DIY Doctor

Alligator Cracking on Alkali Primer Painted Surface

Postby dustyb » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:26 pm

Hi all,

I'm hoping you can offer helpful advice on a decorating problem we have. To try to summarise a long story...

We moved home, and painted our daughter's bedroom with a base of white emulsion, then a top coat. It looked great, but soon figured out that the paint was off, as the room stank of sweaty feet. I stumbled on this forum via the ongoing 'Paint Stinks' thread/saga.

We contacted Dulux who sent us vouchers for Alkali resisting primer and a new top coat. We bought these from a trade paint shop, not off the shelf from B&Q like the off paint. I painted the room with the primer. The primer said repaintable in 16-24, so after about 28 hours, it felt dry, so I put on the new top coat yesterday evening.

Fast-forward another 24hrs to tonight, and it now has 'alligator cracking' pretty much everywhere. Despair doesn't even come into it after 4 coats and being back at square one.

Does anyone have any advice for dealing with this alligator cracking? Does it need to be sanded down? If we leave it long enough to thoroughly dry, can we paint over it? Any advice would be gratefully received.

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Postby proptech » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:23 pm

Hi dustyb

At least you are confirming that it's not just Crown paint, but any, as in the 'Saga'
I'm not sure why Dulux recommended the primer they did. As it's oil/solvent based, it was probably still very soft when you painted over it.
An emulsion paint (if that's what you call the top coat) can dry quite hard. If applied on top of a soft paint cracking can result.
I would think that it would be best to leave it alone now for as long as possible, a light rub down, and another coat to finish.
In the meantime why not try on a small area somewhere, to get an idea how long to leave it.
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Postby dustyb » Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Thanks for the reply and advice. We came to the same conclusion - leave it for a while, sand down a little, and tryanother coat. The cracks are very feint, and a test patch of recoating seemed to work, so we'll persevere.

Thanks again!
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