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paint wrinkling

Can someone help?

I am in Sicily, where I am trying to paint a new metal (iron) stair. I'm having enough trouble figuring out the Italian on the cans of primer and paint, but my top coat is "wrinkling" just after I lay it on. Maybe it's "lifting", "peeling", or getting "fisheyes". It is hard to tell from the various descriptions out of a paint glossary. Tiny mountain ranges, some with cracked tops are appearing in sections, sort of like the metal has poison ivy. Here's what I did:

1. once the stair guys had installed it, I wiped it down with a damp rag, ran sandpaper over it lightly (old sandpaper), and the wiped it with a dry rag. I did not degrease beyond wiping twice, nor added etching primer, or sand very vigorously.

2. Applied a primer that took well and held firm. Let dry for 18 hours.

3. Applied a coat of synthetic enamel gloss (I noticed later that the top coat paint asked for alkyd enamel undercoat). Let dry for 19 hours.

4. Began to apply the top coat of flat enamel, and the wrinkling began within a few minutes.

Help. What did I do wrong, and what next?


Re: paint wrinkling

This *may* be a case in which the solvent contained in the topcoat is not compatible with the underlying coat. IOW, the contained solvent is performing somewhat of a stripper function, dissolving the underlying coat.

Or....it may be that there was too great of a disparity between the temperature of the topcoat paint and the surface to which it was applied. For instance, if the paint was at a temp of 70F and the surface was in the sun and say, 100F...the colder paint would expand after application. This could/would cause the paint to "crawl" as it expanded. This is far more apt to occur if the paint is being sprayed than if it's being brush-applied.

Re: paint wrinkling


Right on. I thought I had that straight, but the paint cans were not clear, even after I translated out of Italian. But I went to a paint that specified it be used with the undercoat that I had used and, bingo, a smooth-drying topcoat.

Delighted I did not have to strip and go back to redo the surface prep.



Re: paint wrinkling

I thought I had that straight, but the paint cans were not clear, even after I translated out of Italian.

Ha! Better you than me trying to translate from Italian. Had a year of Italian language class back in college. I was truly pathetic at it.

I'm sure those "skills" haven't improved any with the passage of time. ;)

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