Oh no! That certain wall in your home that has been your signature background for your Instagram posts looks a little different today. You notice patches of white fluffs forming all over and it isn’t cute at all.

What are you going to do? 

Common Painting Problems: What is Efflorescence?

Those crusty white salt deposits are more commonly known as Efflorescence.

Efflorescence is a common painting problem that is usually visible on interior concretes. The process involves the water passing through a concrete wall, as the water comes to the surface and evaporates, it leaves salt behind. The remaining salt substance forms stains that is either in the form of drip marks or steady patches.

To better visualize, imagine yourself wearing a dark shirt while it’s 38 degrees outside. You can feel the heat penetrating your shirt and you start to sweat like crazy. After your shirt has dried out, you can see sweat stains from your shirt and it isn’t really appealing, right? That is just how efflorescence looks on your walls.

Efflorescence is the mother of all painting problems.

If not treated sooner, it gives birth to other painting problems.

Oftentimes, when there is efflorescence, there is also mold or mildew. Both work hand in hand in impairing the paint on your wall and when worse comes to worst, the paint chalks, fades and eventually disintegrates leaving the surface weak. 

Common Painting Problems: What is Efflorescence?

To prevent efflorescence, you must first know where the defects come from. There are three prevalent reasons as to why efflorescence on walls develops.

1.   Water seepage

First, there might be something wrong with the waterway that causes water seepage. To address the problem, you must find the source of water seepage and fix it immediately.

2.   Uncured substrate

If you have been reading the past blogs here, you might be familiar with this problem. Wrong surface preparation does more damage than you’d think. It’s better to clean up the walls properly and prepare the surface following the right procedures to avoid future problems.

3.   Thermal difference

Third, and probably the hardest to address, is the thermal difference within high places. Highlands like Baguio and Tagaytay often experience efflorescence on walls and there’s really nothing much we can do about it. If you live in the highlands, the best way to prevent such inconvenience is to keep your house well-ventilated. Keep the air coming in and out of your house. 

Don’t use vinegar to clean it!

Common Painting Problems: What is Efflorescence?

In fact, don’t use any liquid substance other than clear coating to remove efflorescence. The last thing you’d want to do is to wash it off with water because by then, salt deposits just dissolve back into the wall only for it to resurface when the water dries. And you are just going to repeat the same process over and over again.

Since efflorescence varies in form, to remove it, you can either coat it or scrape it off. Moisture from underneath the paint often forms patches on your wall that is hard to remove by just scraping. One of the things you can do is damp proofing or applying clear coating on the affected area to block the moisture from passing into the interior spaces. On the other end, drip marks that are usually more visible because of its sandy texture can easily be scraped off the wall.

Find what works best on reviving your tainted wall and you are good to go.

Got it? Now, why don’t you pose before that infamous wall while holding your scraper and paintbrush for a #DIYSaturday success? Flaunt it on the ‘gram, girl!

DIYers, watch this first to learn how to paint the Boysen way.


Jess is a copywriter who brushes up on her paint knowledge daily. Together with Boysen professionals, she makes the technical stuff easier to digest. When she’s not writing, she searches the internet for the latest dessert bar.

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