How to solve common painting problems

Problem: The paint sags or runs.

paint run

Solution: These are common problems that occur when paint has been applied too heavily without having sufficient time to dry. To prevent runs, never try to cover the surface completely with only one coat. Total coverage should require at least two, and sometimes three, separate coats. Take your time — patience will pay off. If a run or sag occurs, quickly rotate the part so that the run is parallel to the floor. Don't apply any more paint until the surface dries. The run should even itself out and disappear. If you cannot rotate the part or do not notice the run until it has dried, simply sand the run out with 400 grit sandpaper and repaint the surface

Problem: A white haze, or "blush" appears.


Solution: On warm, humid days, moisture may condense on cool, freshly painted surfaces and create a white haze known as "blush." For this reason, try to schedule your painting jobs for early in the morning — before the heat and humidity increase. LustreKote paint generally works well at up to 80° F and 80% relative humidity. If you notice blush appearing as the surface dries:

Stop painting. Wait for a less humid day.

If the blushing is not severe, you may be able to remove it using a light buffing compound. Buffing the surface reduces blushing and brings out a glossy shine. If buffing does not work, you will need to apply another coat of paint to the surface on a less humid day.

Problem: Hair, lint or a bug lands in fresh paint.


Solution: Stop your work. Let the paint dry as is for at least 24 hours. Sand the surface with #400 or finer grit sandpaper until all of the unwanted object is removed. Use wide strokes when sanding and keep the surface level — avoid going through the primer or creating a "dish" in the surface. Clean the surface well with alcohol and begin the painting process again.

Problem: A "fish eye" appears.

fish eye

Solution: What's a "fish eye"? A small, white dot, surrounded by a ring of paint — caused when paint for various reasons will not stick to the surface. Fish eye is most often caused by a spot of oil, grease or wax on the surface. The best way to prevent it is to clean the surface well before painting. If you spot a fish eye in your finish:

Stop your work. Let the paint dry as is for at least 24 hours.

Sand the surface with #400 or finer grit sandpaper until the fish eye is gone and the primer coat appears. Clean the surface well with alcohol and begin the painting process again.

Note: The best method to counter this is to pre-clean the surface well before you begin. This will stop it before it starts.

Problem: The paint looks grainy, not smooth.


Solution: A grainy surface most often results from overspray that lands on a previously painted area, or from applying the last coat too thinly or applying with the can too far from the surface. If that's the case, simply be sure your final coat covers the entire area and looks wet and glossy and the can is 10-12 inches from the surface.

Of course, failing to sand the primer adequately before applying paint will also result in a grainy finish. Before repainting, you'll need to sand the surface well with #400 grit sandpaper.

Lastly, improperly stored or applied paint may extrude droplets of pigment during application. This is typically caused by the paint freezing, the paint not being sufficiently warm prior to application, or the nozzle being partially clogged. Please see A and B in the Applying The Color Coat section for further information.

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