Have you ever noticed the wrinkles of paint? You paint a beautiful coating of the paint layer and let it dry. But you see some patchy wrinkles instead of that smooth surface when you return. So, the question is, what causes paint to wrinkle?

What Causes Paint To WrinkleHeavy coatInadequate timeSurface contaminationIncompatible products
How to prevent paint to wrinkleApplying thin coatDrying properlySurface PreparationCompatible materials

What Causes Paint To Wrinkle

Many factors may cause the paint to wrinkle, such as the quality of the paint, the kind of material you’re painting, and other environmental factors.

If the coating of the paint is thick 

Using too thick a layer of paint is the primary reason for paint wrinkles. The usual cause is that the inner layer dries up faster than the outer layers.

Since the paint is not fully cured in the inner layer, this outer layer will dry faster and try to expand. This may cause the wrinkles of paint that nobody wants.

If It Is Hot Outside

Extreme temperatures can also cause wrinkles. It would be best if you were careful about the paint wrinkle and your health.

When the weather is hot outside, there is a higher chance that the paint coat’s outer layer will dry faster than the inner layer coat. This will result in paint wrinkles.

If The Humidity Is Extremely High

High humidity also causes paint to wrinkle since it because difficult for the paint to dry.

If The Premier Is Uncured

Using spray paint coating on the primer that doesn’t thoroughly dry may also cause wrinkles. 

If The Materials Are Incompatible

Follow the paint manufacturer’s guidelines about compatibility between primers, paints, thinners, and additives. If the materials are incompatible with one another, then this could also cause wrinkles on the paint.

If The Surface Is Contaminated

Wax, grease, or other contaminants on the surface of the substrate may also prevent the paint from anchoring to it. If painting a non-porous surface, three-step surface prep is generally advisable. Detergent and water remove water-soluble dirt. Wax and grease remove clean oily contaminants. A final wipe down of the surface with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residual contaminants remaining after solvent cleaning.

How To Prevent Wrinkling Paint  

Before using primers and paints, be sure all materials are compatible. Coatings from the same family are usually compatible, but not always. While the manufacturer’s technical literature may guide you in materials selection, the only way you can be sure is to conduct your evaluation.

Since waxes, grease, and contaminants could impact the adhesion of the paint to the substrate, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding surface prep before applying the primer.

When painting, patience and attention to detail are virtues. You should follow any recommendations regarding the temperature and humidity parameters of the painting.

When you finish priming the substrate, allow sufficient time for the primer to cure before painting. A coating may seem dry to the touch but not yet fully cured. Remember that drying is not the same as curing. A dry paint could take weeks to cure, during which the primer will continue to out gas.

You can paint once the paint is fully dry. If you work on an outdoor project, avoid painting when the temperature is exceptionally high. Paint exposed to direct sunlight in the middle of summer dries too fast. Also, avoid images when the humidity is high. 

If you use thinner or other additives, thin the paint based on the manufacturer’s advice. Apply the thinner recommended ambient temperature in your shop or work area.  Using the wrong thinner or reducer could lead to problems. In some cases, the substrate may absorb thinner, which affects paint adhesion. 

Whether spray-painting or painting with a brush, you should have thin coats. Painting several thin coats is preferable to painting one thick coat. When you apply multiple finish coats, allow sufficient drying time between coats.

How To Fix Wrinkled Paint

Wrinkled paint happens among amateur and novice painters, similar to that paint drips. Paint wrinkles occur since the painter did not allow adequate drying time between coats. When the previous coat of paint is not fully dry, and you add a coat on top of it, it creates a wrinkle. You can resolve this issue quickly, but it is time-consuming. You need the following materials:

  • Sanding sponge
  • Paint scraper
  • Heat gun
  • Bucket of water
  • Towel
  • The same color paint you initially used for the wall.
  • Firstly, scrape away the wrinkled paint with a scraper and a heat gun. The heat gun will lift the color, making it easier for the scraper to do its job.
  • Once you scrap off all the wrinkled paint, sand smoothes the area. Wet the sanding sponge in the bucket and ring it out so that the sanding sponge is damp but not soaked. Sand the area you just scraped smooth, and sand smooth the transition from the site you scraped with to the surrounding paint. When you finish, everything should be soft to the touch—wetting the sanding sponge to prevent heat caused by friction while sanding. The dry sponge heated the excellent paint. And it makes it lift off the wall, causing many problems.
  • You should clean the area of the wrinkled paint with a towel and let any wet spots dry off. Once everything is dry and the wrinkle will disappear. You can begin repainting the area.

Once you have finished all three steps, it will appear as if there were no wrinkles in the first place.

What Causes Auto-Paint To Wrinkle

When you forcefully spray paint on a surface, paint wrinkling occurs on the car. Other causes of this paint defect include applying paint to a contaminated surface or spraying new paint over a waxed surface. It would be best not to use spray paint on a waxed surface. You should scrap out the wax first.

Moreover, if you paint under extremely hot or cool conditions, paint wrinkles may appear because the applied paint is liable to dry faster on top than on the bottom.

Leaving your newly painted car under the rain may equally cause this defect because uncured paint is still light and wavy.

Other things may cause these wrinkles to appear on the car you recently repainted. But, regardless of the cause, the solution to fix wrinkled paint on a vehicle is the same. Below, there are specific reasons.

Main Causes

  • Improper cleaning or preparation of the surface.
  • Failure to remove surface contaminants.
  • Improper treatment.
  • Apply incompatible materials or not adequately mixed.
  • Condensation on the substrate because of temperature changes.
  • Flash-off drying times are too short.
  • Formation of condensation on the substrate between coats because of temperature fluctuations.
  • Using excessive film thickness or primers or base coat.

How To Fix Wrinkled Auto-Paint

A wrinkled coating is unsightly and affects the long-term performance of the paint system.  You need to remove the paint system by scraping or sanding. You should repaint the substrate with a quality prep coat and topcoat paint system. According to the manufacturer’s spreading rate, you must apply the paint. You must allow sufficient drying time for all coats. You need to wait until suitable ambient conditions are available for painting.

What Causes Ceiling Paint To Wrinkle

Do you often observe that your painted ceiling surface has developed wrinkled-looking skin? This could be the effect of wrinkling on the painted area. This usually occurs when uncured paint on the surface becomes rough and crinkled. 

When using oil-based paints, wrinkling occurs more likely since your paint application is too thick. Furthermore, depending on the weather during the paint application process, the paint film may dry faster on the top than on the bottom.

Also, if you paint over a contaminated surface, especially one that has dirt buildup or grime, there is a chance that wrinkling can develop over time. Below, you may read the possible causes.

Causes of ceiling paint wrinkle

  • Using paint too thickly (this is more likely when using alkyd or oil-based paints).
  • Painting during extremely hot or cool, damp weather causes the ceiling paint to dry faster on top than underneath.
  • Exposing uncured paint to high humidity levels.
  • Using a top coat of paint on the insufficiently cured primer
  • Painting ceiling contaminated with dirt, dust, or wax.

How To Fix Wrinkled Ceiling Paint

First, scrape or sand the substrate to remove the wrinkled coating. If you use a primer, you should allow it to dry completely before applying a top coat. Then, repaint your surface in ideal conditions, using an even coat of top-quality interior paint.

What Causes Enamel Paint To Wrinkle

Some people want to know the reasons for enamel paint wrinkling. Many factors can affect enamel paint to wrinkle. Such as

  • Applying paint too heavily.
  • Painting under extremely hot or cool damp conditions
  • Exposure to rain, dew, fog, or high humidity levels.
  • Applying a topcoat of paint to insufficiently cured primer or first coat of paint.
  • Painting over contaminated surfaces (e.g., dirt or wax).

How To Fix Wrinkled Enamel Paint

To fix paint wrinkling, you should scrape or sand to remove the wrinkled coating. Sand the surface smooth to blend it into the surrounding layer. Be sure the surface is thoroughly clean. If needed, prime bare areas with the appropriate primer, allowing it to dry according to package instructions.

What Causes Spray Paint To Wrinkle

A perfect sprayed-on paint finish results from careful preparation, thin coats of paint, and patience. If you hurry in any of the steps or don’t follow drying time recommendations, the expected glassy smooth paint surface likely will devolve into a wrinkled mess. If this happens, you must remove the paint, prepare the object again and repaint the surface correctly. Below, there are some reasons for spray paint to wrinkle.

Heavy Single Coat

The good side of spray paint is the speed at which you apply the paint. The painter doesn’t need to worry about paint brushes, messy solvents, and open cans that can accidentally tip. With the comforts of spray paint could come an expectation that you can apply the paint in one heavy coat. This assumption is wrong.

Inadequate Dry Time

If the initial layer of spray paint doesn’t fully dry before applying the second coat, the solvents and drying components present in the second coat may undermine the durability of the first coat’s protective layer. Consequently, the second coat tries to adhere to an unstable base. In such a situation, the outermost layer forms wrinkles as it loses its ability to stick to the object’s surface.

Surface Contamination

Another reason behind wrinkled sprayed-on paint is surface contamination.  It should have a clean, dry, and well-prepared surface to dry properly. It causes the spray paint to wrinkle as it dries. In this case, you must remove the paint and re-clean the surface before repainting.

Incompatible Products

Paint formulations differ from one paint line to another. Some utilize acrylic or water-based carriers. Other paints are lacquer-based, and volatile epoxy solvents propel some. These products are incompatible. If you apply a lacquer-based finish coat over a standard, fast-drying product, the lacquer carriers and driers likely will dissolve the first coat. And this creates a wrinkled finish.

Tips To Avoid Wrinkles Of Spray Paint

These are some pro-spray-painting tips that you could use to avoid spray paint’s wrinkles and achieve a smooth paint finish.

  • Make sure the materials you use are compatible before applying paints and primers. Most materials are typically compatible, but some aren’t.
  • Because grease, waxes, and other pollutants can interfere with the adhesiveness of the paint to the substrate, you should adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines on surface preparation before applying primer.
  • While painting, focus and patience are essential. Moreover, when you paint, you should follow the advice regarding temperature and humidity requirements.
  • After applying the primer to the substrate, you should give enough time for the primer to set before painting another layer. Do it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The paint may seem dry, but it may not be completely cured. Keep in your mind that drying is not identical to curing. Dry paint may take weeks to resolve; your primer will likely expel gas.
  • If you undertake an outdoor project, you should not paint in very high temperatures.  Also, do not paint when the humidity is high.
  • If you’re using spray paint, always use thin coats. Applying multiple thin coats is usually preferred over painting a single thick coat.
  • Also, while applying different coats of layers, ensure enough drying time between coats.

How To Fix Wrinkled Spray Paint

To fix wrinkled spray paint, you should follow these steps.

Sand The Affected Area

You should smooth wrinkles with fine-grit sandpaper after a painting has cured. You should keep going until the surface matches the surrounding covering. It would be best to sand carefully to avoid sanding into areas unaffected by the wrinkle issue.

On the other hand, use a paintbrush and some wet paint to smooth out a wrinkled area to match the surrounding coating. If you do it incorrectly, using a paintbrush to smooth off a paint finish could cause different problems.

Allow the paint to dry before using sandpaper. The most important rule is to avoid wetting the sand.

Clean The Sanded Area

When you clean the sanded area carefully, that will help prevent wrinkles in newly applied paints. Before moving on to the following step, clean and neat the area you sanded.

To avoid dealing with paint wrinkles again, this cleaning is critical. If you’ve sanded into the primer layer, you must reapply a primer coat before painting again.

Remember to read the primer coating directions before using it on your car.

Apply Primer and Let It Dry

To ensure accurate results, it is crucial to allow the primer coat to dry as instructed in the handbook or guidelines provided fully. Take note of the recommended curing time for the primer layer.

Before proceeding with the next step, wait for the primer to dry completely. Failing to do so may result in potential paint issues.

Once the primer coat has dried, carefully apply the paint to the area where the wrinkle has formed. Refer to the instructions with the paint you purchased and adhere closely to them to avoid any additional flaws.

It is important to give spray paint a good shake before use. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for other types of paint regarding their application.

Maintain a consistent distance between the surface and the paint while spraying. Keep your hand steady to prevent the formation of paint wrinkles. Spraying from too far away can lead to drips and runs, so maintain focus and attention during this process.


Sometimes wrinkling occurs between various layers of paint. Since one coat is not chemically compatible with the other from a different manufacturer. We have mentioned some causes for wrinkling paint. So, try to avoid these factors when you are painting.