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Old 10-12-2019, 05:11 PM
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Default Acrylic painted 3D Background now tacky

I've constructed a 3D background, painted it with water based acrylic and sealed it with acrylic varnish. It dried but now that's it's in the viv and things are getting humid in there, the paint has become noticeably 'tacky'. Not so much that it's coming off but still not 'dry' to the touch.

Should I be concerned? Will it eventually cure? I don't intend to stock for at least three months or more so will I be good to go by then or is something so adrift that I should tear the thing down and use another type of BG?
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Acrylic painted 3D Background now tacky

I've had that happen in some vivs with really high-humidity areas. It didn't self-resolve, I had to fix it. The wettest areas (splashed by waterfalls), you could eventually just rub the paint off easily by hand. The driest areas stayed intact, just fine. The in-between areas got tacky like you describe.

I no longer use acrylic paints in my really humid vivs - ones with water features. They work OK for me in vivs with drip walls, as long as the painted stuff isn't getting water actually dripping over it. But the best uses for my situation, are in vivs that just have misting, and not too much of that. Like 2x/day for 15-20 seconds, and heavier hand-spraying once/week. Now, these vivs have broms and moss and ferns, all that jazz. They aren't desert vivs. But they aren't dripping sopping wet. I have some vivs like that, too.

Not sure where that leaves you, but...there's my experience. I wound up rethinking some of my plumbing & use of water. Two vivs (the wettest ones that I wanted to keep that way), I just tore out the fake rock, removed all loose paint, and coated in epoxy and powdered tints. No more liquid paints in those. Epoxy is best for super wet situations. Or, just go cork mosaic, no foam no paint no bullshit.

Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Acrylic painted 3D Background now tacky

Thanks for the reply. It's difficult to decide what to do. The paint seems to be holding up but I'm more worried about any toxic effect on the future inhabitants. My gut says it'll be okay...
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Old Today, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Acrylic painted 3D Background now tacky

The nontoxic acrylic craft/hobby paints sure seem to be as advertised. Non-toxic, I mean. I have no experience with acrylic "varnish".

Besides systemic toxicities, you might also consider the possible downsides of simple adhesion. Gummy feet, torn skin, possible eye problems? If it was me, I'd probably tear into it. Your call though - time will reveal all.

good luck!
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