Wrinkle Finish In Custom Colors

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 9/1/2003

Question: I have a need to create a wrinkle finish in custom colors.


I have a need to create a wrinkle finish in custom colors. Over coating gray wrinkle causes a loss of detail and is subject to scratches. In my conversations with a multitude of companies, one suggestion is to add cobalt naphthenate or some other surface accelerator to the paint mixture as a top layer drier to dry the surface faster than the lower layers of paint. I am told that is the theory behind the wrinkle finish process. This would be mixed with oil or alkyd based paint and sprayed. Is this off base? I have read that excess amounts of this additive in oil-based paints can cause wrinkling on paintings. What could I use as an additive to create this type finish?I’ve tried thinning with acetone and applying heat with no results. I am in the process of getting some cobalt naphthenate to try. Thanks and best to you. M. F.


While it is true that the addition of cobalt naphthenate will cause wrinkling of baking enamels, it is also true that this happens in alkyd and oleoresinous materials, specifically those containing tung oil. What I’m trying to tell you is, you don’t just add cobalt drier to a can of paint and expect to get a wrinkle finish. To get what you want, you need to be a paint chemist and either cook your own resin or have it specially prepared for you. For example, as stated in the 1948 edition of Paint and Varnish Technology by William Von Fischer, “...certain specialty finishes...so called wrinkle finishes, which are used both clear and pigmented... these can be produced from tung oil and one of the harder resins cooked to near the gel point with cobalt as the sole drier.”

That’s how they did it in 1948. Yes, I know, that this is 2003, and there are air drying wrinkle finishes available in spray cans. The new ones probably take advantage of differential drying of resin blends. However, other than having the wrinkle finish paint custom made, I don’t know what to suggest.


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