How To Fix Uneven Spray Paint and Get a Smooth Finish

Learning how to fix uneven spray paint is easy, and our DIY home fix guide will help you fix your home spray paint project.

Follow our instructions, and within a few hours, your spray paint project will be complete with clean, even lines.  

What You’ll Need - Tools, Supplies & Safety Gear 

To fix uneven spray painting, there are only a few supplies that are needed.

You will need your spray gun or spray cans, new paint (choose a high-quality brand), cardboard or painter’s tape, a drop cloth or damp cloth, and either fine grit sandpaper or a wet sanding block or paint scraper. 

Some people may choose to wear safety goggles to avoid getting paint in their eyes, but as long as you are confident in your ability to use the spray gun or spray can, you do not have to use goggles.  

To fix the area, you will first need to prepare the entire surface. Surface preparation will require the fine grit sandpaper or sanding block, cardboard, and drop cloth. 

Then you will need to review the spray gun pressure and try a test sample outdoors. Now you're ready, and it's time to actually paint.  

How To Fix Uneven Spray Paint

Preparation For Different Paint Surfaces 

The surface preparation for spray paints depends on the type of surface. Is it a metal, wood, or plastic surfaces? Each surface area has different preparation needs.

When spray painting a wood surface, it needs to be sanded smooth using sandpaper. We recommend using a rough grit sandpaper first. Thoroughly push the rough grit sandpaper against the wood.  

Then take a fine grit sandpaper and continue to sand. For spray painting a plastic surface, a soft cloth can be used first to get rid of dirt.

Then use rubbing alcohol to wipe down the surface (if oils are present). With a metal surface, it's recommended to take a soft cloth, wet it, and use it to wipe down the area.  

Then take a fine grit sandpaper and run it along the area to eliminate loose paint. For all painted surfaces, use a drop cloth to cover the floor and protect it from paint splatter. 

We also recommend using cardboard or painter’s tape to secure the paint area if you want an exceptionally clean line. 

Fixing Uneven Spray Paint (Easy Step By Step Guide)

When fixing blotchy spray paint, you want to begin by gathering your tools and preparing the surface. Then it’s time to paint. 

The key to fixing uneven spray painting is to slowly add layers of paint. Fix blotchy spray paint jobs or uneven spray paint job show up because painters use too much paint at once. The excess paint will leave drips that need to be fixed.

You might have observed paint runs and paint drips that are very common. Paint drips are usually caused due to using too much reducer or an improper reducer.

Painters also want to check the pressure setting when using a spray gun. Test this on a piece of cardboard to ensure that the setting will leave a smooth pattern.

This is important whether you are spray painting a wall, piece of furniture, or car. As you paint, check to see what type of painting distance you should be using.  

This will be on the manufacturer’s instructions for the spray gun you are using. Most spray guns work best at an 8-10 inch or 10-12 inch angle.

Make sure that you are at an angle and slowly move the spray gun along the surface. Aim for the side when spraying with spray guns and allow your arm to move slowly along the outer edges. Do not stop.  

Once you have completed one layer, take a break and wait a minimum of three hours before adding an additional layer of paint. It's important to take extra time when the goal is to fix uneven spray paint.

After the allotted three hours have passed, you can add another layer of paint. It should only take 1-3 layers before the splotchy patches have been filled in. And voila!

You have clean, smooth lines with a beautiful finish.  

man holding a can of spray paint

What Causes Spray Paint To Be Uneven?

There are multiple reasons why blotchy spray paint job can turn out uneven coating. The most common reason for uneven spray paint is that the blotchy spray paint coats are too thick coats and that they were applied too quickly. 

When you apply thin coats or light coats or thinner coats at once with a thick coator clear coat each time, the paint can run. As the paint runs, the paint beneath the surface cannot dry completely, so the final product when paint dries looks patchy. 

When you apply blotchy paint, it is best to simply spray first coat or one coat at a time and allow the paint to develop slowly. This will take longer but will result in a better-finished product.  

Another common reason for uneven spray paint is a poor spray painting job or paint job. If you spray paint from the wrong angle, you can create a paint spray that isn’t as full as it should be and shows up splotchy rather than clean. 

Another unfortunate reason is that the paint thinner used in the spray paint can evaporate too quickly. This can happen with old spray paint or with lower-quality paint.  

We recommend purchasing high-quality spray paint as well as reading manufacturers' instructions on when the paint expires.

We also recommend using each spray paint bottle in full before moving on to another bottle.  

There is nothing wrong with an uneven paint spray job or paint job if you like the patchy look. Sometimes, this can even be a desired look depending on the aesthetic you are trying to fix uneven paint. 

However, most projects call for clean, even lines without patchy splotches of paint.  Although spray painting might seem simpler than using liquid paints and brushes, it is still possible to achieve a professional look.

How To Prevent Uneven Spray Paint?

If you prevent most spray painting mistakes or spray paint mistakes or paint imperfections, you can save both time and money.  Due to textural flaws, a poorly painted surface might resemble an orange peel. From orange peel to paint drips, spray paints can easily turn out poorly.

Blisters or paint bubbles may appear when the paint doesn't properly adhere to the surface.

One of the best ways to prevent uneven spray paint is to purchase a high-quality spray paint product. Higher quality products will develop more slowly and create a thicker color base when begin painting.  

Another great way to prevent uneven spray paint is to paint one coat at a time and check the angle you are using.

When spraying, you want to make sure that your spray gun is hitting the wall at a 90-degree angle. Too many users change this angle, and it creates uneven work.  

It is also essential to make sure that you sand down your wall or surface if you are using a sandable material.

The smoother the existing surface, the better the spray paint will hold and the better the paint job will look.  

paint sprays on table

Common Questions About Fixing Uneven Spray Paint

How much does it cost to fix the uneven spray paint? 

It typically costs $10—$15 to fix uneven spray paint because you need to purchase another can of spray paint. If you are using multiple colors and are out of more than one color, then it will be more expensive.

How long does it take to fix the uneven spray paint? 

To fix uneven spray paint, it will take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours. Once you have applied each layer, you need to wait for the spray paint to dry. Once the paint has dried, you can apply additional coats if you still see uneven areas.

Can you simply paint over patchy paint? 

Yes! This is the best way to fix patchy spray paint areas. Simply take the correct color of spray paint and spray over the area that is uneven and patchy.  

Should you use primer to cover uneven paint? 

No, you do not need to use a primer to cover uneven paint. Primer is best used before paint is sprayed onto the surface. Primer isn't always necessary, depending on the project.


The best way to fix blotchy spray paint, patchy, and uneven spray paint is to add additional layers of paint sprayers. You want to go over your work slowly with another layer of paint to create an even and filled-in look. 

If you are using a wood surface or metal surface, you may need to sand the spot before adding the several thin coats of paint.