There are a variety of interior paint problems one may encounter when they first start out painting, a typical one is a problem called paint sagging. Paint sagging is a little different than drips because sagging affects a horizontal run of paint, where drips are characterized by a localized ‘drip’ effect. Sagging can really ruin an otherwise impeccable paint job and is a common mistake people make. In this article we will learn what causes this problem and how to overcome it.
What causes paint sagging?
Paint sagging is almost always caused by gravity overcoming the holding power of the paint. Perhaps not an exact scientific analysis, the problem is caused by one or more of the following problems; the substrate is too moist, a buildup of paint, or the paint was thinned too heavily. Essentially the problem stems from the viscosity and resulting surface tension of the paint in conjunction with the ability for the paint to stick to the surface.
Paint sagging is a common problem associated with mixing newbie painters and semi-gloss paints. The typically high viscosity of semi-gloss paints lends itself being over applied and thus to sagging. A painter needs to be careful not to over apply paint but a new painter may not be able to recognize exactly what an over application of paint looks like. A new painter can learn this difference by checking back over their work and examining what they have just painted a couple of minutes ago, if there is a problem of sagging it will appear typically within 2-3 minutes. That way they will begin to learn the cautionary signs of this problem and address the issue before it becomes an issue.
How can I fix paint sagging?
What’s the best way to fix sagging? Well, when you first spot a sag give it the lightest of touches with a dry paint brush, if it’s still wet you will be able to easily re-brush the surface. However, if the paint has started to dry there is not much that can be done, wipe the sag off as best you can with a rag and get ready to sand the surface smooth after it has completely dried. You’ll need some good elbow grease to sand down a paint sag, a belt sander may be a good decision depending on how back the sag is.
What can I do to prevent paint from sagging?
Prevention is the ultimate cure to this problem. As noted earlier in this article the best way to avoid paint sagging is to know how much paint to apply, this is something learned primarily through the experience of noticing your past mistakes and taking corrective action to not reproduce them. The next thing you can do to prevent sags is to make sure conditions are ideal for sagging not to happen:
- Sand glossy surfaces – this will ensure the paint has a better surface to adhere to
- Make sure your paint isn’t overly thinned – if your paint is thinned too heavily it will have a lower viscosity and be more prone to sagging
- Do not over apply the paint – two coats are always better than one heavy coat
- Avoid painting in overly humid or cool conditions – again this will ensure the ideal surface for your paint to adhere to as well as ideal conditions for the paint to dry
Good luck to you, I hope that you’ve learned a thing or two about sagging and how you prevent and fix this interior painting problem!