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You’ve just noticed your freshly spray-painted walls or furniture have started dripping. Nightmare! What’s more, the drips have made the spray paint job look uneven and patchy – an even worse nightmare! As hopeless as this situation feels, there are ways you can fix it.
Whilst it is rare for a properly spray-painted wall to drip, it is no secret that it does happen. In this article, we will be showing you exactly how to fix uneven spray paint in just a few simple steps.
We will also be letting you know some of our top tricks and tips so that you never find yourself in this situation again.
So, if you are amid an uneven spray paint mishap, or if you are thinking of spray painting something and want to avoid this happening, this is the article for you.
Why You Have Uneven Spray Paint
There could be many different reasons why you have uneven spray paint that is dripping down the wall or surface. We are going to be talking you through a few of the most common causes so you can assess for yourself if any of them apply to you and your particular DIY job.
First thing’s first, one of the most common causes of drippy, uneven spray paint is because the coats have been applied too thickly. When thick coats of spray paint are piled on top of each other, there is no chance for the coat underneath to dry in time, creating a wet mess that ends up looking patchy.
The next thing that you should consider as a possible cause of uneven spray paint and drips is whether you have set up and used your paint sprayer gun properly. Inadequate set up can cause the paint to come out too quickly and thickly or too little, resulting in a sparse patchy painting layer. Ensure you follow the instructions on your particular spray paint gun to be sure that you have set it up correctly,
Related to the previous possible cause of an uneven spray paint layer is the issue of using the spray painting gun incorrectly. It is very important that you take your time when you are spray painting a surface. As tempting as it can be to just spray it quickly and hope for the best, the best results come when you take your time. Make slow and even motions to ensure you can get an even spattering of paint when you need it.
It is also a good idea to angle your paint spraying gun at 90 degrees and keep a proper distance between the spray and the wall (or any other surface or piece of furniture you may be spraying). This will ensure that you get an even, drip-free coat. The proper distance may vary depending on what you are painting and the model of paint sprayer that you are using but it is usually at least 6 inches away and up to 12 inches away.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of reasons why your spray paint could be uneven. You may also want to consider the fact that some paints are not compatible with some surfaces, hence causing patching, uneven layers as the paint cannot properly adhere to the surface. This can also result in the paint just dripping off.
The most common causes, however, are those listed above. It is, therefore, a good idea to assess whether the uneven paint could be caused by these first, so you know how to prevent it from happening again when you have fixed it.
Different Types of Uneven Spray Paint
Uneven spray paint can present in several different ways. Of course, we have mentioned paint drips numerous times already, and so we will be exploring this issue in more detail.
However, there are also two other common presentations of uneven spray paint that must be considered. These are orange peel and fish eye appearances. We will look at each of them in more detail in the following sections.
As we have already discussed, paint drips are one of the most common forms of uneven spray paint that occur. They can happen to anyone for a number of reasons such as using too much paint thinner in your spray painting gun or the wrong type.
It could also happen if you apply the paint too thickly.
As the name might suggest, these small circle-shaped holes resemble fish eyes and they can appear on your freshly painted surface, causing the layer of paint to look uneven and patchy. This can usually be put down to oil coming into contact with the substrate, either from yourself (sweat and natural body oils) or oils from tools. It may even be natural oil from within the paint if the paint has not been mixed properly.
Water can also cause this. As such, it is vitally important that no water or oil is allowed to come into contact with your spray painter or the paint you are using before you use it. As well as this, you should also ensure that all components of your spray painter are dry completely after cleaning before you use it again.
Lastly, there is the issue of an orange peel appearance. This can occur as a result of the surface, rather than the paint in the sense that it can happen on bumpy uneven walls and furniture.
It can also be caused by improper use of the paint sprayer. The resulting situation is a layer of spray paint that not only looks uneven but also resembles the peel of an orange. Make sure to set up the sprayer correctly and use it at the right angle (90 degrees from the surface) to prevent this.
How To Prevent Uneven Spray Paint
Whatever problem you are dealing with, be it unevenness caused by orange peel, fish eyes, or the classic paint drips, there are some steps that you can take to avoid the issues or prevent them from happening. Of course, sometimes it’s too late for prevention techniques and you simply need a fix, and so if that’s you do not worry and do not fret. We will be exploring how you can fix your mistakes in the next section.
However, it will be equally helpful to know how to prevent these mistakes from occurring the next time you need to spray paint, too. As such, we highly recommend you read these instructions in this section to know how to stop unevenness in its tracks in the future.
First and foremost, you should make it a priority to ensure that you check the compatibility of the surface you want to paint with the spray paint you plan to use. Ensuring you use the right paint type and the right spray painting gun is half the battle and can make the difference between uneven drippiness to perfectly painted layers.
Next, ensure the surface you intend to paint is clean, free of any preventable bumps (use a sander or filler to get the surface smooth), and does not have a rough texture. This can help the paint to go on more smoothly and evenly.
Use light coats of paint, aiming at least 6 inches away at all times. This will prevent drips and puddles from forming. Each coat of spray paint should be allowed to dry fully before you apply the next coat. If you are painting thinly as you should be then this should not take long. You should also try and use the best quality paint you can find for your budget. The higher the quality of the paint, the better it will be at drying evenly.
Thin your paint before using it if it is needed or recommended. You can check if you need to do this by checking the instruction manual that comes with your particular paint spraying gun. You may also want to check that the paint you want to use is suitable for the gun you have.
Make sure that the spray painting gun is fully dry and free of water and oils before using it. You should also wear gloves to ensure your natural body oils do not interfere with the application process. This is particularly relevant for anyone experiencing fish eyes.
Follow all of these tips to ensure that you know exactly how to prevent drips, fish eyes, orange peel and generally uneven applications of paint.
How To Fix Uneven Spray Paint
Now that you know what causes uneven paint and how you can prevent it from happening in the future, it is time to assess the best ways to fix uneven spray paint.
The methods of fixing uneven spray paint vary depending on if the coats of paint have dried or whether they are still wet. With this in mind, we think that the best approach will be to explain how to fix uneven spray paint that is both wet and dry.
What To Do If Your Wet Spray Paint is Uneven
To begin, we want to explain how to fix uneven spray paint that is still wet. Regardless of what the issue is, whether that be orange peel, paint drips, or even fish eyes, any wet spray paint should be able to be easily wiped off. You can do this with a clean, damp cloth.
Depending on the extent of the issue you may need to wipe off large or small amounts. Act quickly to ensure you get it all off before it dries. You can then reapply the spray paint using your spray painting gun again, ensuring that you follow our comprehensive guide above to prevent the issues from happening again.
If the unevenness is just on a small patch of the wall or surface that you are painting, then you may not need such drastic action as wiping it all off to start again. This is particularly relevant if the issue is related to unevenness caused by drips of or fish eyes.
In these cases where the issue is in a small area, you may find that the best solution is to grab a small clean paintbrush and even it out this way. Do this gently with even strokes until you have made the surface look even again.
What To Do If Your Dried Spray Paint is Uneven
If you notice that your spray paint looks uneven upon drying, or you notice orange peel, fish eyes, or paint drips on the surface, then it can seem even more hopeless trying to solve it.
However, these issues can be fixed. As time-consuming as it seems, sometimes the best option is to sand or grind off the whole top layer of paint. You should then dust off all of the debris and apply the paint again, following our instructions above to prevent it from happening again.
If you notice that the problem at hand is that of paint drips and orange peel, you may be able to quickly sand off small areas of unevenness and then repaint just in these small areas. You should only do this for small areas of unevenness. It can be a little tedious and should be done with utmost precision.
There we have it! Our foolproof guide to fixing uneven spray paint, as well as how you can diagnose what is causing it.
We have also shown you exactly how you can prevent it from happening again.