How To Fix Uneven Spray Paint [Tips From Professionals]


This is the complete guide on how to fix uneven spray paint, where we have discussed everything you need to know.

It may be your biggest nightmare to see a freshly painted wall or furniture have already started dripping. The drips will eventually ruin the whole look and make you feel that your whole DIY project was a big failure.

The uneven and patchy look will make you feel that you are hopeless. But, trust us, there are ways to get rid of such a situation.

There are many reasons behind getting uneven spray paint that causes dripping. Although it’s not a common affair, but we cannot deny the fact that it happens.

This guide will get you covered with every bit and piece of your painting project. No matter how much experience you have in your home painting projects, mistakes are bound to happen.

But you learn by making mistakes! As we go over a few of the most common causes, you can decide if any of them apply to you and your DIY project.

Read on to know the causes in detail and the best ways on how to fix uneven spray paint. Read on to understand the mistakes so that you can avoid those in the future.


This will help you to evaluate yourself better as a beginner or novice. Let’s get started!

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Reasons Behind Encountering Uneven Spray

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to avoiding drippy and uneven spray paint. There is no way for the previous coat to dry in time, resulting in a wet mess that looks patchy when multiple coats of spray paint are applied on top of each other.

Consider whether your paint sprayer gun has been properly set up and used as a potential explanation of uneven spray paint and drips.

To avoid a sparse painting layer, it is important to have a proper setup before beginning the painting process. Get it set up correctly by following the instructions on your spray paint gun’s manual.

Sometimes, incorrect usage of painting guns is also a major cause behind uneven spray and paint dripping. A wrong angle and hasty spraying process can ruin everything.

The perfect result can only be achieved when you invest proper time in painting the walls or furniture. While spraying paint, it’s also a good idea to keep a proper distance from the wall by angling the gun at 90 degrees.

This will ensure that you get a smooth, drip-free finish. In general, you should keep your paint sprayer at least 6 inches away from whatever you’re painting and at least 12 inches away from whatever you’re painting.

You can also choose paints that are incompatible with the surface. This can also cause dripping and cause patches. This may be a reason behind the paint not getting adhered to the surface.

It is a good idea to evaluate everything before you start the project. When you know the reasons, it would be easier for you to prevent it from happening.

The Types Of Uneven Spray Paint

If you want to fix the issue of uneven spray, you will have to understand the type at very first. Understanding the difficulty will assist you in addressing it.

If you wish to get a permanent solution to your problem, read the types of uneven spray that you encounter.

Paint Drips

We have already mentioned paint drips before because this is the most common type of uneven spray. This happens when you use too much paint thinner.

When you apply a thin paint coat, the chances of dripping get high. This problem is often caused by the incorrect type of paint. A thick consistency can also lead to uneven spray.

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Fish Eyes

Small, circular holes resembling fish eyes can appear on newly painted surfaces, making the paint appear uneven and patchy.

When this happens, it’s usually due to an oily substance coming into contact with the substrate, such as sweat or oil from your skin or lubricant from tools.

If the paint hasn’t been properly mixed, it could even be oil extracted from the paint itself. This can happen as a result of water as well.

As a result, your spray painter or paint must never come into contact with any water or oil before you use it.

The spray painter’s components must dry completely before they can be used again after a thorough cleaning.

Orange Peel

Sometimes, the paint seems to be bumpy and uneven after getting dried. If you use the paint sprayer in the wrong direction or fail to follow the instructions that come with the product, small bumpy appearances can be a common sight for you.

Using the paint sprayer in the wrong way can be really risky. As a result, the spray paint layer is not only uneven but also has the appearance of an orange peel. To avoid this, make sure the sprayer is properly set up and angled.

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The Necessary Prevention & Precaution

Depending on the type of uneven spray, you will need a separate set of precautions. Let’s discuss this in detail.

Paint Drips Precautions

  1. High-quality paint is recommended. Although less expensive paint will do the job, it is likely to be too thin. In addition, low-quality paints aren’t going to last as long as more expensive ones.
  2. At least six to eight inches away from a surface, spray paint cans or spray guns should be held.
  3. Do not spray in a single, continuous motion.
  4. Using light coats of paint is more effective. Before moving on to the next coat, allow the previous one to dry completely.

Orange Peel Precautions

  1. For a specific surface and material, use a spray gun or can of spray paint that is appropriate.
  2. Make sure the spray gun is set up properly.
  3. Wipe the surface clean of any loose particles with a damp cloth.
  4. Because orange peel is caused by paint particles that are too large, thinning your paint is the best way to avoid it.

Fish Eye Precautions

  1. Make sure to clean the surface beforehand.
  2. Wear latex gloves to keep your body oil from contaminating the painting surface.
  3. Use caution when using any of your equipment. As long as you don’t have any leaks, you should be fine.

Now, let us enter to the main part. Fixing your uneven paint job is not easy. You will need some of the simple tools and follow every step blindly.

Make sure to follow each and every step and not skip anything. Skipping will only ruin your effort. We don’t think you can afford that!

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Tools That You Need

  1. New Paint
  2. Spray Gun
  3. Cardboard
  4. Respirator
  5. Sandpaper
  6. Drop Cloth
  7. Alcohol
  8. Wire Brush
  9. Trisodium Phosphate

Spray guns and spray cans are both viable options. Small quantities of spray paint can be purchased for a relatively low price in a metallic canister.

Unlike a paint roller, a spray gun is a more expensive piece of equipment that resembles a gun and sprays paint. Paint jobs that require more than five cans of aerosol spray work best with a spray gun.

Essential Steps On How To Fix Uneven Spray Paint

Preparing The Surface

You have to take different preparation methods for different surfaces. When you do that, half of the work is already done. This is because preparation means a lot of things.

Metal Surface:

  1. Clean the surface. To remove dust and other debris from the surface, dampen a rag and use it to wipe it down.
  2. Use a wire brush to remove any rust that may be on the surface.
  3. Remove any stray paint by sanding with fine grit sandpaper.

Wood Surface:

  1. Clean every old paint coat by suing TSP.
  2. Sanding with coarse and fine grit sandpaper removes any base coat texture and creates a smooth surface.

Plastic Surface:

  1. Remove any dust or grime with a lint-free cloth.
  2. Wet sand the surface to remove any loose debris or base coat texture.
  3. To remove any traces of oil, use rubbing alcohol to clean the surface.

Testing Gun & Adjusting The Pressure

You need to adjust the pressure of your spray by controlling the gun’s knob. It is better to adjust it to low-spray settings. A controlled pressure will help you get the flow in a more organized way.

High pressure can mess up the whole work. If you see any gaps or heavy edges in your pattern, try increasing the pressure on your spray gun until you achieve a smooth and complete pattern.

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Maintaining Distance From The Surface

Conventional spray guns would need you to keep at least 8-10 inches gap from the surface. However, when you get a gun with modernized techniques and features, a 6-7 inches gap is enough.

10-12 inches away from the target surface is the recommended distance for air-assisted airless sprayers. An airless sprayer can be used from a distance of 12 to 14 inches with high pressure.

Positioning Is Imperative

Considering the height of the surface, you will have to decide on your position. You may not find it important, but trust us, this is.

A perfect positioning will allow you to spray the paint in the right and flawless direction. To get the top-notch result, your spray gun should be perpendicular to your painting surface.

Painting Consciously

When attempting to recoat a surface, you should never begin by spraying directly at it. As you glide your arm toward the desired surface, spray from a distance off to one side.

Glide and spray at the edge of the surface, as well. Spray past the edge instead to avoid too much paint accumulation. Spray in a straight line to ensure an even distribution of the product.

Go step by step to get the best results. You must apply the first coat and wait for it to dry completely, and then only go for the second coat.

Checking & Final Touch Ups

You need to go for final touch-ups and thorough checking to understand that you have done a flawless job. You can use fine-grit sandpaper or a dry cloth to smooth out any splotches or drips before applying the final coat.

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Wet Paint & Dry Paint: What to Do?

In the case of wet paint, you can simply use a damp or soft cloth. This will be really easy, and you do not have to go for a detailed process to get rid of the paint.

Large or small amounts may be necessary, depending on the severity of the problem. Make haste if you want to avoid it drying out completely.

Spray paint can then be reapplied, but only if you follow all the steps to avoid the same mistakes happening. In the case of dry paint, the process is a bit different.

The good news is that these problems can be remedied. Even if it takes a long time, removing the entire top layer of paint by sanding or grinding is sometimes the best option.

Following our instructions above, you should then thoroughly clean the area and reapply the paint.

Final Verdict

We hope this guide on how to fix uneven spray paint was helpful. Always remember that cleaning every painting equipment is absolutely necessary. When you go for fixing the uneven spray paint, you need to clean all the tools that you use.

When you spray paint, water, or solvent (depending on whether you used water-based or oil-based paint), the liquid goes through your spray gun until all of the remaining paint residues are removed.

This is the standard procedure. Do not forget to pat your back when you successfully fix these issues. Do share your experience with us.

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