Tips and Techniques / HOW TO FIX A PAINT DRIP


Paint drips are a common problem, especially when they dry before you notice them.

Paint drips are usually caused by overloading your paintbrush. Gravity causes the excess paint to run, and as it begins to dry, the paint congeals in visible drips. The good news is you can fix paint drips even after the paint has dried, and it’s even easier if you catch them while the paint is still wet.

  1. If the paint is tacky to the touch, it’s best to let a paint drip (and the surrounding area) dry completely before trying to fix the problem. If the paint is still damp, the paint may peel up when you try to scrape or sand it.
  2. If you catch the dripping paint while the paint is still wet, you may be-able to brush out the drip. Try a few brush strokes and see what happens. If this has little effect on the drip or if the paint feels tacky, stop brushing—the paint is already too dry, and any additional brushing will create more problems.


A paint drip will leave a raised area so the first step after the paint has dried is to sand or cut down the raised area.

  1. Start by lightly scraping down the drip with a scraper or a razor blade Anything with a razor-sharp edge will work.  But be careful. Always remember safety first, scrape AWAY from you, not towards you.
  2. After you’ve removed the raised portion sand out the remaining blemish with a 240-grit sandpaper. Sand only in the direction of the drip. 


Often  you might scrape or sand too deeply into the paint. If there’s a recessed area apply some putty with a putty knife, then scrape off the excess. Let the putty dry, then sand as directed.

Once you’re satisfied that the drip has been flattened fully, apply another coat or two of paint. Once the paint dries, the blemish should be barely noticeable.