Common Spray Paint Problems

You’ll run into various problems like orange peel, cracking, uneven coverage, and more. You can tackle them by adopting an effective strategy and patience. Following are some of the most common spray paint problems:

  • Cracking/webbing
  • Orange Peel
  • Fisheyes
  • Shrinking
  • Smudged Paint

Applying spray paint with the help of a can or sprayer is quick and easy but during this process, there are some important things you need to take into consideration. They are essential because it doesn’t go as smoothly as it seems.

Common Spray-Painting Mistakes

One of the most common and significant factors that contribute to poor finishes is the rushed paintwork.

A good finish requires appropriate time gaps between coats. Giving suitable time gaps between coats is very important as not all paints will dry within 15 minutes which is a common misconception.

Make sure to seek advice from the paint supplier on drying times. As per my interest in artistic things, I have used these mural spray paints for painting my room walls.


Cracking is also considered one of the most common spray paint mistakes. Generally, it is due to the inappropriate surface prep, which ultimately leads to weak, ineffective adhesion.

 To avoid cracking, try to be more curious and detailed on your prep work. Another important reason for cracking is the presence of dirt, oils, or other such things on the surface that can prevent the paint from adhering the way it should. It will result in cracking, so make sure to clean the surface thoroughly before spraying or applying paint.

Orange Peel

common spray paint problems

It is named orange peel because of the orange peel-like appearance due to the loads of little pockmarks which appear as the paint dries.

 It mainly occurs when the paint droplets dry out before they have left the spray can, resulting in an unlevel surface. It irritates the eyes and doesn’t look good. Also, it is caused by the excessive applying of paint in a single coat. To avoid this, make sure your spraying cans are not expired, and the nozzle is not clogged.

To repair orange peel, apply a thinner coat and after allowing ample drying time, apply the next coat. One more thing, do not use spray paint at freezing temperature as it affects the drying of the paint.


These are not the typical camera lenses but are the little, small, round craters that spread throughout the film as the paint dries. The main cause of fisheyes is surface imperfections.

Contamination during the applying process is also a common cause for fisheyes. To avoid the occurrence of fisheyes, make sure your surface is adequately prepped before painting. You’ll need to clean it thoroughly and do your best to fix any surface imperfections by sanding.


Shrinking is a mysterious mistake as you probably won’t even know what went wrong or what is the cause of it. Shrinking generally happens if it’s very cold or humid when you paint.

Low humidity levels due to the rise in temperature will cause the paint to dry out and shrink. This usually happens when there is a large temperature change from cold to hot or a significant change in humidity from wet to dry. It doesn’t happen under normal weather conditions.

To prevent shrinking, consider the weather conditions whenever you intend to paint. Prefer to choose a day with moderate temperatures and no rain in the forecast. Alternatively, you can paint inside where the climate is controlled.

Smudged Paint

Spray painting requires patience. When you’re painting any product or surface, it is natural that you get fervent and want to move on to the next coat right away. You rush to apply additional coats of paint before the first coat is dry, and as a result, you’ll get smudged paint that will ruin your project.

Smudging is a relatively easy mistake to avoid. Read the directions on your spray paint can and see how long it takes for the paint to cure for additional coats. Then, wait till that amount of time before repainting! The surface should be completely dry before you add any more paint.

How To Fix Spray Paint Mistakes

Every mistake can be fixed with a proper strategy. There are many ways to fix spray painting mistakes. This requires sanding down the offending areas and recoating them. Follow the steps given below to know exactly how to fix those sprays paint mistakes and modify a rough-looking coat into a fine-looking finish.

Step 1: Wait For The Paint To Cure

Be patient once have sprayed the paint because once you’ve got a mistake to fix, it can be hard not to jump right in and take care of it. Let the paint cure appropriately. Give the paint enough time to ensure it is fully cured before you move on to step two.

Step 2: Wet Sand The Paint

common spray paint problems

Wet sanding of paint is a process where one can use special sandpaper that is supposed to be wet with water. It is done after the paint is completely dry. The water in the wet sandpaper acts like a lubricant that removes tiny particles so that the sandpaper does not get clogged and creates deep scratches. I have used this premium wet-dry sandpaper and the results are worth it.

You can use wet sand in two ways. First, you can dip the sandpaper into the water and then use it to sand while it’s wet, or second, you can use a spray bottle to wet the surface before sanding it.

Step 3: Clean The Surface

Moving to step 3, let the surface dry properly. After that, it’s time for the prep work once again since improper prep work is the cause of so many spray paints mistakes. Before applying primer make sure the surface is free of imperfections. Any contaminants will prevent the paint from adhering.

Use any type of cleaner to clean the surface. Avoid using paper towels because they leave behind too many fibers.

Step 4: Apply Primer And Then Reapply The Paint

Applying a coat of primer to the surface makes sure that the paint will stick properly with even coverage. Allow the primer to fully dry and then reapply the paint on the dry surface. Try to apply a thin coat with even coverage.

Step 5: Allow Enough Drying Time

The most important step is to be patient until the paint is completely dry and you move on to apply additional coats. Apply the additional coats with the same strategy as above to void the risk of mistakes.


Spray paint might seem like a quick and straightforward process, but a little carelessness might mess up your efforts. From orange peel to fisheyes, spray paint can easily turn out poorly. To avoid such mistakes, consider the essential tips and tricks to get that beautiful finish you were hoping for.