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How to Fix and Prevent Paint Wrinkling

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Image of paint wrinkling.

Wrinkles or ridges can occur if paint is not applied properly.
(Photo: The Paint Quality Institute)

Paint ridges or wrinkles occur when uncured paint forms a "skin," leaving the surface rough and crinkled.

Paint wrinkling can occur if paint is applied too thickly or under adverse environmental conditions. It is more likely to happen when using alkyd paints. Fortunately, a paint wrinkling problem is easy to remedy.

What Causes Paint Wrinkling?

  • The paint layer is too heavy
  • Applying paint on a dirty surface
  • Applying paint on a hot surface
  • Applying paint under very hot or cold conditions
  • Exposing uncured paint to water or high humidity
  • Not allowing undercoats to dry properly
  • Painting over a glossy surface that has not been sanded

How to Remedy Paint Wrinkles

  1. First, allow the paint to dry thoroughly
  2. Remove wrinkles by scraping or rough sanding
  3. Sand the surface smooth
  4. Wipe the affected area with a damp cloth, making sure the surface is clean
  5. If needed, prime bare areas with the appropriate primer, allowing it to dry completely
  6. Reapply the paint, following the manufacturer's instructions

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[Source: The Paint Quality Institute]

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