posted by London50
    I might scrape the lot off. I think damp bare brick is a step up from sticky dirty white brick!
    • London50
    • By London50 20th Mar 17, 7:31 PM
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    London50
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 7:31 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 7:31 PM
    I might scrape the lot off. I think damp bare brick is a step up from sticky dirty white brick!
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    I can understand how you feel, I remember back in 1940's/50's when distemper was the "new" must have product for the masses the builders merchants I worked for back then sold large amounts weekly but times change along with tastes.
    As you say bare brick should look far better
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 20th Mar 17, 8:30 PM
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    shortcrust
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 8:30 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 8:30 PM
    I can understand how you feel, I remember back in 1940's/50's when distemper was the "new" must have product for the masses the builders merchants I worked for back then sold large amounts weekly but times change along with tastes.
    As you say bare brick should look far better
    Originally posted by London50
    I think it might be a satisfying job too! I did a few bricks last night and now they feel much drier than the painted ones.

    Thanks for the info.
    • London50
    • By London50 20th Mar 17, 9:17 PM
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    London50
    I think it might be a satisfying job too! I did a few bricks last night and now they feel much drier than the painted ones.

    Thanks for the info.
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    No problem, glad I could help
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 20th Mar 17, 11:24 PM
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    FreeBear
    I remember back in 1940's/50's when distemper was the "new" must have product for the masses
    Originally posted by London50
    Distemper (in one form or another) has been around since the Egyptian times... Hardly a "new" product. However, tastes change, and the old stuff has fallen out of fashion, only for it to creep back in. Natural paints and traditional colours are all the rage again (at inflated prices).
    So many cats, so few good recipes.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • London50
    • By London50 21st Mar 17, 9:00 AM
    • 1,300 Posts
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    London50
    Distemper (in one form or another) has been around since the Egyptian times... Hardly a "new" product. However, tastes change, and the old stuff has fallen out of fashion, only for it to creep back in. Natural paints and traditional colours are all the rage again (at inflated prices).
    Originally posted by FreeBear
    When I stated "new" I meant it as the latest "fashion" not that it was a new product.
    • Cats are great
    • By Cats are great 27th Mar 17, 12:31 PM
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    Cats are great
    If it has a putty like feel it could be standard vinyl emulsion, the putty effect could be the vinyl additive coming away.

    You can get cellar paint which contains more fungicide than usual but they tend to have a pink caste to them.

    Like you say stripping it back would probably be best as painting on the top of it wouldn't work as the new paint wouldn't adhere to it. Be mindful old paint could contain lead so a cheap lead testing kit could be a good buy.

    Good luck
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