Ever wondered why your paint sometimes cracks or crazes? This is a common occurrence that can happen to any artist or home DIYer.
Why does paint craze? Paint crazing is a surface defect that occurs in paint finishes. It can be caused by various factors, including improper priming or varnishing, the use of an incompatible primer and topcoat, or rapid temperature changes.
The crazing in your painting can also result from the top layer drying before the underlying layers are finished. This can happen when it dries too quickly, if you haven’t let the first layers dry before adding another layer of paint, or if you don’t use enough solvent.
If you’re interested in learning more about why paint crazing occurs and how to stop it from happening on your next project, read on!
What Is The Difference Between A Crack And Craze?
You may be thinking that cracking and crazing are the same thing, which can lead to a misdiagnosis that gets you nowhere for solutions. So, let’s take a quick look at the differences.
A craze is a surface defect that develops most often in acrylic paints. When applied, it begins to form a skin while the material underneath remains wet and fluid. The result is stretch marks all across the canvas. Acrylic films are very flexible, which allows them to stretch as the edges of the film begin drying out.
They require more stretching from center areas due to moisture evaporating and shrinking away at the sides of the film. Sometimes these central stretches can’t take any more stress and end up tearing instead. The moisture in these tears then releases itself from the surface of the film.
This means that all evaporative pressure has shifted towards this area, leading to other compounds like paint molecules being released. The tear often reaches down under layers of paint and leaves its mark on the rest of the painting where there’s no longer any protective coating.
Cracks in paintings occur when the paint reacts to stress put on it by the artist or environmental conditions such as temperature changes, sometimes breaking apart into platelets that show up more prominently under certain lighting conditions.
This is mainly seen with very old oil paints made of linens which may have been improperly rolled up or stored away over time. As a result, they become prone to cracking due to improper handling once removed for display purposes.
Acrylics are known to crack, too—whether it is from being cold or the paint’s elasticity. Acrylic paints often become stiffer in colder climates and can also develop cracks when rolled at high temperatures.
It may be a good idea for painters to consider using exterior grade house paint. However, make sure that it has been formulated with higher levels of flexibility that will help prevent cracking issues before they happen.
How To Fix And Prevent Paint Crazing
One of the most effective ways to avoid crazes is through careful planning and control over product application. Although crazes are near impossible to eliminate completely, their occurrence can be reduced by some preventive measures. The section below lists a few tricks on how you can fix your crazing paint.
Painting a room, decor, or other canvas is an exciting project that can quickly become frustrating if you don’t know how to fix paint and prevent crazing. So, here are a few tips and tricks to help you level up your paint game and prevent defects.
1. Examine The Paint Crazing To Determine What Caused It
Paint crazing can be fixed once you determine the cause of it. It happens for several reasons, including humidity or not properly priming before painting, making it difficult to seal so moisture can no longer get in there. Once you know the roots of this damage, it will be easier to find a way to repaint and fix it.
2. Remove Any Loose Paint Chips And Sand Down The Area
You should remove any loose paint chips and sand down the area to fix the craze because it will make it easier for the topcoat of paint to stick better.
Paint often needs a rough surface or primer to adhere well. Moreover, the condition of the surface you are painting over will play a significant role in how long your paint job lasts.
3. Apply A Primer Coat Of Paint And Two Finishing Coats
A primer coat of paint is a great way to fix crazing paint. Applying a primer coat will seal in those tiny cracks and stop them from expanding into gaping crevices that invite water penetration. This will result in a smoother finish, not allowing for fractures (crazes) to accumulate over time.
4. Wait For The Newly Painted Surface To Dry Completely
Make sure to let the surface dry completely before applying any other coats or decorations to it. Paint craze often occurs because it’s difficult for moisture (humidity) to escape while paint films are still wet.
This is because the water molecules bind with molecules found within the paint film in order to evaporate and return into the atmosphere as water vapor. Wait for newly painted surfaces to dry completely before adding new layers.
5. Use A Brush Instead Of A Roller When Painting
If you’re painting a wall or similar canvas, when the paint is applied with a brush, it creates a thin layer that dries quickly.
A roller, on the other hand, creates a dense coat that may have bubbles. A brush is also a better option because it won’t apply too much pressure to the newly applied paint layer.
However, if you need to cover a large surface, this may not be practical, so you’ll want to choose a high-quality roller.
6. Do Not Put Anything On Top Of Freshly Painted Surfaces Until They’re Dry
This is a crucial painting rule. Do not put anything on the newly painted surface unless it has dried completely. Working or using wet surfaces can damage the paint, and all your effort will go to waste.
In addition, an unvarnished surface, especially one freshly painted, is much less likely to be contaminated with dirt or other contaminants before the varnish has had the chance to seal it.
Tip: It’s best to wait a day or two for each coat of gloss paint to dry before adding another coat.
Acrylic Paint Crazing
The crazing effect in acrylic pouring is a term used to describe the cracks or lines that form when a fluid painting dries. This happens because of varying drying times, where one layer may dry before another and cause it to crack.
The minute details on your canvas can be ruined by these unwanted textures, which are left behind after craze formations break through the top layers of paint; they could leave ridges, bumps, holes, and tears all over your beautiful work.
Here are a few pointers to help you get rid of the unwanted textures on your painted surface.
1. Choose A High-Quality Pouring Medium
A pouring medium is a liquid or gel that can be mixed into acrylic paint to flow and reduce the thickness efficiently. Depending on the type of look you’re going for, a pouring medium is always added.
However, it’s important not to skimp on the quality of your acrylic pouring medium. On the other hand, using cheaper alternatives such as PVA glue can sometimes lead to crazing occurring in your pour. This will ruin its appearance and cause it to crack once dried.
2. Don’t Dilute The Pouring Mix With A Lot Of Water
Mix no more than 50% water when mixing up some pouring mix, so there will still be a substantial amount of adhesive left over from the paste. In addition, there will be less chance of developing any cracking problems down the line and you will still have enough pigment particles suspended inside without weakening them by adding too much liquid.
3. Work In A Room Temperature Environment
The worst thing about your painting is the humid environment. Whether it’s summertime or winter, we need to be mindful of where our paintings are stored and what kind of temperature they’re in- especially during the initial drying phase.
Maintaining an ideal room temperature will decrease crazing occurrence by preventing moisture from getting trapped between layers.
4. Finishing Varnishes Must Be Applied Only After The Painting Has Dried
After you have finished creating your artwork, make sure to let it dry for three or more days. This is important because finishing varnish can be applied only after the art has dried completely.
This may not happen unless given enough time in a warm environment with good ventilation that doesn’t expose the work of art to any drafts. So, apply these finishes on top of your already completed masterpiece.
5. Thickness and Consistency of the Paint
Different paint thicknesses can cause a variety of problems, from thin to thick. If your paints are too watery (most likely because you added more than enough water), it will be difficult for them to stick, and they’ll end up cracking or peeling off instead.
On the other hand, if its consistency is too solidified, the paintings will fail to stick correctly. In addition, any cracks that form due to lack of flowing motion may also result in loose layers being peeled away entirely.
Spray Paint Crazing
It’s easy to understand why spray paint cracks when the temperature is too hot or cold. If it gets way too hot, then some of that liquid disappears and shrivels the texture up. Result: you end up with a cracked surface as well.
Too much paint on top means drying paints peel off each other while they’re still wet because there wasn’t enough time for them all to adhere correctly together, which causes cracking surfaces in your work.
If you’re looking for a way to prevent your spray paint from crazing, many factors will help determine the best method. Spraying only when in the advised temperature range and applying thinner layers of color with more coats is better than just one or two thick ones.
Furthermore, waiting longer before recoating can also be helpful because it helps make sure that the previous coat has thoroughly dried first so as not to create an uneven surface on top of what’s already been done.
It can be easy to fix crackling paint as long as you wait for it to dry. Don’t panic when the color starts cracking. The first step is waiting until the paint dries before fixing. If that doesn’t work, try sanding down any cracks and adding a primer layer after letting it dry again.
However, be sure to let both items fully cure before trying another coat, or else they may not stay in place.
On the second coating of paint or any subsequent coatings, you should wait for your first layer to dry before applying the next. Not doing so will lead to some pretty rough cracking in just under no time at all.
Emulsion Paint Crazing
Emulsion paint is a water-based type of paint, and if too much water is added while painting, this could cause emulsion crazing. This is because there would be more room for air bubbles to form between layers.
Two main reasons emulsion paints can crack are because they’re dry and don’t have enough surface area to flatten out, but also if the brush that was used to apply the paint didn’t have a neat finish.
Another less common reason is when an inferior quality paint has been used, which doesn’t blend well with other coats of paint. To avoid this problem, make sure you always add just enough water when adding new coats of emulsion paints.
Paint Crazing On Walls
Wall paints craze because they are usually applied by roller, not paintbrush. After the paint dries, the roller compresses and causes mini fractures in the still-wet paint. As it dries completely, those fractures turn into cracks all across the surface of a wall.
The moisture in between these cracks promotes mold growth and other things that go bump in your walls. The way to fix a wall-crazed paint depends on what caused it in the first place, but as a general rule of thumb, you should rub down areas affected and apply two thin coats with a brush.
Up Next: How To Fix Dried Acrylic Paint?