Why Is My Spray Paint Not Sticking?

Is your spray paint crumbling off and making a mess on the floor? Does it peel off right after you apply it? You are not alone on this, as many people do experience it.

One of the major reasons your spray paint is not sticking is that you are applying paint too thick. The wrong painting surface can also cause the paint not to stick. If there are residues on the surface, the spray paint will stick.

Why Is My Spray Paint Not Sticking

In this article I will explain the reasons behind your spray paint is not sticking and how to fix that. Keep reading.

Reasons Why Your Spray Paint Is Not Sticking and How to Fix It

Your spray paint might not stick for a couple of different reasons.

Sometimes, it might not peel off immediately, but after some external elements act on it.

However, here are the major reasons why spray paints do not stick on certain surfaces and how to fix the issue:

1. Overly Thick Application

Applying paint too thick is one of the significant reasons it might not stick.

If you apply the paint spray too thick on a surface, the outer surface will dry faster than the inside.

When that happens, the wet underside will start falling off.

When the underside falls off, it will fall alongside the outer surface, whether it is dry or not.

Sometimes, applying the paint too thick can cause the paint to dry quickly and have wrinkles.

They can also crumble off sometimes, which can be very annoying. Fortunately, there is a quick and simple fix to this issue.

To avoid this issue, ensure the temperature is about 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit before you start spraying.

When you start applying, make sure you apply light coats.

You also want to ensure that the paint layers are even. Spray it gradually to avoid thick and uneven layers.

Once the first coat dries, recoat the surface to maintain the thickness (you should do this every few minutes).

Nevertheless, read and work with the instructions on the can. Some products recommend recoating the surface within 30 to 60 minutes.

After the finish, do not apply another layer for 24 to 48 hours. Recoating it within that time frame might result in wrinkles.

2. Wrong Painting Surface

If you are coating and recoating the paint the right way and it is still not sticking, chances are you are painting on the wrong surface.

Spray painting on the wrong surface might cause your paint to crumble or fall off.

For instance, vinyl-coated-surfaces, including contact paper surfaces, are not good at holding spray paint.

To spray paint on such surfaces, you need to cover them in a high-quality primer-sealer or else the paint will not stick.

To make such surfaces ready for painting, you need to clean the surface thoroughly.

After cleaning, you need to apply the primer-sealer and allow it to dry.

Read also: How To Clean Metal Before Painting

Note: The surface needs to be very clean before applying the primer-sealer, as even high-quality primers fall off when painted on oil or dust.

Once the primer is dry, you can spray paint the surface, and it will stick without any issues.

You also have to pay attention to the cleaning agent you use.

There are different cleaning agents for cleaning painting surfaces; you should opt for the best product.

The primer will serve as a coat of glue on the paint surface, making it paintable.

You want to ensure the primer-sealer sticks very well to the surface before spray painting.

Note: The spray you want to use on the surface should be free of chemicals that might damage the primer-sealer coat.

You should check the product’s label to ensure you can use it on a coat of primer-sealer without damaging it.

3. Residues on the Paint Surface

One of the common reasons your spray paint is not sticking is that there might be residue on the surface you want to paint.

If there is some kind of residue or wax on the surface, the chances of your spray paint sticking are very slim.

Fortunately, this problem has a very simple and quick fix. To fix it, all you have to do is clean the surface thoroughly.

Nevertheless, you want to ensure you use the right cleaners to get rid of the residue or wax.

If the paint surface has some gum residues, you can use an adhesive cleaner to remove it.

If you want to clean wax off the paint surface, you can use an oil-dissolving solvent to clean it.

The cleaning agent you use also plays a role in how paintable the surface would be.

You want to ensure you use the proper cleaning agent for the right kind of residue or dirt.

Spray Painting Tips Not to Ignore

Here are some vital spray-painting tips you should not ignore when spray painting any surface:

  • Create a Suitable Painting Environment: Before you start painting, ensure you create a good painting environment. Ensure the temperature is perfect, and there should be a drop cloth on the floor to prevent staining the floor. Furthermore, use painting lifts to keep objects away from the paint surface.
  • Spray Outdoors: The best place to do spraying is outdoors or in a well-ventilated space. You should also put on a protective mask when spraying.
  • Clean the Paint Surface: Clean the surface before spraying. Sanding the surface is also recommended, enabling the spray paint to stick to the surface easily.
  • Shake the Can Before Spraying: Shake the can very well before you start spraying. Shake it for over a minute before using it. You should also shake it occasionally while spraying.

How Do I Make My Spray Paint Stick Better?

You can make your spray paint stick better by ensuring the paint surface is paintable.

To make it paintable, you need to clean it and ensure it is free of oil, wax, or other residues.

You should also avoid applying overly thick paints.

Spray lightly and allow it to dry a bit before recoating.

Why Is My Spray Paint Coming Off?

Your spray paint is coming off for several reasons, including an unpaintable surface, dirty surface, overly thick coating, changes in weather, cheap and low-quality spray paints, and more.

You may also like: Best Way To Paint Round Columns

How Long Should I Wait Before Recoating?

Check the spray paint’s label to see how long you should wait before repainting.

However, with an optimal temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you can recoat the surface every five minutes, provided you are applying light coats.

You also want to ensure you apply even coats.

This would enable it to dry quickly without wrinkling or falling off.


You can only see the beauty of any surface you are spray painting when you do the job right.

If your spray paint is not sticking, the outcome might look messy and ugly.

Before you start spraying, you want to ensure the surface is clean, use the right spray paint, apply primer if needed, and apply thin, even coats.

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Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.