Solving Paint Cracking and Wrinkling

Start here to learn the basics with the Beginners Guide to Painting Diecast 

We’ve done all the body work and are ready for the second coat of paint. Or, we are on our last coat of clear and the paint wrinkles as shown above.

What the heck! Nothing is more frustrating to get close to the finish line and have paint problems.

Luckily we can work around these problems.

Causes Paint Cracking or Wrinkling

Various diecast groups will answer this question by telling us we cannot mix Lacquer and Enamel Paints. Others will point to humidity or temperature as a culprit.

What I have found

My experience painting diecast boils down to one major factor. Quality of the paint. In other tutorials I recommend we spend as much as we can afford on paint. Higher quality paints give me the lease amount trouble and the highest probability of a successful outcome the first time.

For a great introduction, Read The Beginners Guide to Painting Diecast. For an in depth discussion on paint, check out this article from Hot Rod Magazine.

Paint Can Be Forgiving

I write this as any painting purist would tell me I should not be able to pull off good paint. Why? I have painted when it is too cold. When it is very humid. When I lost patience and shot paint when I should have had a longer cure time.

If I had a chance to do things wrong, I took them and have been successful a lot of times. For example, in the good old days, before shop, I had to shoot paint and I was not about to do it inside the house. At that time I would step outside, shoot paint and come back to the house.

Why was that bad? In the winter the temperature might be below freezing on my back porch and there I am shooting paint.

How to Solve Paint Wrinkle or Cracking

Good paint. Once I switched to automotive grade or even a good hobby paint like Model Masters, paint cracking or wrinkling became rare.

Thus far, I have found we can use a store brand primer and clear coat, but the color needs to be a high quality paint. Mix in a lower quality paint and cracking issues can arise. I say “can” as it may not happen. I’ve painted a lot of models with discount store paints with success. Those same paints caused a higher number of troubles too.

Best outcome

To ensure success and give us the best odds of a successful outcome, make the purchase of high quality paint a priority. Then, create the best environment possible for painting. 

Ready to give up painting? Don’t do that just yet, let me help you along. Read How to Quit Giving Up on Painting