Allow latex paint to cure fully.

Author:Niles, Florence R.

Byline: Florence R. Niles

Dear Henri: I have a pine board that is mounted inside in my family room. About two months ago, in warm, dry weather, I painted this new board after lightly sanding it, with two coats of Benjamin Moore Super Spec Interior Latex Semi-gloss, allowing the first coat to dry for 24 hours. Everything seemed fine with the finish. I did not put any objects on the board for another three days.

I now find that any object that sits on this board for about a week without being moved tends to stick to the paint, which appears to be completely dry. In reading online about latex interior paint, comments have been made that latex paint tends to be "sticky.'' How do I paint wood shelves in the future to avoid this? Will using a primer work?

A It sounds as if the paint was applied too thickly to cure fully. It would have been best to prime the bare wood first, followed by a thin coat, which should have dried in the 24 hours you waited before applying the second coat, unless the humidity was high when you painted the shelf. The second coat may also have been applied too thickly before the first one had thoroughly cured.

Allow the paint to cure completely over several days or weeks and it should be fine.

Q I have a combination microwave/exhaust fan mounted over my freestanding gas range, but the air is recirculated back into the kitchen. I want to add an outside vent. The stove backs against a north-facing outside wall, and it seems like adding an outside vent would be fairly straightforward, directly through the wall above/behind the stove.

There also is space to run a vent pipe straight up through the second floor into the attic; directly above the first-floor location of the range is an enclosed interior void (where the tub/shower unit forms a right angle to the sink/vanity in a bathroom). The attic is unfinished.

I do not want to allow cluster flies (or any other pests) into the house through an added vent. I already have a cluster fly problem that I have been unable to solve. I am willing to pay...

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