How to Fix Paint Drips on Wall: Tips and Tricks

how to fix paint drips on wall

While DIY paint jobs can be fun, it’s hard to avoid paint drips drying and creating a mess. Dried paint drips present a common problem homeowners across the nation face. They get annoying when you don’t catch them before they dry.

Often, paint drips occur when you apply excess paint to an area during a single coat, often due to putting too much paint on the paintbrush. The extra color runs down your wall as it dries, eventually congealing as physical drip marks.

So how do you fix paint drips on a wall?

Fortunately, you can remove these drips quickly once the paint dries if you know the right tips and tricks. If you’re quick enough, you can even remove paint drips while they’re still wet.

Read on to learn how to fix paint drips on your wall. Need a quality paint job done fast and effectively? Get residential painting in Woodstock by A&P Contractors today!

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

The following are the tools you’ll need to complete the fix. Read through each of our steps to determine which tools you’ll need. We listed tools for both wet and dry paint, so you know what you’ll need regardless of your situation.


  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Razorblade
  • Clean scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Drywall knife
  • Spotlight
  • Damp cloth


  • 220-grit sandpaper or sanding block
  • Glazing putty

How to Prevent Paint Drips

Before we dive into how to fix paint drips, we want to explain how to avoid paint drips in the first place. The best way to prevent drips is to not overload your paintbrush or roller. Putting an excess of paint on either will cause more to bunch up and drip when you lay it on the wall.


Lightly dampen the roller cover and remove additional moisture with a paper towel. Roll the cover about ten times into the end of the paint tray. Get it fully loaded, and don’t apply too much force to the wall when painting.


Lightly dampen the brush with water; dip one-third of the bristles into the paint. Rub the end of your brush against the can or tray to remove excess paint. Repeat this process a few times, and you should be good to go.

Brush the Drip Away

This tip works if you catch the paint drips before they dry. As long as the drip is still wet to an extent, you can take your paintbrush and brush the drip away, flattening it into the rest of the paint job.

Brush the paint a few times and note what happens. If this doesn’t do much or the paint feels sticky, stop brushing, as the paint is already too dry, and continuing to brush will exacerbate the issue.

When using this method, ensure you’re brushing the same way as the surrounding area to avoid making noticeable brush marks. This could lead to cross-strokes that you will have more difficulty removing than even paint drips.

Let the Paint Dry

Sometimes, when learning how to fix paint drips on the wall, it’s best to let the paint fully dry first, especially if the drips begin to partially dry already and have a tacky feel. Paint retaining some dampness might peel up the wall when you attempt to scrape or sand it, leading to more significant paint issues.

Sand or Scrape the Drip

Paint drips mainly present visibly due to their raised appearance against the rest of your wall. So, an excellent way to fix paint drips on a wall is by sanding or cutting the raised area. Start with your scraper, razor blade, or sanding paper – be careful to only scrape at the drip and not the wall surrounding.

Once you’ve removed the raised portion, sand the rest of it with 220-grit sandpaper. Just like with the paintbrush in our earlier tip, move only in the direction of the paint job. Going side-to-side or against the direction of the paint results in paint gumming up, flaking away, and leaving a more significant problem.

Sand only the drip and steer clear of the paint job nearby.

Repair Damage

Regardless of how carefully you scrape away the paint drips, there’s still a good chance you might damage some of the surrounding paint job – or even sand too deeply on the location of the drip. Check to see if the area where the drip was is now recessed. If you notice this or other damage, you can attempt to reverse what you’ve done with glazing putty.

Spread the putty onto the location with a putty knife. Scrape any excess putty off with a drywall knife, careful not to create more recesses. Allow the putty to dry, then sand it down until it matches the rest of the wall.

We recommend priming the puttied area to prevent issues with the topcoat. Often, paint becomes blotchy or develops pinholes (called paint flash) if applied before the putty has a chance to dry and set.

Paint Over the Area

After restoring the area to your satisfaction, apply another coat – or a few – of paint. After drying, your mistake should be barely noticeable, if you can see it at all.

Get Quality Paint Jobs Done Right the First Time

Tired of wasting hours on a paint job that doesn’t seem to come out right when all is said and done? Stop wasting your time with DIY projects and hire professional interior painting services at A&P Painting and Flooring.

Read other blog posts on our site to learn more about DIY painting, the pros of hiring a professional service, and tips when painting during the winter season.

Don’t worry about how to fix paint drips on a wall; call A&P Painting and Flooring today, Woodstock’s trustworthy interior painters, at (470) 300-9060. Get a thorough paint job you’ll admire for years to come.

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