8 Most Common Spray Paint Mistakes (& Fixes)

The light flow and additives in spray paints means that it’s possible to make mistakes while applying the paint. These mistakes can prove costly when the paint dries.

Some mistakes might not even let the spray paint dry. Today, we are going to look at common spray paint problems, why they happen, and how to fix them. Let’s dive in.

1. You Sprayed The Wrong Side

This is a common spray paint mistake. This usually happens when you spray paint without using a paint shield. Without a paint shield, you’ll get spray paint on the wrong side.

How To Fix?

If you accidentally sprayed the wrong side, you can quickly wipe it off with a damp rag since the paint will still be wet. If the paint has dried, you can still clean it off using a solvent.

Water-based spray paints can be cleaned using water and a soft brush or rag. For stubborn stains, add a bit of dish soap to the water.

For oil-based spray paints, you can remove the paint using mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. For stubborn stains, use a brush with the solvent.

2. Bubbles In Spray Paint

Bubbles get into the spray paint when you shake the spray can too hard. Before you spray paints, it’s advised to shake the paint can first to get the content properly mixed.

If you shake the paint can too hard, you’ll create bubbles in the paint. These bubbles will also be evident after you spray the paint.

Bubbles can also form in spray paints if you spray the paint on a porous surface. Porous surfaces usually have pores that trap air. The air in there can cause bubbles as the spray paints start to dry.

How To Fix Bubbles In Spray Paint?

Here is a guide on how to fix bubbles in spray paints:

  • Use a needle to pop the bubbles
  • Smoothen the surface with fine-grit sandpaper
  • Apply a coat of primer
  • Spray a few coats of paint and leave to dry.

3. Spray Paint Cracking

Spray paint cracking is usually caused by different reasons. The first is if the paint dries too quickly. If the paint coating dries too quickly, then it will develop hairline cracks.

Another reason for cracked spray paint is extreme temperature. If the temperature around the spray paint is too high, then the paint will dry too quickly and crack due to heat. If the temperature is too cold, usually below 40 degrees F, the spray paint will also crack due to frost.

Spray paint can also crack if you don’t leave enough dry time between coats. If the first coat isn’t fully dry before you applied the second coat, the first coat will not dry properly and will cure slower than the second coat. This will cause the second and successive coats to shrink and split.

Spray paints can also crack if you apply thick coats but this is rare as spray paints are usually very thin. But if you apply too many coats, it’s the same as applying thick coats and the paint can easily develop cracks as well.

To prevent spray paint from cracking, ensure to seal the surface to be painted. Then leave enough dry time between coats.

How To Fix Cracking Spray Paint?

The best way to fix this is to prevent it in the first place. Once spray paint begins to crack, you’ll need to sand, clean, and prime the surface. Then spray fresh coats of the paint again. Remember to leave enough time between coats.

However, if you notice hairline cracks or tiny lines forming on the spray paint, you can easily cover them by spraying lightly on those areas. This should only be done when you have tiny cracks.

4. Spray Paint Dripping

Spray paint will drip if you apply too many coats. The reason spray paint drips is that there is too much paint on the surface. The excess paint then begins to drop to the floor. To prevent this, always apply the recommended amount of cots. 4 is generally the maximum number of coats to spray. More than 4 might lead to paint dripping.

Spray paint will also drip if there isn’t good adhesion or if the spray paint doesn’t stick well. This usually happens when you spray paint on porous surfaces like plastic and glass. Since the material is non-porous, it will not absorb paint leading to weak paint adhesion that can cause the paint to drip and come off. To prevent this, always apply a primer first so the spray paint can stick.

Spray paint can also drip if the paint is too light. This usually happens when you thin the spray paint. If the paint is too light, it will run and drip. To prevent this, don’t over-thin the spray paint.

How To Fix Dripping Spray Paint?

To fix this, you need to scrape the excess paint off the surface. You can do this with a paint scraper or putty knife. You need to do this neatly and with a flat object to prevent ridges and bumps in the paint coating.

You can also allow the spray paint to dry first. After, you can scrape or sand lightly to remove the drips on the wall. However, you should know that paint becomes more difficult to remove or adjust after it has dried.

5. Spray Paint Is Sticky

Spray paint will get sticky if the paint has not dried. If the spray paint is sticky or tacky, it’s because there is moisture inside the paint. Spray paint will also become sticky if you apply too many coats. Too many coats mean a prolonged dry time and the longer the paint takes to dry, the more likely it is to become sticky.

Spray paint will also become sticky if there isn’t enough dry time between coats. You may also experience sticky spray paint if you used poor-quality paint.

To prevent spray paint from getting sticky, you should always leave enough dry time between coats. Also, always use good-quality paints and never apply too many or thick coats of spray paint.

How To Fix Sticky Spray Paint?

To fix sticky spray paint, you need to make the paint dry. You can do this by increasing the ambient temperature around the spray paint coating. If the temperature is high enough, it will accelerate the rate of evaporation in the spray paint. This will make the spray paint dry faster.

You can also fix sticky paint by applying a solvent to the paint. The solvent will dissolve the sticky paint making it look fresh. Since the paint is dissolved, you can easily scoop off the excess paint that is causing it to be sticky.

The last resort to fix sticky spray paint is to remove the paint and start the spray paint application again. This way, you get rid of the bad sticky paint and get a fresh coat of spray paint.

6. Spray Paint Looks Blotchy

If the spray paint looks blotchy, it’s usually caused by holding the spray can or spray gun over an area too long. Blotchy spray paints look uneven. Some parts of the paint will have a lighter shade than others and some parts of the finish will appear darker. When you stay too long on one spot, there will be more paint on that spot than others. This will cause irregular dry time and a blotchy look on the paint.

Also, using different spray paint brands can cause the finish to appear blotchy as there will be color and flow variations.

If the nozzle is too close to the surface being painted, it can cause the spray paint to look blotchy or uneven. Spray paint can also appear blotchy if you don’t shake the can well enough. This means the paint will not be properly mixed and the paint that is expelled from the spray can will have varying colors making it look blotchy.

To prevent spray paints from looking blotchy, only apply the recommended number of coats. Also, don’t over-spray or under-spray any areas. Always ensure proper coverage of the paint and keep at least 8 inches between the spray gun and the surface.

How To Fix Blotchy Spray Paint?

To fix blotchy spray paint, you should start by using a rag to dab the blotched-looking areas. The rag will clean the excess spray paint on the blotched area and this might fix the problem. If this doesn’t work, you can try touching up the blotched parts with more coats of spray paint.

The last resort is to remove the spray paint and start all over. This time, ensure to apply even coats.

7. Spray Paint Keeps Wrinkling

Spray paint wrinkling is usually caused by improper surface preparation. If the surface to be painted is dirty, the filth can cause the spray paint to wrinkle. Spray paint can also wrinkle if there is a chemical reaction between the paint and a solvent or chemical used during surface preparation. For instance, if you used alcohol to clean a surface and spray paint immediately over it, the alcohol will not allow the paint to dry well and the spray paint will wrinkle.

Spray paints can also wrinkle if the surface that is painted is rough. The rough texture of the surface will cause the spray paint to wrinkle. Spray paints can also wrinkle if you sprayed the paint in a cold or moist environment. In such cases, the moisture and cool temperature will cause the spray paint to shrink and wrinkle.

To prevent spray paint from wrinkling, you should always prep the surface to be painted properly. Also, leave enough dry time between coats and don’t spray paint when the weather is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

How To Fix Wrinkling Spray Paint?

To fix wrinkled spray paint, you’ll need to strip off the paint especially if it is still wet. After stripping the spray paint, you’ll need to sand and then reapply the spray paint.

If the wrinkled paint has dried fully, you can sand down the paint to get rid of the wrinkled. Then apply 2-3 new coats of spray paint and leave it to dry.

8. Spray Paint Looks Like Orange Peel

An orange peel spray paint can occur due to different reasons. The main reason is when the solvent or paint thinner evaporates too quickly. When the solvent or thinner leaves the paint coating too quickly, the paint particles will not completely bond or be broken down. This will make the finish look like orange peel.

This can also happen due to improper painting techniques. For instance, if you don’t prime the spray gun properly. An orange peel can also be caused by a chemical reaction or exposure to UV rays.

To prevent an orange peel, always thin the paint before you spray so there is enough solvent. Also, use the right spray gun and size of the nozzle.

How To Fix Orange Peel In Spray Paint?

If the spray paint looks like an orange peel, you can fix it by sanding the paint. The best technique is wet sanding.

You’ll need to dip waterproof sandpaper in water and then use the sandpaper to sand the orange peel-looking spray paint.

After, wait for the surface to get dry. Then thin the spray paint lightly and repaint the surface. This will resolve the mistake.

Final Words

Overall, mistakes while spraying paint are very common as spray painting takes some experience to carry out correctly.

But you can escape these mistakes if you do enough prep work and spray the paint correctly. A coat or two of a stain-blocking primer will also help to limit the possibility of these mistakes.

If you notice any mistakes while spraying paint, ensure to follow the guide above to know how to correct the mistake.

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