6 Gloss Paint Common Mistakes (& Fixes)

Gloss paint is known for its high amount of sheen, glossy appearance, and thick paint viscosity.

You will run into problems before, while, and after applying the gloss paint. Why do these problems happen and how to fix them?

1. How To Fix Gloss Paint Turning Yellow?

To fix gloss paint turning yellow, do the following things.

  1. Apply thin paint coats to reduce the oil amounts on the surface.
  2. Sand the paint finish with fine-grit sandpaper to reduce the yellow spots.
  3. Allow enough dry time between coats so the oily deposits evaporate fully from the coating.

Unfortunately, you can’t fix a gloss finish if it’s covered by yellow spots without removing the complete paint finish.

Gloss paint is oil-based so its paint particles are dissolved in oil. Once the paint dries, the oily deposits set on the surface and start to bind, forming a yellowish appearance. Within a few days, the paint coating will have an amber-like appearance that can turn too yellow.

2. How To Fix Gloss Paint Bubbles?

To fix gloss paint bubbles, do the following.

  1. Pop the bubbles on the paint coating.
  2. Sand the paint with extra fine-grit sandpaper (440-grit).
  3. Touch up the finish with one (1) coat.

Gloss paint bubbles appear in the finish for the following reasons.

  1. Improper Mixing: If you stir (or mix) the gloss paint container too hard before you apply the paint, you will create air pockets in the paint coating that can create bubbles once the finish dries.
  2. Foam Paint Rollers: They are made from absorbent materials that absorb too much gloss paint and apply thick coats that create bubbles.
  3. Porous Surfaces: If you apply gloss paint over porous surfaces, finish bubbles may appear as porous surfaces trap air pockets inside the pores. Once you apply the paint, the air trapped inside the surface pores will create bubbles.

3. How To Fix Gloss Paint Peeling Off?

To fix gloss paint peeling off, do the following things.

  1. Apply mineral spirits to soften the paint coating.
  2. Use a paint scraper to remove the peeling paint.
  3. Use medium-grit sandpaper (100-grit) to remove leftover paint.
  4. Find the reasons the paint started to peel and fix it.
  5. Apply stain-blocking primer.
  6. Re-apply the gloss paint.

If the paint is peeling on a few small spots, sand the finish with fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit) and touch it up with one (1) coat.

Gloss paint starts to peel off for the following reasons.

  1. Dirty Surface: If you apply gloss paint over a dirty surface, the dirt prevents the paint from penetrating the surface and adhering properly. The paint will peel off if it doesn’t penetrate or adhere properly.
  2. You Didn’t Sand Between Coats: You must sand between gloss paint coats to improve the adhesion. If you don’t sand between coats, the glossy finish prevents the new paint from adhering properly and causes it to peel off.
  3. Wet Surface: If you apply gloss paint over a wet surface, the moisture in the surface prevents the paint from drying and causes it to peel off.

Note: Don’t paint over peeling paint with another coat because the new coat will start to peel off too.

4. How To Fix Sticky Gloss Paint?

To fix sticky gloss paint, do the following things.

  1. Increase the solvent evaporation rate by using a hairdryer or heater.
  2. Increase the air circulation by opening all the windows and doors.
  3. If possible, put the painted item outdoors as the air circulation is higher.
  4. Turn on the fans in the room.

If the gloss paint is sticky for more than 48 hours, the coating will get contaminated and you must remove it.

Gloss paint turns sticky for the following reasons.

  1. Re-coated Too Soon: High-gloss paint takes around 12-24 hours to dry between coats. If you re-coat the paint too soon, the paint solvent (oil) will get trapped between two coats and won’t evaporate. If the paint solvent doesn’t evaporate, the coating remains wet longer and turns sticky or tacky.
  2. Wet Surface: If you apply gloss paint over a wet surface, the moisture in the surface prevents the paint from drying and keeps it wet longer, creating a sticky appearance.
  3. Improper Drying Conditions: Gloss paint takes two times longer to dry and turns sticky if the temperature is lower than 50°F (10°C) and the humidity levels are below 50%.

5. How To Fix Lumpy Gloss Paint?

To fix lumpy gloss paint, do the following things.

  1. Pour the lumpy gloss paint into a clean bucket.
  2. Add mineral spirits in a 3:1 ratio (3 parts paint to 1 part mineral spirits).
  3. Stir the paint and mineral spirits for 10 minutes.
  4. Test the paint.

The thinning compound (mineral spirits) will dissolve the paint lumps.

Gloss paint turns lumpy if the paint particles become clogged or packet together. This happens if air gets into the paint container while storing it.

6. How To Fix Cracking Gloss Paint Finish?

To fix cracking gloss paint finish, do the following things.

  1. Sand the paint finish with fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit).
  2. Apply primer or wood conditioner to fill the cracks.
  3. Apply two (2) gloss paint coats.

If the paint cracks are too deep or the new paint coatings start to crack too, remove the entire finish as the surface isn’t properly prepped. Find and fix the surface issues, apply stain-blocking primer, and re-apply the gloss paint.

A gloss paint finish cracks if the paint dries too fast, you over-thin the paint, or if the surface is exposed to a water leak.

If you expose the paint coating to increased heat, the solvent evaporates too fast and the paint particles don’t have enough time to harden naturally, creating a weak cracked finish.

If you over-thin the gloss paint, the paint won’t cover the surface properly and won’t have enough additives to form a durable and thick paint film.

The paint finish will crack if the underlying surface is exposed to a water leak as the moisture (or water) prevents the paint from drying properly.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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