Why did the paint never dry?

I bought this kind of vinyl-covered steel shelving and, adapting it to another purpose, spray-painted it black.

This was about six weeks ago, and the paint is still sticky. So my question is twofold:

A) What did I do wrong? I used paint that was specifically for plastic for the first coat. Then when I saw I needed a second coat, I got some cheap, generic spray paint. Painting wire is difficult, so perhaps I applied the paint too thickly in my effort to get coverage.

B) How can I fix it? Is there anything I can do to kill the stickiness? Can I spray it with some sort of sealant?

I’d say the spray you used contained a solvent that is also a solvent/plastisizer for the vinyl.

You may be able to remove the spray paint with a suitable solvent - it will say on the can what the solvents used are, but you have most likely ruined the original vinyl coating and that will most likely come away with the spray paint as they are both soluble in the same medium.

Use a suitable etch-primer on the shelving once it has been cleaned then alkyd based undercoat and finish, alternatively several coats of cellulose or acrylic car paints, but not over an alkyd primer, use a primer with the same solvents as your finish coats. Advice on suitable primers is usually to be found on the cans. If not the manufacturer will have an advice sheet with all the information you need on it.

You will need to give us more information - e.g. what was the brandname and type of the basecoat and topcoat. Does the top coat dry by itself (e.g. is there something wrong with it?

One other thought -many kinds of spray paint (e.g. some for cars) need to be baked for them to cure properly

Or, it could be that you used the paint on a day that was too humid. That can make the paint “tacky” also, and it doesn’t seem to dry.

The first paint I applied was Krylon Fusion for Plastic. The second was some generic all-purpose black spray paint.

It was not a particularly humid day when I applied it.

Myglaren, I just sent you an e-mail.