How To Fix Wrinkled Paint On A Car {3 Amazing Steps}

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Paint defects occur due to several reasons, both natural and human causes. Seeing wrinkles appear on your car’s paint while repainting isn’t normal, as some people may put it.

Typically, wrinkles are caused due to incompatibilities of the chemicals used in making paints, but you don’t need to worry about this issue as we’re going to show you how to fix wrinkled paint on a car in today’s article.

Firstly, we’d love to take you through the possible causes/reasons why those wrinkles appear on your car’s paint. This would help prevent such paint defects when next you’ll be working on the car. But quickly, wrinkles on car paints can be fixed by sanding the affected area and then repaint.

What Causes Lifting or Wrinkling Of Paint On a Car?

Most times, paint wrinkling occurs when you forcefully spray paint on a surface. Other possible causes of this paint defect include applying paint to a contaminated surface or spraying new paint over a waxed surface. Yes, you shouldn’t apply or spray paint on a waxed surface – you must scrap out the wax first.

Also, when you paint under extremely hot or cool conditions, paint wrinkles may appear, and this is because the applied paint is liable to dry faster on top than the bottom.

Leaving your newly painted car under the rain can equally cause this defect – this is because an uncured paint is still light and wavy.

There are other things that could cause these wrinkles to appear on the car you recently repainted. However, regardless of the cause, the solution to fix wrinkled paint on a car is the same. We have carefully explained the processes in a step by step guide below.

How To Fix Wrinkled Paint On A Car

What Causes Wrinkling Of Paint On a Car

You will need to ready some DIY gears to make things easier and faster. Also, you should be more careful this time to avoid incurring another paint defect due to hastiness.


  • Fine-grit sander
  • Buffer

1. Sand The Affected Area

If you noticed the wrinkles after the painting has cured, use fine-grit sandpaper and sand the after area; continue sanding until the wrinkled surface matches with the surrounding coating. You should sand carefully so that you do not go into areas that were not touched by the wrinkle defect.

In contrast, if the paint is still wet (uncured) when you noticed the wrinkle, you could use a paintbrush and smoothen the surface to match with the surrounding coating. However, using paintbrushes to smoothen paint finish often leads to more issues if not done properly.

It’d be best to allow the paint to dry up and then sand the area using sandpaper. Most importantly, you shouldn’t wet sand.

Read Also: Best Swirl Mark Removals For Black Cars

2. Clean The Sanded Area

Reminiscing that debris and dirt are part of the things that cause wrinkles on newly applied car paints, it is important that you thoroughly clean the sanded area. You should ensure that the area you sanded due to wrinkles is thoroughly cleaned and neat before moving on to the next step.

You can use a buffing machine to buff out the area. This cleaning is very important if you do not want to deal with paint wrinkles again. If you sanded into the primer layer, you should apply a primer coating before repainting the surface.

Note: ensure the read the instructions on the primer coating before applying it to your car.

3. Apply Primer and Let It Dry

If you applied primer coating, you should allow it to dry (read the manual or instructions to know how long the primer coating should be left to cure properly) before continuing with this step’s instructions.

Don’t be in haste here; if the primer doesn’t cure properly and you apply paint on the surface, another paint defect is liable to occur.

Now, after the primer coating has dried properly, get out the paint and reapply it to the surface where the wrinkle appeared previously. Also, to avoid other possible defects, read the instructions on how to apply the paint you bought to a car, and ensure to abide keenly.

Generally, if it is to spray paint, you will need to shake the spray can very well before application. Other types of paints have their manufacturer’s laid down instructions on how you can apply them.

Furthermore, keep your hand steady when spraying and maintain the same distance away from the surface; if you mistakenly go closer, you may likely be faced with another paint wrinkle situation, and you go farther, you may likely deal with paint drips and runs. Rapid concentration is essential here.

What More?

Hopefully, you won’t find those unsightly wrinkles anymore if you followed the steps above. However, you should protect the newly applied paint by waxing the car or apply a paint sealing compound. This additional protection will help prevent a lot of minor damages that may want to dent your car’s appearance.

However, waxing shouldn’t be done immediately after the painting job is completed. You should allow the paint to cure properly – this may days a couple of days (check the paint’s manual or label instructions).

It is after the paint has cured that you can apply a wax or sealant to protect and retain the glossiness of your car’s paint.

But, waxing is not compulsory, and to some people, it’s of no need, yet, we’d advise that you perform this practice at a go. You can get the or for this purpose. More interestingly, waxing a car does not take so much time, unlike car detailing that takes up to 24 hours.

Read Also: How to Remove Swirl Marks


We hope that you’ve learned how to fix wrinkled paint on a car. Simply put, to remove wrinkles from your car’s paint, you need to sand it off, clean the surface thoroughly, and reapply paint – this won’t take you much time to do.

Furthermore, always endeavor to park your car in the garage or under shades; such practices prevent car paints from several damages caused by natural elements and humans.

Also, if you do not have much time to spend working on your car, you could visit an auto detailing workshop to rejuvenate the appearance.

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