5 Reasons Why Is My Cabinet Paint Sticking & How to Fix It

Why Is My Cabinet Paint Sticking

Why Is My Cabinet Paint Sticking? Your cabinet paint is sticky because of high humidity, poor ventilation, and multiple layers of paint coats etc.

After careful consideration, you decided to get all your cabinets painted.

You worked really hard to come up with the perfect color combinations.

But all those efforts go in vain when you find out that your cabinet paint is still sticky after you let it dry for days.

If you find yourself in a pickle like this, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will discuss why your cabinet paint is sticky, how to prevent it and how to fix sticky paint.

Why Is My Cabinet Paint Sticking?

There are multiple reasons behind your cabinet paint still being sticky.

Let’s review them one by one.

1. High Humidity

The paint does not dry instantly. It takes time as it evaporates. Once applied, the solvent in the paint begins to evaporate in the air. This gives a dry finish.

But extreme humidity in the air prevents the paint from drying up quickly.

2. Poor Ventilation

As mentioned earlier, the paint dries through the process of evaporation. The liquid in the paint needs an ample amount of air so that it can quickly turn into bubbles and vanish in the air.

If there is poor ventilation, the liquid will be unable to leave the paint surface, thus giving you tacky paint.

3. Too Many Paint Coats

At times, when you apply paint, you realize that the color seems light. The layer beneath the new paint is visible. To overcome that, you keep applying more coats of paint without letting each layer dry up completely.

If you apply multiple layers of paint, the moisture content will increase. Thus taking more time to dry and leaving you with sticky paint.

4. Cold Temperature

Like humidity, cold temperature also plays a massive role in drying paint. If the temperature is too cold, the paint will form bubbles on the surface. And you will end up getting sticky paint.

5. Lack Of Primer

A lot of people don’t use primer in the painting process. It is one of the most critical components of painting any surface and gives you a fine finish.

If you don’t use the primer, there are higher chances that your paint will be sticky in the long run.

See Also: How To Keep Painted Cabinets From Sticking? (9 Great Tips)

How To Fix Sticky Painted Cabinets?

There are multiple ways through which you can quickly fix your sticky paint.

Let’s analyze all the methods one by one.

Use a dryer

Using a dryer to fix your paint is one of the simplest and quickest methods. The items required for this process are a hair dryer and an electrical outlet.

Plug in your dryer and set the heating speed at the lowest temperature. Now hold the dryer towards the surface where the paint is still wet.

Ensure the heat is directly on the area where the paint needs to be dried. Make sure you can feel the heat on your hands as well. If your hand burns, immediately remove the dryer. Excessive heat from the dryer creates bubbles in the paint.

Apply Varnish

Varnish basically forms a barrier between the paint and the environment.

Varnish actually plays a double role in painting. It not only gives you a final shiny effect on the cabinet but also plays a role in the protective coating of the surface. Thus varnish acts as a solution for tacky paint.

Above all, varnish is transparent, so you will get a perfect paint finish on your cabinet.

Scrape The Sticky Paint

For some reason, you get a tacky paint finish on your cabinets. You tried all the methods mentioned above, but the result is still unsatisfactory.

Now, the only option is to scrape off the sticky paint and repaint the entire cabinet. You need a flat-edged plastic or metal scraper to scrape the sticky paint.

Always keep in mind that the scrapper should be a flat scraper. Once that is done, apply a new layer of paint. Give it ample time to dry properly.

Apply Talcum Powder

Have some talcum powder lying around in the house? Well, it’s time to put it to good use.

Talcum powder is ideal for a cabinet with two painted surfaces touching each other.

Just apply talcum powder on your painted cabinets and rub it in gently. The powder will absorb all the excess moisture. Try not to apply too much pressure while rubbing because it will peel the paint off.

Once you feel that the moisture is gone, you can rub a cloth over the cabinet to get a clean finish.

Should You Remove Tacky Paint on the Cabinet?

First, it’s recommended to use the methods mentioned above to dry up tacky paint. If you are lucky, one of the ways will do the work for you.

But if you feel those methods are not working on your tacky paint, you can opt for the extreme measure of removing tacky paint. You will have to repaint the entire cabinet to get the final dreamy look.

How Long Will It Take for Tacky Paint to Dry?

As you all know, there are multiple ways through which you can dry tacky paint. Any technique you opt for will have a different time duration to dry it up.

While tacky paint generally dries within 8 hours, in some cases, it can remain sticky for extended periods of time, ranging from days to even years.


Many people want to renovate their homes and rooms to spice up things in their life. However, at times they end up facing issues like sticky paint. Mostly, people are unable to find the reasons behind sticky paint.

We hope our article answers all your queries related to “Why Is My Cabinet Paint Sticking?“. For more questions, feel free to reach out to us.