• 5 min read

How do I prevent and repair paint runoff?

Paint runs can form during almost any painting project, whether it's walls or furniture.

All too often, you don't notice them until they've dried, which makes them difficult to remove - and that adds to the frustration.

The best course of action is to block them altogether. A little effort and vigilance will save time later. Fortunately, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to avoid paint spills.

In this blog, you will get instructions on how to prevent paint leaks - and how to fix the leaks you notice.

How do I prevent paint leaks?

First of all, it is important to understand what causes runoff in the first place.

They arise, for example, when the goal is:

Too thin and runny
The paint is applied too thickly
The paint is applied unevenly

You can avoid these problems when

1. Start by mixing the paint well

As basic as it sounds, mixing the paint really carefully makes a real difference - and shaking the can of paint isn't nearly as effective.

Over time, the pigments in the paint sink to the bottom of the paint can, causing the paint to thin out at the top of the can. This is why mixing is important even during a longer painting project a few times.

It is best to use a wide tool to ensure that all the ingredients are mixed all the way to the bottom of the jar. If you don't want to mess up your best ruler, wooden spoon, or other makeshift tool, it's worth investing in a purpose-built paint mixer.

2. Use dry / leather brushes and rollers

Undried equipment can contain a surprising amount of water.

If you use tools that are too wet, the water will cause the paint to thin, which can lead to paint runoff.

The rollers in particular should be pressed and rolled really carefully until dry/skinny before use - and check again before you start.

While drying, leave the brushes horizontally or with the bristles hanging down, so that water does not get stuck on the metal handle. Instructions for using and caring for brushes and rollers can be found here .

3. Size matters

Using a brush or roller that is too large can result in excess paint collecting on or around the edges and in the recesses.

This results in paint dripping, especially in areas such as mouldings, skirting, paneling and where walls meet timbers. Always delineate the edges of the areas to be painted with an appropriately sized brush first.

4. Appropriate paint

Another top tip is to avoid overloading the brush or roller with paint. This usually results in uneven coverage, which can mean streaking on walls and runoff around detailed areas.

However, especially when painting with a roller, there must be enough paint so that the roller does not streak - try the tools before the project, and you will find the right amount of paint for your tools.

Start at the corners and paint away from there, keeping the pressure light and even with longer strokes. Finally, always paint long smoothing strokes.

5. Be alert and peek under the edges

Try to get into the habit of checking the edges and moldings (and corners) as you work, because it's easiest to smooth out run-offs before the paint has started to dry.

How do I fix drains?

If, despite your best efforts, you notice that the drains have appeared, and you cannot smooth them with a brush because they have dried, all is not lost.

You can deal with them successfully with the right approach…

1. Do not touch fresh drainage

Trying to brush away runoff or unevenness when the paint surface has just started to dry will not work and can make a small problem much bigger by spreading partially dried paint.

Allow the paint to dry completely - and remember that this may take longer than usual because the paint is thicker where it runs.

2. Evaluate first

The equipment you need depends on the size and extent of the drop and the quality of paint you are using. More durable paints are more difficult work for obvious reasons!

Whichever approach you use, try to avoid damaging the surrounding paint as this will result in a larger overall area to be treated.

3. Grinding small drops

If the drop of paint is small, you may be able to sand it off. Try fine to medium sandpaper and see how you get on.

Keep the sanding direction along the length of the drop and not across it, so that the effect on the surrounding paint is as small as possible. Choose a reusable and washable soft or hard sanding sponge for hand sanding .

4. Use a scraper for larger drains

For larger or more stubborn drips, a clean scraper blade or similar should be sufficient. Remove as much of the drip as you can and then smooth the residue with sandpaper - again follow the length of the defect as above.

If the paint is still a little sticky, you may find it easier if you let the paint dry longer before sanding. Choose a high-quality and long-lasting scraper here .

5. Spot-paint the sanded area

You need to repaint the sanded area. Try to do this the same way it was originally painted to minimize the chance of the surface texture looking different (which will draw attention).

In general, instead of spot painting, it is better to repaint the entire area. After you have removed the sanding dust with a clean, slightly damp cloth, use a brush or roller as needed for spot painting.

6. Use filler for deeper scratches

If you find that removing dried runoff has resulted in scratches, you may need to use a filler/smoother to smooth the surface. Choose a filler (or a multipurpose product) suitable for the painted surface.

Prepare the area by sanding it smooth before applying it according to its instructions. Lightly sand again after the filler has dried and repaint as described above.

Some paints work best over filler if a primer is used. By choosing a self-priming paint, you don't have to worry about contamination.

However, some fillers can be porous and absorb paint, which can lead to an uneven surface. If this happens, you may need to lightly sand again before applying another coat of paint.

Always start with a high-quality paint

The tips above will help you prevent paint runs and repair any other slips.

Along with these tricks, it helps that the starting point is top-quality paint.

From the Frenchic series, you can choose from a wide selection of beautiful shades and quality paint for furniture, walls, outdoor projects and much more.

Thanks to the properties of Frenchic paints, preparation work and paint runoff is as minimal as possible, and repairing the paint after removing runouts etc. is easier.

This is topped off with a selection of stunning colors to ensure your project looks perfect! Check out the Frenchic series here.

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