Monday, October 20, 2008

Dripping walls- what's going on here?

Up until now, I have been a firm supporter of Benjamin Moore's new Aura paint line. I used this high-end paint product for virtually every room in our house. But look what has happened to my newly painted bathroom walls!
Ick, right? Those streaks, evidently caused by moisture build-up from the shower, are permanent. They look wet, but they are actually dry, shiny streaks. We don't have a ventilation system in the bathroom, so always leave the window open to air out the room. We also shower with the door open, which you would think would cut down on the moisture.
When we first painted the bathroom, I used a semi-gloss finish, knowing that moisture can wreck havoc on painted surfaces. But the walls are so uneven and full of imperfections that the shine caught every bump, crack and ridge, drawing way too much attention to the flaws. So I repainted it in a matte finish. But these streaks are awful.

Have any of you ever experienced this before? Help, what should we do!


rachael said...

Hi Rachel,

I have so much fun reading your blog, however I can't find an email for you, so I am posting here. I was wondering if you could recommend one or 2 colors to paint my home gym. It's an empty basement room, 11x14. I was thinking something relaxing yet energizing, perhaps a calming blue or toned down lime green. What do you think?


Rachel said...

Rachael- i'm so glad you enjoy my blog, it's really nice to hear.
if you want to email me at rachel.perls [at] gmail [.] com (take out the [] and the spaces) with more details about the room, and pictures, i'd love to see about helping you :-)

Teresa said...

We've used Aura paints in the kitchen & living room, so we don't have the same moisture load as your bathroom. Eggshell finish & no problems so far.

I've been leaning away from using Aura in our bathrooms, mainly because I can't see how the earthy tones work with my fifties tiles--although you found the PERFECT brown for your peach tiles... What color is it by the way?

Anyway, I will follow your blog closely to see if you find a solution to the streaks... have you tried wiping the walls down, to spread the moisture coat evenly? Then consider adding a fan?

Mark Lamborn said...

What you are experiencing is not uncommon when a latex paint is used in a bathroom that does not have adequate ventilation installed. Film discoloration due to a concentration of water-soluble ingredients on the painted surface, typically found on ceiling surfaces in rooms that have high humidity, for example, bathrooms and kitchens. The discoloration may appear as a light tan or brown spots showing a glossy, soapy appearance.

Latex paints will exhibit this tendency if the coating is applied under very humid and cool temperature conditions. Dark colors made with large quantities of colorant are more susceptible.

Remedies: Wash the affected area with soap and water using a soft cotton cloth and then rinse with cool, clean, water. This problem may occur once or twice again before leachable material is completely removed. When paint is applied in a bathroom, it is important to have it dry thoroughly before using the shower/bath.

A more permanent solution would be to invest in suitable ventilation—the best choice being an exhaust fan that directly vents to the exterior of your home.

Best regards,

Mark Lamborn
Benjamin Moore & Co.

Rachel said...

Mark-thank you so much for writing in with help for my streaking bathroom. I really appreciate it!

Teresa-Aura paint is a base into which any pigment is mixed, so you're not limited to any specific color. Any color in the BM fan decks can be mixed with Aura base. Our bathroom is 1239 Rural Earth, a very purply brown.

The thing that i loved the most about this paint is that it has such a high pigment load, i could do most colors in 1-2 coats, and darks only took 2 coats. this is virtually unheard of with really deep colors like the brown in my bathroom.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel-
We re-did one of our bathrooms and the Aura paint had just come out, and I was super excited to try it. I have experienced the same problem, even though we installed a new exhaust fan. (Bathroom has no windows.) Trust me, I love all things Benjamin Moore, but would not use the Aura paint again,even though it is "green". We have 2 other bathrooms, with out windows, that have been painted with traditional B/M eggshell paint. Oh, and, in reference to Mark Lamborns comments, I painted then we tiled and the job took 8 times longer than expected so it was 8 months before I started showering in the room again. I will try his washing method.

If you'd like to see the re-design visit

funcolors said...

It's called Water Whitening. If you Google you'll find some more info about.

It happens. Just the nature of the beast that is paint. It's more noticeable with some colors (darker ones) more so than others.

It will eventually work itself out. It happens with ALL brands and ALL sheens so it's not something that is exclusive to Aura by any means.

Some people's bathrooms never have a chance to *dry out* due to daily use so the streaks feel like they are constantly there. It could take weeks or months, but one day, all of the sudden the streaks of water just won't be there.


Anonymous said...

This is not a brand/line specific problem, but relates to the additives contained in all acrylics engineered to exhibit other prioritized, marketable traits.

Acrylics contain a cocktail of additives to influence the relationship between oil loving polymers/pigments and water. In the case of warm-moist air environments, hydrophilic surfactant emulsifiers (water loving in nature) will migrate from the cured film and crystallize on the surface (streaks.)

What to do?

As suggested, try washing the surfactants once they have eventually worked their way out (2-4 weeks.) Use distilled water and a 50/50 cotton poly blend t-shirt material.

Rachel said...

wow, i had no idea! thanks for all the education and great tips, everyone.

I've wiped down the walls and will wait and see what happens. BM also wrote to offer me a gallon of their new Bath and Spa paint product, which evidently has some new properties to reduce this effect. I'll keep ya'll updated.

funcolors said...

Well, one gold star for Ben Moore! :D Seriously, very cool that they would offer to do that. Definitely keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

Oh that is great of Benjamin Moore. I just love, love. love them & their products.


Jessica L Gordon said...

I've had 6 clients and myself experience the same problem. I'm a loyal Ben Moore user, but I no longer recommend Aura in a bathroom or kitchen backsplash. Eco Spec semi-gloss works better if you are concerned about VOCs. I'm not sure if they are testing the new Natura to make sure that it's not going to preform the same way because its going to be tinted with the same gen-x colorant. I'll probably be hesitant to test it.

I'm planning on repainting the same color with a higher sheen level in Earthpaint, after I de-gloss it of course.

Fish said...

I had the same problem occur but i'm not using BM Aura. I'm using the BM K&B paint. It looks horrible. ALso it was a self-priming paint that went over a previous coat of glossy paint and its bubbling in some areas. its a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

I got fed up with my weeping walls, and fortunately this was the very first link I tried from a google search. To pay $55 for a gallon of Aura, and then have this happen, is inexcusable. I would love to know the margin that paint stores are getting for Aura, because every store was telling me how Aura would work anywhere at all. A bathroom wall area that I needed to repair with joint compound peeled away in huge chunks very shortly after painting. Then the weeping walls started, which is unbearable. It is NOT a paint problem in general. As with most of you, this is NOT a new bathroom. I had no problems with earlier paint jobs, before BM Aura. Now BM Aura, the supposed greatest paint ever, is a disaster. Where are the disclaimers? Where are the "don't use in these circumstances" lists? I had been a very loyal BM customer. No longer. Or I should say I will attempt to get compensation from BM. Short of that, I am done. Regardless of financial consideration, the enormous amount of prep work that it will take to paint over with a good paint is daunting. I better find another blog and see about prepping my weeping walls for another product? Sorry for the tenor of this post. I tried to be more constructive!

Rachel said...

Anonymous- I was contacted by a BM marketing rep after I posted this article, and was told I could get a complimentary gallon of their new Bath and Spa paint to try, since I was dissatisfied with the quality of the Aura paint. They made sure to tell me that they would offer this to any dissatisfied customer, so I would suggest heading into your local BM store and asking for compensation of some sort. For $60/gallon, I would hope that they would want happy customers.

judi said...

Your pictures look like my walls! I thought I had a leak some where as I remodeled the bath because of frozen pipes and began to panic! I never experienced this before in all my years of painting. I used latex Dutch Boy over primer. Usually a BM fan and had problems with the Dutch Boy right from the start. I too did not use the shower for several weeks after painting. This problem actually started showing up months after the job was done. My question, did the wall washing work? What kind of soap and is distilled water a must? Did it take one time washing or many? Oh and I have an exhaust fan! Thank you for any help. Judi

Rachel said...

washing the walls temporarily worked (I just used tepid tap water and dish soap). but not more than a month later, the drips are back again.

Lori, aka Funcolors, is a very talented color consultant friend of mine with extensive knowledge about paint, and since her comment reassures that it might take a few tries, I'm going to give it another washing (grumble grumble grumble) while I wait for my complimentary gallon of Aura Bath and Spa paint to come in.

Christina said...

I hate to revive an old thread but I was just wondering how this ever worked out? I am getting ready to paint a bathroom (also not that well-ventilated) and I was considering the Aura Bath and Spa product, but your situation is definitely a concern! (Lovely color though.)

Rachel said...

Christina- I finally got around to repainting my bathroom with the new BM Bath and Spa paint to try and resolve my drippy walls.

I was really disappointed by the initial results- the paint was thin, not nice and thick like regular Aura paint, it didn't cover as well, and had a strong smell that lasted for days.

I am waiting to give my final review of whether it resolved the drippy issue, as that takes about a month to show up. But initial thoughts are that the product isn't worth the $.

Anonymous said...

I am anxious to find out what your impressions are now with the Aura Spa & Bath paint. I'm currently prepping my bathroom and interested whether your problem was solved with their Spa and Bath specialty product.

Anonymous said...

We have two bathrooms which we repainted with Benjamin Moore Regal paint two years ago. The walls in both bathrooms resemble Rachel's. We have new exhaust fans which we use, we keep a window cracked open and the bathroom door open. we waited a week before showering after painting. Two years later we still have horrible, streaky looking walls. The Ben. Moore rep. stated that a permanent solution was suitable ventilation. I think we have that covered. I am confused!! We never had this problem before.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel
So how'd the BM Aura Bath & Spa paint work out for you? I was just about to buy some today when I ran across your comments. Am particularly taken in by the scrubable claim and that their matte finish is suitable for the moist bath location.

Rachel said...

Since I didn't prime over the Aura paint before repainting with the Bath and Spa line, I can't say for sure. But I can tell you that painting Bath and Spa directly over Aura did NOT fix the weeping walls. I was very disappointed with Bath and Spa. When I gather the courage to repaint my bathroom a 3rd time, I will try priming first to see if that helps. So for now, no solution.

Anonymous said...

FYI when I painted my walls the first time I used 2 coats of primer over my painted walls to "hide" some water spots from a broken pipe issue. Then I painted the walls with 2 coats. Then the walls weeped about 1 month later. I want to repaint, but don't know what to do first, wash and see? reprime and paint? I don't have time to keep painting this bathroom! Any suggestions on what to do first? Judi

Annie, bossy color said...

This is SO helpful, everyone - Depressing, but helpful. (I just Googled the Bath & Spa paint and found this.)

I've just started recommending Ben. Moore Bath & Spa line to clients, but this is making me think I should just stick to a regular satin finish instead. Grrrr. I'm in an anti-shiny wall phase, so I'm not thrilled about that solution. I haven't tried the paint myself, so all of your input is really valuable.

Thanks, Rachel and all.

Anonymous said...

I have a primer over the stock paint, as well as about 5 coats of aura paint on my bathroom walls. You really have to be careful when wiping dripping hands next to the towel bar, such that no drops hit the paint. Same for the sink area. And if it does, soak it up immediately. I recommend you all get a dehumidifier and run that while taking a shower, and let it run for 30 to 45 minutes after. The dehumidifier has the power to keep your bathroom mirror from even fogging up. If you're going to take a super hot long shower, you should also run it a little before hand to drop the humidity level first. It has a loud vibrating noise, but makes the bathroom temperature warm as well and comfortable to step out of a warm shower into.

The only areas that are shiny on my paint are the upper corners, which cannot be easily seen. They are shiny up in the corners because that is where the ceiling exhaust pulls steam out from behind the curtain.

Also, the automotive rag called the "absorber" works well to pull moisture out of paint, as I woke up this morning to find it raining and drips down my open window. Moisten it, ring it out, then gently pat dry the wall holding for up to 1 second on each area.

dehumidifier in bathroom:

Rachel said...

anonymous- i'm going to get a dehumidifier and see how that works- thanks for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

OK Does anyone feel that having to buy and put a dehumidifier in your bathroom is not the soluiton? We have exhaust fans, I never in 25 years of painting had an issue with dripping walls until now. The paint manufacturers need to find the solution. Not many of the posts here are from first time painters. I wonder if the formutlation for paint pigment has changed. I work in the printing industry and most of the pigmentation for ink comes from China. Yep, that is relatively new in the industry. Just a thought, but we shouldn't be having to repaint after painting, especially if you primed first, waited and painted. This just makes me not want to paint again. But I don't like wallpaper....

Anonymous said...

from what i read the aura bath and spa is a reformulation of the original aura matte paint that was known to streak. calling this paint bath and spa seems to be a marketing tool to cover up the problem. other aura finishes like eggshell didn't seem to have the issues the matte did. perhaps consider muralo ceramic or graham's ceramic paint. the problem is specific to the matte line of paint it seems.

Anonymous said...

or repair your bathroom walls and repaint in semi gloss. you can hire a plaster repairer, drywall repairer. what i've been told is no matter what paint you buy, it will never hide a surface that's bad to begin with. another paint that was recommended to me other than graham's ceramic and muralo ceramic is zinzer perma white. but i haven't used any of these myself.

Leo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This has been happening in my guest bath for years! (And it dried for months before use.) I thought it was a factor of inadequate ventilation, but a new fan didn't help at all.) Then I painted both the kids' bath and my master. Neither of which had never had any previous problems. And, afterward, they both started having these same drips--both are painted in BM latex egg shell finish. It's got to be the paint. And it's not a bleed through--my mirrors are now having the same drips!!!! Not just the walls!

And I can tell you that if you google BM and dripping walls together--you get way more info than you do if you just google dripping walls. I think it's got to be the paint! I'm going to try a glaze over the walls after I clean them, again! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Maybe the glaze will make the streaks much less noticable. BM had better address this!

Anonymous said...

We just removed wallpaper from our two bathrooms. I decided to try a faux finish (color washing) to mimic the look of the paper. For years I used Behr paint and always liked it. My SIL is a decorator and recommends BM, so I used that for the last few paint jobs and loved it, so I was going to use that for the baths. My husband spent ages prepping the room. It was advised that we prime the walls with Zinser to avoid problems with any residual wallpaper glue. BM dealer recommended that I use a Regal semi-gloss for the first coat before I washed with the color glaze mix. We did and let the room dry overnight before using(16 or so hours). We have a fan and always had a normal amount of steam in the room post shower, but nothing out of the ordinary. Our walls started to run with a reddish brown goo. We washed it away but it returned every few days. This has gone on for weeks and the walls have been washed 8 or 9 times. A rep from BM told me it was surfactant leeching. Surfactants are a soap like additive with helps to disperse the color in the paint. He (like another poster on this thread) indicated that it would go away in time and expressed surprise that I am still having to rewash. His advice was nothing but "Get better ventilation in the room. He told be he had installed a 300 dollar fan in his house vented to the outside and he never had any problems despite having kids using the bath. I asked that shy of installing a 300 fan, what could I do to stop the goo on my walls. He suggested
a box fan in the door. He also said it could take up to 4-6 weeks for the paint to cure completely and that I should not use the bathroom if it could be helped. He also said I had used a paint not recommended for baths and should have used the bath and spa paint. I asked why I had not been told any of this when I bought the paint and he said their dealers are all independent so it had nothing to do with BM. He also wanted to know who recommended the Zinzer primer(a friend who paints professionally) because although "painters like it because it dries fast, it is not compatible with all paints and I should have used BM primer." (Clearly I had done EVERYTHING wrong.) Can you tell that I found this guy to be a bit pompous? Then I was told I could not even do a color wash with the Bath and Spa paint as it was a matte paint and not recommended for faux finishes. I called my local dealer (a very nice man) and he said he would replace the paint and have A BM rep call me. She did (also very nice) and her recommendation was to repaint with the Bath and Spa. I was concerned about repainting before the goo stopped coming out of the existing coat, but she said it was a topical issue when the moisture hit the paint so by sealing it over with another paint it would end the problem. When I asked her about a glaze she said she was not sure but thought a glaze coat would not react with moisture so should work. SO now I am researching this trying to decide what to do. I really wanted a color wash in that room as it needs a subtle color, but am sick of this whole project. Now I don't know if I should take the replacement paint (which makes economic sense)) and hope the Spa paint lives up to the claims or just try the Behr premium which is supposed to be good for high humidity areas. I still have the second bath to finish and don't want a repeat! And I am disappointed because I have really loved working with BM paint in the past. Sorry to rant here - I got carried away. But as another poster said - isn't it wrong to think that we need to buy fans and dehumidifiers and shower with the door open just to have decently painted wall? If anyone has any experience with the Behr I would love to hear about it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

An addition to my above post - the 2nd BM rep who said the glaze might be OK was talking about colorwashing over the existing semi gloss - not the Bath and Spa.

-S said...

Before I begin, I should state I live in New Mexico, a very very dry state.

Since there have been so many comments over the years about this problem, is there any recommendations of a brand or type of paint that doesn't do this?
I just had my entire house repainted and the painter chose BM regal. I didn't have any problem with his paint choice. 2 of my bathrooms are having this problem. The master bath, everywhere, in both eggshell (walls) and matte (ceiling) and satin (trim) finishes. All places have examples of the brown goop running off of them too, in addition to the streaking. Bathroom was not used for weeks before and after paining due to a new floor being put in as well. So it definitely was dry and was able to have enough drying time. BM rep at the local place said these could be used in a bathroom.
So if BM wants to put this on the humidity and lack of ventilation, etc etc. fine. It gets a bit humid after a shower so be it. We have a large bath, and the fan is ran when we take a shower.
However my patience with that answer runs thin when I describe the 2nd bathroom which has the same problem. This bathroom is a half bath. Toilet and sink only. If I had to tell you how often this bathroom is used, I would say once a day, usually to wash our hands because of its proximity to the garage. No shower, no running water, no saunas in here. (Did I mention I live in a very very dry state too). So, this entire bath has this streaking. If the moisture from washing ones hands is enough to cause paint to streak like this, there is something definitely wrong with the paint.

I grew up in FL, a very very humid state. I have never seen this type of behavior in paint. My parents have been baffled as well as in all their years, they've never seen anything like this either.

What has happened to quality paint?

Anonymous said...

We started building a new house in 2009 and finished in early 2010. It was late December and early January when we were painting. We live in Missouri and had snow during the time we were painting (so it was cold). Our heat for he house was a propane heater (temporary).

Now to the point, we have what appear to be water streaks on EVERY wall of our house! I first noticed it in my daughters room and started questioning her as to what she spilled on her wall. Then I started noticing streaks on other walls.

This blog has been very helpful. I think I will try wiping the walls down. I know I WON'T repaint my entire house.

I share my story in hope to find a true reason for this problem. Obviously, in my case anyway, it isn't associated to my ventilation of my bathroom (which all are vented). I do believe that my problem may be associated to the cold temperatures during the time I was painting. We did have the propane heater going, but it was still cool and humid, which I was told just meant I would have a longer drying time.

Thanks again for all of your inputs.

LynnH said...

I,too, have the same streaks in two of our bathrooms. They both have windows and fans. I just had a thought. It seems the brand/type/color/finish of paint doesn't make a difference. I wonder if the builder grade paint that was put on the walls to begin with is the underlying problem.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Benjamin Moore is marketing what it knows to be a defective product. I hope they find themselves defending a class-action suit.

Christina said...

I'm so glad I found this blog. I built my house 2 years ago and everything was painted using Benjamin Moore Aura Matte paint. About a year later we started noticing condensation streaks were stained on our wall, and it looked like the paint was running. I talked to my builder about it and they said the architect confirmed that we have the correct sized vent. Then they tried to blame it on hairspray buildup. I lived through the 80's where people would use a half a can a day and I have NEVER seen this in all of the houses I've lived in. I believe it is poor quality paint and I think Benjamin Moore should be held responsible. I will be instructing my builder to take it up with BM.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I found this site. At least now I have something to go on to explain what is happening in our bathroom. I noticed most people on this site used Benjamin Moore paint. We're having the same drips running down the newly painted walls in our bath and we used Ultra Premium Valspar Eggshell finish in a medium brown. They say it can be used in a bath and has a mildew resistant finish and is scrubbable. We had trouble from the beginning getting it to spread easily. The second coat was nothing but trouble. I called the company and they tried to blame it on everything they could. We had primed with Zinser twice, had new paint brushes & rollers, had painted at a temperature of 69 degrees (furnace on) so when they couldn't find fault in anything else we did they blamed it on leaving the paint sit overnight on the carpeted, heated floor in our upstairs finished/furnished hallway. You got to be kidding!! They did offer to pay for a new gallon of paint but we didn't want more of this paint. About a week after that the drips started showing up. We tried re-painting those walls. The marks came back. We don't know what to do now. I'm going to try to wash it like some people have stated. Is there a specific soap to use? We've painted the 2 houses we've owned, from top to bottom, and have never had this trouble. I think it must be from all the additives they put into paint these days. Is there a brand that is safe from these drips?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm here with the same problem, weeping bathroom walls only I've never used BM! I'm a Sherwin Williams Cashmere fan(muah)I love it! I have used the flat in every room in my house with great results. My last project is the bathroom. I never thought about what paint I would use, just went to the counter and gave them my swatch, but ordered the low-lustre finish since it was going into a humid room. Now here is were I may or may not have gone wrong. I went to Home Depot for a Kilz primer and was talked into buying Behr premium plus enamel undercoater primer and sealer, I had previously removed wallpaper from this room using DIF wallpaper stripper spray gel and washed walls twice but wanted to make sure the walls were sealed. Now that being said there was a laps of about four to six weeks before I painted and there wasn't any streeking on the primed walls after using the shower.
So I have painted bathrooms before but never when in use and thought that two or three days was enough time to wait before use. I first noticed what looked like condensation dripping down the walls, I left the fan on for several hours after. When I went into check it, it still looked wet but when I touched it it was dry. Basicly I threw my hands up in the air, and went on to another project.
Sometime later on a routine stop at Ace hardware, I wondered into the paint dept and was looking at swatches when the manager asked if I was painting and I replyed I already did and it's bleeding down the walls. She asked me if it was a bathroom, I told her yes, she asked how long I let it dry before using the shower, I told her a couple days and thats when I got it, I needed to wait at least a week and was told it was surfactant leaching caused by being exposed to humidity when not fully cured.
So not sure were to go next, I have washed them and it took the streaking away but you can still see it at different angles and in different light. Can I paint over it with the same paint or was that paint not the right paint for the job to begin with? Was washing it enough prep to start over or do I have to prime again.
Well bottom line is the problem isn't limited to BM paint and in my case is probably operater error, not getting all the details on the paint I was using and not asking the staff at Sherwin Williams for advise on their products.
Google surfactant leaching.
Best of luck

Anonymous said...

My bathroom is painted with Behr Premium Plus Flat Enamel in pecan sandie (a khaki color) and I'm having the same issue. We have a fan, too. I've never experienced this problem before. :(

Annonymous T said...

We used BM Aura (Morrell color) and have terrible weeping. Also, the drywall tape started peeling off. this never happened with the original builder paint that was up on the walls. Same ventilation with both paints.

I will NOT use Aura in the bathroom, but am at a loss as what to use instead. Just wanted to give my 2cents to confirm that our walls look just like the original blogger posted.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is just a Benjamin Moore paint problem. I've had the same problem with Sherwin Williams paint. The original paint (house was built in '95) was also Sherwin Williams and it still had the same problem. Following the new paint job (with SW Bath paint in semi-gloss) I let the paint cure for a month before the bathroom was used. We STILL have the same weeping wall problem. Only in addition to the shiny "wet" streaks we also have yellowish brown streaks. It looks really gross and dirty.
I've washed the walls 8 times already. This bathroom is your average size bathroom and it gets quite a bit of use. About 3-4 showers a day. Sometimes less, sometimes more, depends. There is a skylight, no regular window. We changed the exhaust fan to a more powerful one. It is run during showers and for 30 minutes afterwards. The bathroom door is also left open afterwards.

I'm fed up with this and would love to know if someone comes up with an actual solution, because letting the paint cure and having adequate ventilation isn't working and neither is washing the walls.
This, to me, is completely unacceptable!!

If someone finds a paint that DOESN'T do this, let me know!!

becky said...

I found this site because we just renovated a bathroom at great expensive. It as exhaust fan, was painted before the shower was ever used therefore very dry conditions...with benjamin moore paint. We have a terrible streak problem. I cam to the conclusion it was the paint! Our other bathrooms get very wet from shower use and do not have a streak problem at all. Washing it does take the streaks off, but they come right back after the next shower!.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe that since the first post, non one has found a solution--especially the paint companies in question. Wonder why it is that the public is charged an outrageous amount of money for inferior products. Who is in charge at these companies? At least I know I am not alone in being ripped off as I, too, am going through this ordeal in my well ventilated and recently painted bathroom.

Gee said...

Has anyone tried Gardz to solve this problem? It is supposed to seal multiple layers.

I have used Gardz, but not in a humid room (I would have if I knew about it!). I used it on damaged walls after removing wallpaper. Neither of those rooms have dripping walls, but the rooms aren't humid, either.

After removing wallpaper, I apply Gardz, skim coat, and apply another coat of Gardz, as instructed by the label (then texture, prime and paint).

The label also indicates that you can put it over paint if needed, but I haven't tried that. For the room with the dripping walls, I want to retexture and repaint in any case. At that time I will Gardz/skim coat/Gardz like I should have done in the first place. I am hoping that will prevent the new paint from dripping.

If someone has tried Gardz to fix the problem, that might indicate that my plan will work!


Karen Craig said...

I built my house in 2009, and finally got around to painting my sons bath in Aug 2012, using Sherwin Williams Duration which is recommended for bathrooms. One month later the leaching was noticed. SW suggested washing the walls with Simple Green and water, repainting and letting it cure for a week before using the shower. One month later, the leaching started again. Back to SW. This time, they tell me to let it cure for a month. Before cleaning and painting again, I had my husband put in a bigger stronger fan. One month was up last week. I went into my sons bathroom today, and the leaching has once again began. Interesting, that before painting my sons bathroom, I painted my daughters bathroom using SW Duration also. Bath is the same size, temp in house is 68-72, fan is the same size, color is different, with what I think is darker than my sons.
I think the manufactures need to step up and accept responsibility for the mess we are dealing with. This did not happen with the cheap builder grade paint, so it must be something the manufacturer has changed recently. It is not acceptable to have issues like this and blame it on humidity. So, I will wash the walls again, and go buy a builder grade paint (I think it was Porter) in my color and try again.

Tim Burwell said...

I noticed this problem in our two baths develop about 1-2 months after repainting with Aura Bath and Spa. My intuition told me the water was disolving something in the paint and redepositing it on the surface when the fog dried.

I used my Wagner steamer with the floor brush attachment and a microfiber cloth (same rig I use to steam clean my tile floors) to "steam wash" the painted wall surface. So far this has worked for me. Really quick and easy to do in a small bath with little surface area! Takes maybe 10 min. Actually waiting for the steam to heat up takes longer than the washing.

We'll see how it looks a month from now. I may have to do it again a few times. I think the steam helps to draw out the surfactants, etc., so hopefully this will become a permant solution as opposed to having to repaint, which from what I'm reading is not really a better solution anyway.

As far as the look, I love the matte finish in the bath, and the copper color we chose is absolutely beautiful as it resonates with the inlaid tile accents the previous owner chose. Thier yellow paint was hideous.
BM Aura paint is worth every penny. Have it in every room in both of my homes.

Maybe this helps someone.

Sheila said...

Damn! I painted Aura in my bathroom - the bathroom type too! and when I got the drippy lines, I googled it, and this is the first page I turned up. We have fully adequate bathroom ventilation to boot!

I have thoroughly scrubbed the walls to remove the streaks once - and they came out nicely, but they are showing up again. Ick! All I can wonder is - why would I repaint with BM Aura again? Otherwise I am a big fan of the paint - just won't ever recommend it for any kind of damp area.

rob edray said...

In Dec'13 we stripped wallpaper thoroughly prepped and kilz primered the walls before painting with BM Aura eggshell. The bathroom was used twice the following Jan, and we noticed the streaks at the time and figured the paint needed more time. Just last week, it was used as our daughters were home for the week and dare I say the walls look horrible! even where a bath towel was hung on a hook, we have a glossy impression of the shape. However, I might have a fix. I have read all the stories here and I would like to go back to keep it simple.
Things like washing with certain solutions2-3 times, repainting, $100.00 for dehumidifier(cheap one) and $100's for ceiling fan installations, where does it stop? Dont know about you, but all I want to do is prep properly,use good paint and do it once and enjoy! well, our other bathroom which was painted 2 years prior and used within a week of completion has absolutely no streaks or water marks at all. only difference, as I hate to admit, was I bought the premium paint and primer combo at the big Orange box store. Hate to say it as I am a lifetime user of BM, but this problem of ours and all of yours..........well

Gee said...

I agree with the poster that this isn't necessarily a Benjamin Moore problem. I used Behr paint in satin matched to a SW color (Latte) years ago, and I still had the weeping problem. I went lighter this time, and I wonder if that is part of the issue.

This time, I used Zinsser Gardz (Gardz, skim coat, Gardz, then texture) before priming with Bin 123 Latex and painted with Benjamin Moore Bath and Spa. I haven't had a problem yet, but we are trying to use the vent more. I try to run it while showering, or I will run it after if I forget to run during.


Heather Brown said...

Wow, I guess I can join the crowd! I was very upset when I noticed the paint dripping down our walls. We used Behr paint. Same problem as all of you. I guess we can start washing the walls for a while until we get our second bath in working conditions and stop showering in the problem one! This is all so very disappointing. Good luck everyone and thanks for the imput.

Dave D. said...

When I painted a bathroom four years ago, I used white BM Bath and Spa on one wall and the ceiling, and light blue BM Aura eggshell on the other walls. Small cheap builder's bathroom fan. No streaking at all on the Bath and Spa, bad reddish brown streaking on the regular Aura walls which I think has decreased over time after repeated washings. I will be using Bath and Spa for all bathrooms from now on.

Nancy said...

My bathroom wall problem is CURED! and it looks beautiful!

cag said...

Thanks for posting this. I just wanted to say this happened to me too with the same Benjamin Moore paint. I have a great exhaust fan, but there is occasional steam on the mirror after a long shower. I can't say this only happens to BM paint, but I can say I paid much more for it so of others work the same why should I continue to spend the extra money? Disappointed. Will not be using BM next time.

Cindy said...


What did you do to solve the problem? Thanks.


fishfear said...

OMG this was the longest post I've ever read trying to solve a problem. Had my bath painted in July of 2007 and this problem (weeping bathroom walls) happened to me too.

Wallpaper removed and walls patched up and repaired.

Duron Water Based Terminator Stain Killer primer/sealer applied.

Duron Premium Interior Acrylic Latex Eggshell Enamel applied.

Result from day one - weeping bathroom walls!

So now it seems that Benjamin Moore Bath and Spa is the answer?


The thread indicates this didn't work.

WHAT IS THE SIMPLE SOLUTION TO WEEPING BATHROOM WALLS for a guy with a normal shower and a normal exhaust fan?

Rachel Perls said...

i am going to try and summarize all these responses and write a new post on weeping walls, as this is obviously an ongoing issue! to date, i have not gotten rid of my weeping dripping walls, but really should try some of these suggestions.

Tina said...

Please, give us your condensed answer, without reading this long thread, as this is a huge issue many of us have!!

Jo Davignon said...

I used Aura paint in my powder room and my walls are full of streaks ,no moisture can be causing it there is no bath or shower in the powder room so disappointed that paint is expensive.

FreeBee Queen said...

We just had our whole house painted with Benjamin Moore paint. We do have an exhaust fan in our bathroom and this is the only room in the house that is showing the streaking. It is a tan color and the funny thing is when I wipe the walls of my tub surround down and I push on it to dry them, streaks of red come out from behind it. The first time I seen this it totally freaked me out. My husband was not home and when I told him he thought I was crazy. Maybe I watch too many scary movies but at first I thought my walls were possessed or hiding some deep, dark secrets. Jokingly I told my husband maybe there are dead bodies buried in our walls. Of course that is not true because our home was just remodeled and the walls were torn down and gutted in the bathroom. So I did see with my own eyes that there was nothing in there. Tonight I wipe down my tub surround again and of course red is streaking out, not as bad as last time but it is still there. I decided to search the Internet and came across your blog. Has anyone found any definitive solution for this problem? I really do not want to have my husband tear our bathroom out again and I am sure he would not be too happy about it. Any thoughts would be appreciated. thank you and take care.