My wife and I have been alternating some home refurb tasks. Our normal workflow when painting:

  1. Sand the surface.
  2. Wash with TSP (trisodium phosphate).
  3. Rinse the TSP and allow to dry.
  4. Prime and allow to dry (latex primer).
  5. Paint (latex).

Yesterday there was a mixup.

  1. She sanded the surface;
  2. She applied TSP, which dried;
  3. Days later, I painted right over the unrinsed TSP.

The surface in question is tongue & groove wooden boards on the ceiling of an old farmhouse. We are using latex ceiling paint.

This is obviously suboptimal. What are some ways of recovering from this? The paint is dry by now. And if we can't recover, what is going to happen to this painted surface and when?

  • 1
    What is the negative aspect of the appearance of the painted surface? What benefit is the TSP step giving? An expert of my acquaintance uses oil based primer on previously painted interior walls, then latex paint. Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 15:37
  • Side comment- Are you being safe and checking that its not lead based paint before sanding it?
    – freshop
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


I have used tsp for years it will help remove any residue I usually wipe after applying but only time will tell if it will be a problem. I would check to verify the paint is adhered if so I probable would not worry about it. If the paint did not stick well it would be time to remove and try again. I know I don't get it all off when I use TSP but have not had issues if the surface was somewhat clean.

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