Soft Paint Film


Dried paint film is soft to the touch, enabling finger prints or even indentations with fingernails.

For one reason or another the material has not fully cured, leaving the paint film soft and unable to perform as expected. There are several reasons why paint may not form a fully hardened film, sometimes even weeks after application. They are:

  • Excessive film thickness: Applying too much material in full wet coats can significantly delay the dry time.
  • Insufficient use of activators and hardeners: Paint materials often require an activator or hardener to speed their cure time. When these products are not mixed in the right ratio, it can significantly delay the dry time, or worse, prevent the coating from ever achieving a full cure. This is especially true when using synthetic enamel paints.
  • Adverse environmental conditions : Paint materials that are applied at extremely low temperatures and/or in excessive humidity will have difficulty achieving a full cure within the expected time period.
  • Insufficient dry time: An undercoat’s dry time is important. If topcoated too quickly, the unhardened undercoat could adversely effect the cure of the topcoat.

The vehicle should be stored in a controlled environment, where temperatures stay at or above 70 ° F, and given extra time to dry. If the paint film does not achieve a full cure, it should be stripped completely. The vehicle should be properly prepped and materials reapplied. Take care to follow all mixing and application instructions.


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