Why Does Spray Paint Crackle – Detailed Guide

Are you frustrated with the spray paint crackling again and again? Crackles are a significant problem for the newly painted area. Well, if you have wasted your money on buying quality spray paints and still have failed to keep the wall from crackling, then you are at the right place to know the reasons for crackles and how to avoid them. The spray paints’ quality does not matter for the crackles, but the way you use them.

The incorrect use of spray paints is the reason behind crackles. Spray paints are easy to use, but there is always a technique to use any object. You must pay attention to the technique to gain the desired results. Cracks in spray paint can be caused by more than one factor. I will discuss all the reasons in detail and then how you can keep the spray paint from crackling.

Why Does Spray Paint Crackle

Why Does Spray Paint Crackle

Before I dig into details, ensure that the paint you use does not expire or is made of local chemicals. Focus on each reason and the correct way to use the spray paints. If you cannot avoid the crackles, then contact professionals.


The first reason behind the pain crackling is temperature. Primarily, people do not focus on the temperature of the objects and paint it all. After some hours or days, they face a crackling issue. Both hot and cold temperatures are lethal for the spray paint layers. The layers are too thin, and they cannot bear the temperature.

Because the spray paint is made of different chemicals which cannot stand against the too cold temperature when the paint has not dried, the thin layers shrink in cold temperatures. With time, the layers start shrinking; consequently, I see the paint crackling. Pain crackling makes beautiful objects clumsy, and you feel like you have wasted your money, or there is some problem with the brand.

The same goes for the too-hot temperature. The layers are thin and dry fast. But the high temperature prevents it from drying and keeping it fresh. The paint crackles a few minutes after it’s completed. High temperatures cause the molecules of the paint to evaporate, and the pain, in consequence, shrivels up. This is why too-hot temperatures are not suitable for spray paints.

Over Thick and Thin Layers

Another reason for the spray paint crackling is the thick layers. When you apply a thick layer, it takes time to dry. After taking more minutes than usual, the paint dries in a swollen shape or clumpy. If you apply an over-thin layer of spray paint, you will face the same problem. Thin layers crackle because of air and temperature.

Applying a thicker layer over a thin layer is also a significant problem. When you apply an over-thin layer on the thicker layer, the paint beneath the thicker layer fails to get the same cooling effect as the upper layer. So, the paint started crackling.

When you apply the second layer or coat the previous layer without letting it dry properly, you can face a crackling problem. This is because the beneath layer fails to get the typical environment to dry, so it starts crackling. Sometimes it happens in winter when the paint takes more time to dry. So, the painter applies another layer to the wet layer, and consequently, the paint crackles. Check out our informative guide clear coat spray paint.

Paint Mixture

The third reason for paint cracking is the mixture of two or more paints. You mix two paints when you have to make a colour effect or want to make a new one. If these paints are from different brands, they can give you a hard time while making a mixture.

Chemicals don’t mix well with each other in some cases. Companies use different chemicals to create spray paints. Some companies use quality chemicals and other manufacturers sell local spray paints. It becomes problematic when you combine these two oppositely behaved chemicals. And you end up with paint crackling.

An inappropriate mixture will give you crackles. The mixture primarily causes cracks in spray paint. The mixture must also be mixed at the right time. Some chemicals take 10 to 20 minutes to mix. Rushing will cause you to crack.

Dust, Dirt, and Wet Objects

Another neglected reason for the spray paint crackling is dirty objects. Dirt may turn all your efforts into failure. When you apply a layer on a dirty or dusty object, the dirt does not allow the layer to apply to the surface accurately. In return, you find the crackling when the spray dries.

Because when you apply a thin layer on the wet surface, it takes more time than usual to dry. As well as, the paint will disappear because it cannot stay on a wet surface. After the surface dries, the crackles will be visible to everyone. The wet surface can turn your heaven-like place into hell.

Dust not only causes an obstacle in the way of your spray paints, but after you have done the layers of the paint, it affects the paint. Surfaces like the engine and the front walls have spray paint crackles because they face a lot of water and dust. Some go with the wet surface because the water creates ways to go, so it causes crackles.

How To Avoid The Spray Paint Crackles

How To Avoid The  Spray Paint Crackles

Moderate Temperature

Make sure that when you paint on any object’s surface, the surface has neither too hot nor too cold temperature. If the temperature is moderate, there is no chance of the paint crackling. Do not apply the paint on a hot or cold surface; otherwise, the crackles will not leave you.

Appropriate Mixture

First of all, do not use different brands of paints. Try to choose a quality brand. When mixing the two different paint brands, ensure they are mixed properly. If you are still using different paints, then mix the paints properly. It takes almost 10 to 20 minutes to make an appropriate mixture.

Absurd Layers

Applying a thick layer on a thin layer or over a thin layer over a thick layer causes crackles. To avoid the crackles, you need to apply proper layers. Otherwise, the beneath layer will have a different cooling effect, and consequently, your beautiful object will seem clumsy because of paint crackles.

Clean The Surface

Before you start the transformation process, clean the object’s surface or the wall. Wet surfaces should not be used. The dust-free surface will look more beautiful when you paint it. Dusty, dirty, or wet surfaces also cause crackles in the spray paints.

Three Easy Steps To fix Paint Crackles

Three Easy Steps To fix Paint Crackle

Step 1

The first step is to remove the paint. To remove the paint, you need a paint scraper or steel wool. You can also use a heat gun. You can apply the layers of powder to walls or surfaces by mixing them with warm water. In case some spots can’t be removed, apply TSP.

Step 2

Now you have successfully removed the paint from the surface. It is not advisable to use low-quality local paints. Low-quality materials cannot stand against the temperature and attain the shape of crackles. Use premium or high-quality spray paints.

Step 3

Well, you have purchased high-quality spray paint. Now apply thin layers of the paint to the surface. Do not mix the paint with other chemicals. Coat three to four times, and remember not to coat on the fresh layers. If you are successful in the quest, your walls or objects will never look clumsy.   

Frequently Asked Questions

What Would Cause Spray Paint To Crackle? 

Cracking can occur for a variety of reasons. In most cases, however, the following reasons are responsible:

  • The temperature of the surface.
  • The thick layer on the thin layer.
  • The dusty or dirty surface.
  • Low-quality spray paint mixtures.

How Do You Stop Paint Cracking? 

You must remove the paint with a scraper or paint sanders to stop the crackles. Then use premium paint and apply the layers gently. Apply more than two coats. Provide appropriate time to dry the layer.

Why Did My Second Coat Of Spray Paint Bubble?

Applying a too-thin layer on the surface before the previous one dries or the upper layer dries before the beneath layer dries. It causes spray paint bubbles.


The spray paints are inexpensive, easy to use, and durable. But if you misuse them, you may save time and money. The crackling of the spray paint is the central issue a spray paint user faces. The reasons I have discussed above, such as the too-hot or cold temperature, dirty surface, inappropriate mixtures, absurd layers, and wet surfaces, are a few reasons for spray paint to crackle. I have discussed a few easy steps to fix this crackling issue of spray paint.  

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund MechanicsGear. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

Leave a Comment