Why Does Spray Paint Wrinkle? [Causes and Solution]

Imagine you finished spray painting your interiors and went for a vacation for a couple of days. The first thing you notice after returning is a living nightmare; wrinkles! Luckily not on your face! They are on your walls and they do look ugly.

Wondering how this happened and why does spray paint wrinkle?

It is caused due to many reasons such as a thick paint coat, high temperature, bad surface preparation, excessive humidity, surface incompatibility, etc.

why does spray paint wrinkle

And if you are about to ask: how do you fix spray paint wrinkles? Good thing is that you don’t need to jump from one forum to the other to find the answer because that’s what I’m going to discuss in this article. So, get ready to get rid of those wrinkles from your walls.

Also Read: How to Reuse Paint Rollers?

Why Does Spray Paint Wrinkle?

Wrinkles are unpleasant-looking crinkles that appear on painted surfaces when the outer surface of the paint layer dries before the inner surface.

This phenomenon can occur on a painted surface for various reasons. This mostly happens because of very thick paint coating, hot outdoor temperature, excessive humidity, uncured primers, contaminated surfaces, and things like these.

What Causes Spray Paint to Wrinkle?

As I said earlier, paint wrinkles can be caused by many reasons. Here, I’m going to explain them in detail so that you can avoid these situations easily. So, take a look:

1. Very Thick Paint Coating

This is one of the biggest reasons for a wrinkled paint surface. When you apply a thick paint layer on a surface the outer surface of the layer dries quickly as it is in direct contact with air and sunlight however, the inner surface of the layer doesn’t dry that much quicker.

As a result, the outer surface becomes dry and the inner surface remains wet for a longer time. When the outer part of the paint surface expands, you get those unwanted paint wrinkles. This can be a common thing with oil-based paint coats because it’s easier to apply thick coats with this paint type.

2. Applying the Second Coat Very Early

If you apply the second coat of paint without giving the first coat enough time to dry properly, you may find wrinkles on the surface. This is similar to the thick paint coat application.

In this case, the second coat will dry properly and this is where the problem starts because this dried surface will make it difficult for the first coat to dry properly. And as a result, you will get wrinkles on your surface.

3. High Temperature

Outdoor temperature is one of the biggest reasons why you see wrinkles on your painted surfaces. But why? It’s because when the temperature is high, the outer layer of the paint is more likely to dry quicker than the inner layer and as a result, you get wrinkles on the painted surface.

So, it’s not really a good time for spray painting outside when the temperature is very hot.

4. Humidity

This is the opposite of the scenario caused by high temperatures. It occurs when you paint a surface but it gets in contact with rainwater, high humid weather, or something like these before curing properly.

5. Bad Surface Preparation

A bad surface preparation is enough to ruin all of your hard work. If you spray paint a surface that contains grease, wax, and other oily substances, chances are that your paint will not adhere properly and end up getting wrinkles.

That is why it’s very important to focus on the prep phase before starting to apply the paint, especially on a non-porous surface. To achieve a good-looking finish, you need to make sure you get rid of all impurities from the surface before applying the paint.

6. Rushing to Paint Over the Primer

It occurs when you rush to paint before giving the primer enough time to cure properly. This small mistake can result in paint wrinkles.

7. Unsuitable Surface

This one is too obvious. If a primer or paint is manufactured for metal surfaces but someone uses them on surfaces other than metal surfaces, they may end up getting a wrinkled paint surface.

That’s why it’s important to check for surface compatibility of the product before applying it on a surface. And the best decision would be to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Why Does My Second Coat of Spray Paint Wrinkle?

If your paint wrinkles in the second coat, probably a thick paint coat is the reason for it. And as you already know that the outer surface of the paint will dry but the inner surface will remain wet. So, when you apply a recoat of the paint, the solvents in it shrink and you get paint wrinkles as a result.

How Do You Fix Spray Paint Wrinkles?

Okay, it’s time to fix those wrinkles. But fixing wrinkled spray paint is not quite an easy job. You need to scrape off the paint and start again. Sanding off the paint will be fine as well. Sand the surface nicely so that the final paint application can blend in with the areas that are not affected.

After removing the wrinkles, make sure to clean that area properly because you don’t want to make the same mistake again. The area may need to be primed again, if it does, make sure you select the right primer and give it enough time to cure before doing anything else.

Now apply the paint and take special care at the edges so that it blends in with the previous work.

How to Prevent Wrinkling Spray Paint?

Prevention is better than cure. You won’t need to go through all those troublesome jobs if you can simply prevent the paint from wrinkling in the first place. So, let’s see the ways to prevent paint wrinkling.

  • Check the Material Compatibility

Before applying the paint, make sure the materials you are going to use are suitable for the surface as well as for each other. To get the best results, firstly you can check the product compatibility directly from the sources provided by the manufacturer, and secondly, you can make a small test yourself.

By doing so, you will get the ideas yourself that the materials will be suitable for you or not.

  • Make the Best Prep

Make the best prep you can. Just think of the frustration you will get just for skipping a good preparation! Make sure there are no signs of oil, grease, or waxes left after cleaning the surface, because these will affect the paint adhesion pretty badly. If the surface needs a primer, choose a primer that is suitable for the surface.

  • Focus on Curing the Coat Properly

If you use a primer on the surface, make sure it gets enough time to cure. And curing is not the same as drying. You may feel that the coat is dry and ready to touch; that’s called drying, not curing! So, be patient, don’t rush to paint just after you see the coat is dry.

You may need to wait for weeks so that the paint can get cured properly. So, if you want a smooth finished surface, take your time in this step.

  • Avoid Painting when the Temperature Is High

If it’s mid-summer and the temperature is boiling hot, you should avoid outdoor painting projects. The outer layer of the paint will get exposed to summer heat and will dry quickly but the inner layer will still be wet and you will get paint wrinkles as a result.

  • Skip Humid Day

Don’t apply paint on a rainy or humid day; you may end up getting wrinkled spray paint.

  • Try Applying Thin Coats

While painting any surface, focus on thin coats. This will reduce the chances of wrinkling. Remember, multiple thin coats are better than a single thick coat. Plus, always give enough time to dry between each coat.

  • Choosing the Right Thinner

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to choose the right thinner for your paint. You may get in trouble with the wrong type of thinner and it can result in impacting the paint adhesion.

Final Thoughts

Paint wrinkling can be a serious issue whether you are painting a new surface or restoring an old item. They look ugly and surely bring frustration after all that hard work.

From our discussion, now you know why paint wrinkles appear on your spray-painted surface and you know the tricks to avoid them as well. But if you still see paint wrinkles on the surface for some reason, you are ready to fix them.