What Causes Paint to Shrivel?

Why Paint shrivels or crinkles after it dries

Some paint defects can be corrected after the paint is dry during the color sanding and buffing stage, but some of it cannot be. Paint that shrivels as it is laid out or as it dries means that something happened on the surface or when mixing the paint. Below are the common causes.

  1. Substrate Surface Temperature too High- If you’re spraying on a hot day outside or you spray inside and put the part outside immediately you could super-heat the surface and cause the freshly laid paint to react and crinkle from the extreme temp difference between the surface and the paint itself. The same goes with drying paint with a heat lamp or forced hot air. Keep the temperature changes gradual and not so sudden or the paint may cause to shrivel all over.
  2. Piling Wet-On-Wet Coats- If you’re a little on the impatient side you may have had this happen. If the paint you laid last coat is heavy you need to make sure you leave enough time for it to properly flash off before you apply another coat. If you don’t you will find the paint may react and shrivel and crack because of the outgassing going on with the coat under the last. If this happens you may need to let it all dry and sand the paint until it’s flat and reapply a coat.
  3. Air Pressure Too Low- If you have your gun set too low of an air pressure or the gun requires more CFM than the compressor can handle you may see extreme drops in the air pressure which will cause spitting or uneven application of the paint and can cause crinkling once it gets on the surface. Always check your gun pressure with the trigger applied before painting.
  4. Incorrect Reducer / Activator- The reducer and activator you use should match the temps when you’re painting. If you use a fast reducer or activator and it is on the cool side outside you may find the reducer or activator will kick too fast and will cause a reaction on the surface as the paint dries. This may require you to sand off the last coat and spray again.

Hopefully these tips will help you with future paint correction and you can be on the road to a beautiful paint job in no time! To get all of your paint supplies visit our Painting Department HERE.

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