It is frustrating to notice spray paint crackles across the painted surface when you have finished spray painting something.

The other thing that makes you angry is finding the cause of it and thinking it is impossible to fix the spray paint crackles.

But there is no reason to worry. Neither finding the leading cause nor fixing spray paint crackles is difficult. You can fix spray paint crackles with just a few steps within hours.

We will discuss ‘How to fix the spray paint crackle’ in today`s article so that you can get further information about the cause of crackles and the steps to fix them.

Why does spray paint crackle?

Before dealing with fixing the spray paint crackle, we should identify the cause of the spray paint crackles. Look at how to spray paint crackles and consider those causes when applying spray paint or if you want to fix the paint crackle.

Humidity or moisture

The most common cause of spray paint crackles is temperature.

Make sure the temperature is not too hot and humid. If the place is hot or wet, the surface of the painting item will also be wet.

If you ignore humidity, the paint will not stick well to whatever the surface is, and the spray paint is more likely to crack. When the temperature is high, it also affects your painting project.

Moreover, consider the temperature of the spray paint can. The can of spray paint has its optimal temperature range on the can.

You should look for 10 to 32 Celsius of temperature, and the humidity should be less than 85 %.

Make sure both temperature and humidity are ideal for doing a painting project.

Mixing paints

If you don’t mix paints properly together, mixing paints can also lead to paint crackles


Another part of the job you should focus on is preparing the surface for spray painting. This process involves cleaning the surface from dust and debris.

If the primer is needed, prime the surface.

Thick layers of spray paint.

Applying thick layers of spray paint may be a problem for painting.

You will not allow the layers to adhere if you overspray the spray paint. This makes an uneven application, and also the spray paint will crackle.  

Instead of applying a heavy coat of spray paint, you should go for multiple light coats. It may take more time, but the result will be excellent. Moreover, allow the spray paint to dry thoroughly between coats.

Keep all four factors in mind to ensure your paint will not crack. And make sure the surface is clean, which you will paint, before applying spray paint.

Skipping doing either of these can lead to spray paint crackling you should also consider them.

Things you will need

You have read and learned why spray paint crackles. Now it is time to fix the spray paint crackle. To fix the spray paint crackle, you will need the items below.

·         Sandpaper

·         Wet cloth

·         Paintbrush

·         Latex primer or spray primer

·         Spray paint

If you have these items, you are ready to fix the paint crackles.

How to fix the spray paint crackle

Fixing spray paint crackles is relatively easy and a hassle in most cases. So you don’t need to panic if you see any spray paint crackle.

If the spray paint is still wet, the most critical first step is to allow the paint to dry fully. Don’t try to fix the spray paint crackle immediately. Trying to fix the spray paint crackle when it isn’t dry, you may make the surface worse. When it is dry, it is easier to fix it.

To fix the spray paint crackle, follow these simple steps.

Step 1Remove the cracked parts
Step 2Clean the surface
Step 3Apply primer
Step 4Sand the surface/item
Step 5Apply the first coat of spray paint
Step 6Apply the next/ last coat of paint

And now, we will discuss all the steps thoroughly.

Step 1:  Remove the cracked parts

You will need a piece of sandpaper; gently scrub the uneven parts of the spray paint using sandpaper. You should get a smooth surface. So, don’t rub too hard; scrape off all paint you sprayed previously. 

You should eliminate the top crackle. Remove it gently in a small circular motion. It takes time, but the smoother the surface, the better result you will achieve.

If you paint a piece of furniture, ensure you get each niche and corner.

Step 2:  Clean the item

After removing all uneven bits, it is time to clean the item. The dust and powdered paint from the sanding will not allow the spray paint to stick to the surface.

So, clean all the dust and dirt from the object using a paintbrush.

If you want to do more and get a cleaner surface, wipe the surface with a damp cloth after dusting. This will help the surface be free from dust and powdered paint.

When you use a wet, damp cloth, let the surface dry after cleaning. The surface should be dry before going to the next step if you want your spray paint not to crackle.

Step 3: Prime the surface

Using a primer on the surface, you will apply spray paint to give you a smooth base. And this also makes the spray paint stick better without cracking.

After cleaning the surface thoroughly, choose a primer appropriate for your surface. Then apply primer using a paintbrush. Try to apply as thin layers of it as possible you can.

It is okay if the first primer layer didn’t cover all surfaces. The next layer will cover those surfaces. Let the spray paint dry before applying another coat.

After finishing applying primer, wait for at least 5 to 7 hours, depending on where you leave the item to dry or where the painted surface is.

Step 4: Buff the surface

Gently sanding the primed surface will give you the smoothest base possible. This makes your spray paint last longer.

After sanding the primer surface, don’t forget to clean the surface again afterward.

Step 5: Apply the first coat of spray paint

Choose spray paint for the targeted surface. Then, apply the first coat of spray paint. Don’t apply a heavy coat; apply a light coat.

Don’t try to fix them if you miss a few spots. Let the spray paint sit on the surface for 3 to 5 hours. You will cover missed spots in the next and final step. 

Step 6: Apply the final coat

Apply the next and the last coat of spray paint as lightly and evenly as possible. Try to cover all the patchy bits not covered in the first coat of spray paint.

Allow the paint to dry for the next few hours.

And now, you get a good result. Your spray paint will never crackle again.  

Spray paint cracking on different materials.

Spray paint is easily applied and sticks to different surfaces. So it is more popular. You can apply to spray paint on metal, wood, plastics, glass, mirrors, and more.

But you cannot apply the spray paint following the same steps on those surfaces. Each surface requires slightly different rules. While some characters need a primer before applying spray paint, others don’t.

We will look through 4 different surfaces, including wood, glass, metal, and plastic, to learn how to use spray paint on them.

On wood

You should always apply primer on wood. Priming is an essential part of applying spray paint on wood. You should never neglect this part before painting. The spray paint on wood will eventually crackle without primer. 

Then, ensure the wood surface is smooth. Spray paint on wood often crackles because the preparation not being thorough enough before the painting project. The wood may be rough and have small, protruding splinters if the surface isn’t smooth.

Sand the surface properly to prevent the spray paint from cracking.

On glass

It is not necessarily essential to use primer when applying spray paint glass. But using light, multiple layers will ensure a smooth surface.

Spraying paint on glass can be very easy as the surface of the glass is already very smooth. Crackling paint on glass often happens from too much applying spray paint at once and not allowing the characters to dry completely.

If you are going to apply spray paint on a vase or something curved requires applying spray paint from different angles. Trying to spray paint all the surfaces at once and applying too much paint on one area can cause paint crackles.

Avoid repeating these mistakes to prevent spray paint from crackling.

Again, ensure the surface or the first/previous layer is completely dry before applying spray paint. 

On metal

Spray paints are commonly used on metals. But it is quite tricky, as metals get pretty cold; as a result, the spray paint will not adhere to the surface well. You can use a simple heater to make the metal piece you are painting warmer.

Ensure the surface is smooth before painting.

 Apply light coats of paint.

Tip: Before applying the second and following spray paint layers, ensure the previous layer is dehydrated. 

Preparing the metal surface is as important as applying spray paint. Ensure you do two things properly: ensure the surface is as smooth as possible before painting, and then use a primer. Both help the paint go on evenly and smoothly and prevent the metal surface from crackling.

On plastic

People use plastic for arts or home crafts as the plastic surface is multi-surfaced and best for them. But these make applying spray paint on plastic difficult. It will require spraying paint from several angles to get full surface coverage. This may also cause applying too much paint on one area from two different angles. To avoid this, wait long enough hours before applying the subsequent layers.  

Try to follow these rules not to have spray paint crackles after finishing your painting project.

Why does spray paint mostly crackle on the second coat

Spray paint easily crackles on the second coat. The second or the subsequent coats usually crackle because of not waiting enough for the paint to dry.

If you wait too short, you will end up with wet paint on top of wet paint.

Although you allow the final coat to dry thoroughly, the spray paint will crackle. The spray paint beneath the top coat of the surface will move as it sits and crackle the surface over some time.

How can you avoid spray paint crackling?

It is always better to do the painting job rather than fix it later. Fixing spray paint crackles may seem a time-consumer job, although it is easy to restore. I recommend avoiding making spray paint crackles if you don’t start your painting project.

So, here are a few tips to avoid when using spray paint to prevent crackling:

·         Don’t spray in cold or hot weather temperatures

Tip: The perfect temperature to spray paint is between 50˚ and 70˚F, and humidity should be below 85%.

· Ensure the surface of the item you are painting is clean and dry.

·         Don’t overspray

Several light coats are better than applying one or two thick coats of spray paint. It can be pretty challenging to avoid overspray the paint. Don’t try to spray the paint on all the surfaces to cover them at once.

Once you have sprayed the paint to the surface, let it dry. You can cover the missed parts in the following steps.

Final verdict

This is all about how to fix the spray paint crackles and ways to avoid spray paint crackling. By following the steps mentioned above, you can get rid of spray paint crackles and never see them in other spray painting projects.

We hope we have helped you understand how to fix the spray paint crackles.