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Surface coating is generally achieved by an active operation: painting with a brush; withdrawing from a bath. Porous imbibition constitutes a more passive way: a porous material just put in contact with a reservoir containing a wetting fluid is spontaneously invaded. In this case, the material can eventually be filled by the fluid. If the aim is to coat only the surface of the pores, the liquid excess must be actively removed. We present an experiment in which a liquid train spontaneously movesdoi:10.1017/s002211200200126x fatcat:y4ct44toazgqnnfeseojgf7nfi