Paint Cracking Troubleshooting

Description and Identification:

Paint cracking is when the paint coating splits and crack throughout the paint film thickness. As the image above shows, paint cracking is a series of straight lines in the mainly the topcoat. Often the primer or substrate is visible through the coating. If this is the case then it is best to follow the procedures below in solving this problem. If the problem is failed to be solved then the coating will be left weak and susceptible to failure. This can then damage the substrate and cause problems in the future.

Watch our Video on the Importance of Painting

Probable Causes of Paint Cracking:

There are quite a few probable causes of paint cracking (see below). If you can understand why the coating has failed then it will be much easier to prevent it then next time.

  • The substrate wasn't at room temperature when the coating was applied
  • Component "A" and Component "B" not uniformly mixed
  • The coating was applied over a previously cracked finish or unstable substrate
  • The undercoat or topcoat was applied too thick and so the overall film thickness was too high.

How to Solve Paint Cracking:

Unfortunately, the only way to solve paint cracking is to remove the finish and start again. This way the paint is guaranteed not to be affected by the previous poor finish

  1. The finish needs to be removed from the affected area
  2. Apply primer or sealer to the correct film thickness. (this can be found in the technical datasheet)
  3. Repaint with your topcoat


Prevention is a lot better than curing a problem so it is important to take note of the below actions. By following them the chances of your coating cracking are very slim and nobody likes to re-do a poor job so it is very important to follow the below recommendations.

  • Remove any poor quality or unstable finishes.
  • Check the current film thickness before starting to paint the next coat.
  • Excessive paint should be removed before refinishing.
  • Mix Component "A" and Component "B" thoroughly. For best results use a form of powered mixing
  • Follow the recommended film thickness for the coating
  • Follow the recommended flash-off and drying time between coats (these can be found in the technical data sheet)

Check out our Paint Cracking training video:

Need Some More Help With Paint Finish?

Why not get some help from our business specialists at Ultrimax, who can advise on Paint Finish Issues?

If you can't find a solution, give us a call and we'll help guide you in the right direction.

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