Paint Problems – Alligatoring

Paint Problems - Alligatoring
What is alligatoring?

Alligatoring is an exterior paint problem that occurs when the paint begins to crack in a pattern that resembles the scales of an alligator.  The cracks are usually in the surface of the paint and do not expose the substrate below the paint.

What can cause this condition in paint?
  • some oil-based paints will crack and alligator due to age
  • some oil-based paints will crack and alligator with a fluctuation in temperatures
  • applying an oil enamel over a flexible coating
  • applying a topcoat before the primer or basecoat is dry
  • applying a coating over a glossy finish
How do you repair paint that is alligatoring?

Unfortunately, the only way to repair paint in this condition is to remove the old paint.  After the paint is removed, the substrate under the paint will need to be cleaned and allowed to dry before any new primer or finish paint can be applied.


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