My white paint is shedding white dust

John Conlin / 25 May 2018

A reader would like to repaint a wall, but the white paint is shedding chalky dust.



Question

The inside walls of our garage are white painted but the white rubs off on contact with clothing.

Brushing down just produces more white dust and I would like to repaint but worry that the paint will just come away with more white dust. Is there a special paint, and does the existing paint need removing before repainting?

Answer

The existing paint has perished, and the condition is known as ‘chalking’. Paint basically comprises of two components, a pigment which gives the paint its colour and body and a liquid carrier that acts as a ‘glue’ for the pigment. What you describe is not unusual, the carrier has degraded, no longer binding the pigment to the wall. Lightly vacuum or brush off loose pigment and then coat the walls with clear ‘Stabilising Fluid’ using a roller and allow to dry before painting using a good quality smooth masonry paint.



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