I need some help here. We recently primed and painted an exterior wood door. The second coat of latex paint was still semi-wet and I accidentally touched an area of the door with my fingertips which left some unsightly dips. We tried painting over that area again but it looks a bit rough. Here's a pic

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We'd like to put in the door tomorrow but I'm not sure how to fix this quickly. Right now the area is "sticky" so it's too wet to sand down and too dry to smoothly re-paint over. Any advice for how to recover here?

Just thinking out loud... could we scrape the goopy area?

  • If you end up repainting the whole thing. (or for future door painting efforts) you may want to give ALKYD paints a try, rather than latex. It's EXCELLENT. Your local big box hardware store will have alkyd paints, thought the guy at the counter may not be familiar with them because they have been "branded" with another name. The alkyd paints are self-leveling and give you that nice hard gelled glassy finish on doors and cabinets. I find alkyds work best without primer -- just a light sanding between coats.
    – Porchlight
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't try to scrape off the messed up area while it's wet because you'll leave ridges at the edges of the area, which will look even worse. Leave the area to dry before trying to fix it.

To get it to dry quickly, higher temperatures and low humidity are your friends. I've used a space heater and an oscillating fan when I needed paint dried quickly: arrange the heater and the fan so that warm air gets blown past the work piece continually. Leave it running overnight: it looks like you're using a higher-gloss paint, which will form a skin quickly, but underneath will remain wet for a while.

(See here for a technique for removing drip marks.)

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