A flawless paint job requires expertise and experience. When certain incorrect painting techniques are used, the result is an “orange peel paint job”. This undesirable effect describes an uneven paint surface due to paint droplets drying before they flow evenly. The paint looks like the skin of an orange, and feels rough and “bumpy” to the touch.
There are several contributing factors of the orange peel appearance. One of the most common causes is too long of a flash time, or the time it takes for paint solvents to evaporate between coats. The temperature inside the paint booth is also important. If the temperature is too hot or the humidity is too high in the booth, the paint solvents evaporate too fast, causing the layer to dry before a smooth finish is achieved.
Using the right solvent in the correct way can make or break a paint finish. When paint is not diluted enough with thinner or reducer, the paint droplets dry too fast. Once the paint dries, the coat is too thick. Therefore, the paint does not flow evenly.
The correct spray gun techniques and adjustments are essential to preventing an orange peel paint job. The spray pattern should not be too wide, and the spray gun should not be held too far away from the vehicle. The paint technician should also make sure there is enough air pressure moving through the spray gun. Failure to use all of the aforementioned spray techniques will cause the paint to dry too fast.
Fixing an Orange Peel Paint Job
There are several steps involved with fixing an orange peel paint job. First, the vehicle’s clear coat must be wet-sanded. Usually, the lubricant of choice for wet-sanding is water, which is paired with a fine grit sanding disk. This removes the top gloss and flattens the surface.
Once the surface area looks dull and flat, the shine must be restored. This step is accomplished with heavy polishing, rubbing compound and buffing compound. Finally, the haze from the polishing step is removed to give the paint job a clear appearance.
If your car has that orange peel look, it can be fixed. Bring your car to New Look Collision Center of Scottsdale. Our expert paint technicians will give your car the shiny, smooth appearance you have always wanted.