6 Paint Sprayer Disasters and How to Fix Them

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spray paint splatter

Nobody is perfect. We all make a mistake every now and then. The only problem is that when the mistake involves paint sprayer disasters, the problems can get huge.

Using a paint sprayer is easy.

Using one in the right way can be hard.

If you jump right into a project, then there’s a chance that you could experience one of these common paint sprayer disasters.

Don’t worry though. We’ll also show you simple ways to fix each problem so you can still end up with a stunning result.

6 Paint Sprayer Disasters You Can Fix

how to fix paint runs


  1. Spray Paint Cracking, Running and Uneven Surfaces
  2. Spray Paint Drips
  3. Bowtie Effect
  4. Spray Paint Splatter
  5. Wackiness in Tackiness
  6. Missed the Mark

Spray Paint Cracking, Running, and Uneven Surfaces

Holding your paint sprayer too close to the surface being painted can create a few issues with your finished look.  Spray paint cracking as it dries, running paint,  and other issues that result in a surface which isn’t smooth.

How Do You Fix Paint Runs and Uneven Paint on Wall

Should this happen to you, wait until the paint is completely dry and then sand it with wet/dry sandpaper of 1000 grit.  

Chances are you will need to apply a second coat of paint.

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How to Fix Spray Paint Drips

If you have painted on an uneven wall, without fixing holes and other miscellaneous weird spots, you could end of with spray paint drips. 

So, how do you fix spray paint drips? 

The best way is to prevent them from happening at all, by patching and sanding all holes and uneven surfaces on your wall.  Also, applying primer will ensure smooth application of your paint and a better looking finished result.

Paint Sprayer Disasters and The Bowtie Effect

Have you noticed that when you apply a line of paint with your sprayer the ends seem wide and thin, but the middle is thick, small, and heavy?

This is because you’re using a circular motion instead of a straight motion to apply the paint.

Instead of standing in one spot, move along the paint line to get results that are a little more consistent. 

Spray Paint Splatter

Also known as “splatter chatter”.  Everything is going along fine. The wall is looking incredible. Then, without warning, you get splatter out of your paint sprayer and the wall looks terrible.

What happened?  Let’s do some paint sprayer troubleshooting.

If it happened at the beginning of your work, then there’s a good chance that an air bubble was still in your hose.

Priming the hose thoroughly before beginning will resolve this issue.

If it happened later into your project, then you’ve either run out of paint or you tilted the sprayer to far upward or downward.

Maintain your technique and most splatter can be prevented. 

To fix spray paint splatter from your sprayer, you would quickly take a roller or brush and smooth out the splatter on the wall.

Wackiness in Tackinesshow to fix paint runs

Not all paint dries quickly. Sometimes it can take quite a while for paint to become dry enough that a surface becomes useable.

How long should paint dry between coats?  You should always plan depending on the humidity level, temperature and ventilation in your painted area.   It could be 2 hours or it could be 6.  

If you expect it to take less time, you could find yourself in for a very unpleasant surprise. 

Missed the Mark

Painter’s tape can be incredibly useful. Its effectiveness is dependent on its actual placement.

If you have bends or bubbles in the tape, then you have places where the paint can find itself. The end result is a splotchy edge that requires a new paint job to fix.

Press the tape down firmly along all surfaces and double check your edge before starting to paint to avoid this common disaster.

Some professionals use a putty knife to really push the tape down in surfaces and in the corners.


A paint sprayer can save you a lot of time, but only if you avoid these common mistakes. You can fix any of the above paint sprayer disasters, which is good news, but with a little planning there doesn’t have to be a mistake in the first place.

Quick FAQs

What causes spray paint to splatter?

Air bubbles in your air hose, running out of paint, tilted sprayer too far down/up, nozzle/tip on your sprayer could be clogged, paint is too thick for your tip.

Why does my Graco sprayer spit?

Tip could be clogged, paint is too thick for your tip size, you need to filter/strain your paint.

What causes paint runs?

Old paint runs, imperfections in the walls, old nail holes, applying paint too thick. You must make sure to inspect and sand your surface before painting.

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2 thoughts on “6 Paint Sprayer Disasters and How to Fix Them”

  1. I purchased a krause&becker airless sprayer it will not prime at all. The settings are where their supposed to be set at and i’ve pushed the red button on the bottom several and it wont even prime water.

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