How to Troubleshoot Aerosol Painting

Written by paul jeter
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How to Troubleshoot Aerosol Painting
Aersol paint issues also have solutions. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When aerosol painting, problems may occur because of environmental and other factors. Many common issues have solutions that include removing dust from the air or adjusting the thinness of the paint. Troubleshoot aerosol paint problems by analysing how it dries. Spray painting issues have descriptive names, such as blooming, blistering, crazing and orange peel. Some solutions are adding thinner to the paint, adjusting the flow, degreasing the paint surface and adjusting humidity.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Inspect the paint for a gritty matt surface. The problem of dry paint dust settling over previously painted areas can be troubleshooted by sanding and refinishing. This problem is caused by the aerosol paint drying too quickly, the piece being too large, the application being too slow or the spray being too far from the surface. Also, the area may need to be cleaned.

  2. 2

    Check for bubbles. The problem of paint blistering or bubbling can be troubleshooted by sanding it down and drying it completely. Blistering of paint is caused by water, solvent or rust trapped under the surface.

  3. 3

    Ensure that the paint is not sagging. The problem of sagging paint makes the surface look like it is dripping. This means the paint was not sprayed uniformly. To fix this problem, sand down the problem areas and repaint. Troubleshoot this problem by creating a thin, even coat made by even spraying. Sagging is also caused by a waxy or greasy surface or the paint having dried too slowly. Try fixing this problem while the paint is still wet by smoothing it out with a brush.

  4. 4

    Look for uneven textures. The problem of orange peeling on the surface can be troubleshooted by using less paint and evening out the spray. The surface looks like a porous orange peel because there is an uneven amount of paint built up on a small spot. Turn up the pressure on the spray nozzle and sand down before refinishing.

  5. 5

    Examine the paint surface for bumps. An uneven surface may result from a clogged spray nozzle. The problem of a spitting nozzle means there is uneven pressure. Troubleshoot this problem by soaking the nozzle in thinner. Then replace the nozzle and make sure it has a secure fit. You will need to sand it down and try again.

  6. 6

    Study the paint surface. A mottled surface, or uneven appearance, can be caused by the paint not being mixed well enough, the spray being too close to the surface or temperature changes while the paint was drying. Troubleshoot this problem by laying on a thick coat high above the piece to disperse the paint evenly. If this does not cover it up, you will have to sand it down and refinish it.

  7. 7

    Note imperfections. Little craters called fish eyes are blemishes in the paint. The causes are a dirty piece or pieces of dust and other solvents reacting with the paint. Troubleshoot by cleaning the surface well, sanding it down and repainting.

  8. 8

    Look for hair line cracks. The problem called crazing is an over-drying of the paint. This is rapid ageing sometimes caused by excessive washing. It can be caused by long exposure to the sun. Troubleshoot this condition by stripping down the piece and repainting the trouble areas. You may not be able to match the paint, so consider repainting the entire piece.

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