The wood in my bathroom is painted with a semi gloss white paint. I have to clean it often and after many cleanings, the paint in the areas cleaned most is sticky. I tried painting a fresh coat of paint on top-still sticky. I am not sure what to do. I tried sanding the paint in those areas and it just rolls off. If I paint with Bin and then a latex will that work?

  • 2
    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. I'm no expert, but I'd be concerned about peeling and bubbling, and adding layers wouldn't help. Jan 19, 2019 at 20:41
  • Is your bathroom well ventilated? This is just a guess based on what you've shared, but if your bathroom ventilation isn't up to par, AND you are cleaning a wood surface which then gets sticky, two things come to mind - the cleaner you use is re-activating the paint and even if it isnt, a wet surface that dries isnt wet anymore. So I presume it is not drying.
    – noybman
    Jan 19, 2019 at 20:50
  • We have a fan in the room but it is a small bathroom and there is no window.
    – user95872
    Jan 20, 2019 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


It sounds like someone has painted latex over an oil-based paint. One way to tell is cut out a small bubble, or scrape some of the top coat away (in an inconspicuous place) to reveal the underlying paint. Take a cloth and put some denatured alcohol on it. Rub the underlying paint for a few seconds and look at the cloth. If the cloth has the same color of paint on it, then it is a latex paint. However, if the cloth has no color on it, then the base coat is an oil paint.

If the base coat is oil, you will need to strip off the top coat. It should be really easy to strip since it isn't adhering anyway (it is rolling off when you sand it). I would suggest going back with oil paint. It is highly effective in damp settings and will last for years. It's also really tough and will stand up to cleanings. However, if you prefer latex you will need to do as you suggested and use a primer between the oil paint and the latex top coat.

  • I agree with the primer and stripping the bad paint off, bad base will always have problems.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 19, 2019 at 22:18

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