What did I mess up this time? (Painting related)


I’m still modding that Xbox 360 Hori stick…and I’ve hit another wall. More like a can really.

I’m using Krylon spray paint to paint the outer plastic shell of the controller. I’ve gone over it two times now and the paint doesn’t look so great. It’s “bunching up” in areas, looking sort of like the paint on the side of a house that you can peel right off. I’m betting I could go over now to the thing (it’s dry now) and peel a chunk. And that’s not so good.

Since I’ve only ever spray painted concrete and people, what am I doing wrong? The paint said no primer was needed, so I just threw a few coats on there over the past week and it’s looking pretty sad indeed.

Any advice would be appreciated as always.

You need to paint in coats. Paint a THIN layer and let it dry. Then paint another… and let it dry. Once you’re done with a number of a coats it will look nice and smooth.

spray paint primer THEN paint and clear coat to seal the finish.

Okay, so even though the paint says NOT to use primer, I probably still should? Does that make the can of paint a lying sonufabitch? Man…

So, I think I’m going to remove the paint, go with a layer of primer or something, then try the thin layers approach. Maybe I just bathed the poor thing in too much paint. Hey…it happens.

First, clean it as good as you can.
Second, spraypaint thin layers and try to paint it even on the whold thing.
Third, let it dry.
Fourth, repeat Second and Third untill it looks good.

If it says not to use any primer then I do not think you should either.

I’m not certain what you’re describing. Pics? Might be what they call, “orange peel” and that means you’re spraying too heavily.

If this indeed Krylon Fusion you are using, it’s not supposed to be used with primer. Primer stops the Fusion from creating it “molecular” bond with the plastic aka etching.

Post pics.

Either you’re spraying too heavily, not giving enough time for it to dry or the Fusion’s having a negative reaction with the primer.


The only primering the plastic should have received was a good cleaning.

I can guarantee that it’s the spraying too heavily. I didn’t use any primer and I’ve allowed a TON of time for each “coat” to dry. Once again inexperience told me to bathe the shell in spray paint which, while fun, appears to be creating this effect.

I’ll try and post some pics…but it’s pretty gruesome, so not for the weak of stomach.

Thank you to everybody who has replied so far…I’m thinking now that a good washing, thin layers and just a little Christmas magic will make this thing work. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

One other thing since the original surface was plastic you might have had a better result with a light sanding of the plastic prior to paint. I would have used a 200 or 220 grit paper. Use this also between coats so the next layer of paint can stick better. This sanding gives the paint something to grab onto. Remember the keys are light sanding, light coats and lots of patience.


I would have to agree with Kaytrim on this one. Only i would start with 200 grit and smooth over with 400+ grit. Everything we sand in the shop usually gets this kind of double treatment. One grit to work it all out, then another to put a smooth finish.

I’m pretty sure the bunching up occurs because the solvents in the second coat of paint are dissolving the first coat of paint causing it to life and wrinkle. I get it every now and then.

Very important: SHAKE THE PAINT WELL. If you don’t, you end up spraying a stream of just solvent with no color and that really fucks up the paint.

Never found light coats to solve or aggravate the problem but light coats are always good.

Shouldn’t have too much to do with the surface being rust in my experience but who knows.

I’ve used Krylon without sanding or priming it first, like notanoob mentioned you shouldn’t use it with a primer. A lot of people have suggest some good advice already. All I can really say is sand it down so you remove the paint and start from the beginning.

I was gonna say what Kaytrim said too, lightly sand the plastic first. I was the same with spraypaint at first and put loads on at once but a bit of experience has taught me to be patient and use thin coats.