How to Fix Paint Drips

When painting a woodworking, cabinet, or finishing project, paint splatters are a common problem and can be especially frustrating when they dry before you even notice them.

Paint drips are usually due to applying too much paint to your project with a single coat, usually from an overloaded brush.

Gravity causes excess paint to drain away, and when it begins to dry, the paint freezes into visible droplets. The good news is that you can fix paint splatters even after the paint dries, and it's even easier if you catch them while the paint is still wet.

If the paint is still wet

If you detect dripping paint while the paint is still relatively wet, you can probably just brush off the drip. The trick is to make the strokes in the same direction that you used for the surrounding area.

Don't try to pull the drip off by brushing in the opposite direction, as this will often create ugly criss-cross lines that are difficult to remove.

Try a few strokes and see what happens: if this has little effect on dripping or if the paint feels sticky, stop brushing; the paint is already too dry and any additional brushing will only exaggerate the problem.

If the paint is dried

Oftentimes, it's best to let a bead of paint (and the surrounding area) dry completely before attempting to fix the problem.

It is important to let the paint dry completely before treating the drip; if it is still wet, the paint may peel off when you try to scrape or sand it. A drop of paint creates a raised area that is highlighted by the gloss of the paint.

Therefore, the first step is to cut or sand the raised area. Start by lightly scraping up the drip with a clean scraper, razor blade, or 5-in-1 tool. The less it disturbs the surrounding area, the better.

After removing the raised part of the drip, try to sand the remaining defect with 220 grit paper. Sand only in the direction of the drip; Sanding back and forth, in the opposite direction of dripping, causes the paint to stick or peel, leaving you with a larger stain.

Be careful to sand only the drip, avoiding the surrounding paint.

When you're satisfied that the drip has completely smoothed out, apply another coat or two of paint. Once the paint dries, the stain should be barely noticeable.

An extreme solution

If you have scraped and sanded and there is a recessed area where the drip was, or if there is any other damage from your repair efforts, you can fill the area with polish, such as Bondo.

Spread over the dough with a putty knife and scrape off excess with a small drywall knife. Let the dough dry, then sand as directed.

It is a good idea to prime the area with caulk to avoid problems with the finish; sometimes paint will develop holes if applied directly to caulk.

After applying primer, apply another coat or two of finish paint to hide the area to be repaired.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about how to fix paint drips:

Source: Paint Life TV

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