Why Does Paint Crack on Wooden Furniture?

Here’s a thing that I’ve been having trouble with lately in my renovation projects.

Paint cracks on wooden furniture destroy its beauty. They start off like hairline cracks, growing bigger slowly and worsen even more if they are not fixed immediately. Soon the paint starts to peel off making the furniture look old.

There are several reasons why paint cracks on wooden furniture.

  • The use of poor-quality paint that leads to insufficient adhesion and flexibility
  • Thin application of paint
  • Thick coatings were applied before the finish
  • The use of oil-based paint over latex paint
  • Wood surface was not prepared properly (no primer was used prior to painting
  • Weather conditions that can dry the paint too fast
  • Aging makes the paint brittle so it fails to expand and contract with the changes in temperature and humidity
  • Applying a second or third coat of paint without waiting for the first coat to dry completely leads to extreme cracks or “alligatoring” or if the undercoat does not match with the finish coat.
  • The first finishing is not compatible to the wood.
  • Exposure of furniture to direct sunlight for several hours.

Prevent the cracking on furniture from getting worse by following these tips:

  1. If the crack does not go deep to the substrate, get a wire brush or scraper to get rid of the flaking or loose paint. Sand the area to smoothen the edges, prime any bare areas and repaint the surface of the wooden furniture.
  2. You may have to use a filler if several flaking happens in numerous layers of paint.
  3. If the crack goes deep to the substrate, use a heat gun to scrape all of the paint. Smoothen the surface with a sandpaper. Prime and use a good quality latex paint to repaint the surface.

Fixing paint crack on wooden furniture extends the life of your furniture, allowing you to save on expenses.