Why Does Paint Crack?

Few things are more annoying for a painter than seeing a painted surface develop cracks when it used to look smooth and beautiful. One of the most common reasons that homeowners decide it’s time for a restoration project is that paint is starting to crack.

However, there are also ways to prevent paint from cracking, and when starting a painting project of your own, it’s important to make sure that you avoid mistakes that cause paint to crack. Let’s take a look at the primary causes of paint cracking and why they are important to know.

Dirty Surfaces

Never paint a dirty surface! Dirt, dust and other imperfections will fester as the paint cures and quickly turn into cracks down the line. Always clean and sand a surface if necessary, and use a coat of primer if it looks advisable.

Painting in the Wrong Conditions

Painting, especially outdoors, is best done in mild conditions. If the weather is too hot, paint won’t be able to dry properly and blistering will occur, creating serious cracks. This can also happen when it’s too cold. The right types of paint can help resist these problems, but it’s important to pick the right time!

Using Too Much Paint

If you create a layer of paint that’s too thick, this will create a couple of problems. First, the paint is likely to droop and dry poorly. Second, the paint at the bottom of the layer won’t be able to cure properly, creating mismatching surfaces. Cracks often result.

Not all paint is created the same. If you use the incorrect paint on a surface, it can easily create cracks over time

Using Cheap Paint

Not all paint is created the same. If you use the incorrect paint on a surface, it can easily create cracks over time ““ which means it wasn’t much of a bargain. Figure out what paint is the best for your project instead of picking one with a nice price tag.

Spreading Paint Too Thin

This is less common, but sometimes people spread paint too thin trying to make it last longer. If this happens on the wrong surfaces, then parts of the surface won’t get enough paint. This often results in flaws and cracks as the paint dries and ages.

Adding More Coats Too Soon

It’s important to let paint fully cure and dry before adding a new layer. Even if the paint looks dry, consult instructions and wait at least several hours before adding a second coat.

Letting Paint Dry Too Quickly

Dry weather and similar issues can exacerbate a lot of the causes we’ve already mentioned. If paint dries out too fast, it will create cracks. Don’t aim fans at your paint to try and make it dry faster!

Matching the Wrong Kinds of Paint

Trying to put an oil-based paint on top of latex paint, for example, will result in serious flaws and cracking. When painting over old paint, always match the type of paint or ask an expert what paint you should be using.

Still having trouble with cracking paint? We can help! Contact Tar Heel Painters today and we’ll help you figure out what’s going wrong and provide the expert painting services you need to fix it and get a healthy coat of paint that will last for years.