Cause and prevention of orange peel

Posted: July 2, 2014 By: Russian-Dutchman

Home Forums Kevin Tetz’s Korner Cause and prevention of orange peel

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    Dear Kevin,

    Your video’s that I have found on YouTube from the ‘live’ instruction videos and Paintucation have taught me many things, prevented many mistakes, amused and even inspired me to do a good job on the car I am currently working on. The way you present is very clear, i.e. the parallels you draw and explain in laymans terms make it very understandable. I think I have watched all of them, from the body shop basics, painting your own car to the latest ‘live’ streams.

    Today I have painted my car and to my disappointment the clear coat is showing orange peel all over and 3 runs on the rear quarter panel – the entire side of the car, except doors, has been painted. I am wondering what may have caused the orange peel and how to prevent it next time. My thoughts – please correct me if I’m wrong:

    the error is very likely to be in:

    a – Gun and airpressure setup
    b – Paint mixture
    c – Spraying technique

    and less likely in:
    d – compressor size / properties, hose diameter, filtration and dehumidifier
    e – ambient temperature
    f – painting room

    a: I had 2.5 BAR (~40PSI) at the inlet on my non-HVLP spray gun. Test spraying showed a ‘football’ sized wet fan pattern with no sprayed dots. Fluid delivery was fully open. Fan control 3/4 as I had the idea that when it was fully open, and the fluid delivery fully open, my spray was too light and the spray pattern too long. By dialing it back a bit I could produce the ~4 inch football shape I have seen in your video’s.
    b: Mixing ratio says 2:1:0-10%. Remembering the last time I used this paint (my 2nd time painting something) I also had orange peel, and after dilluting it with more thinner it seemed to flow better. So I mixed 2:1:25%. Perhaps too much?
    c:Difficult to judge of course without seeing it. I tried following your technique keeping the gun parallel, finding the ‘wall of air’ to judge distance and kept it moving at a continuous pace like you seem to do. I made sure to overlap 50% and to come at the panel with the trigger fully squeezed.

    d:My compressor is quite small, a one cilinder 50 liters (13 gallons) model. It seemed to keep the pressure up as I experienced no pressure drop at the inlet (I have a pressuregauge at the inlet). The dehumidifier device / fluid separator is old and not professional, B quality at best. It is placed right after the manifold. The air hose is 10 meters (~30ft).
    e: Ambient temperature was perfect. 20 degrees C (68F).
    f: in the shade of my 2 car garage, suited for the thinner (medium) I was given by my paint shop.

    What’s puzzeling me most, is how could I have orange peel AND three runs? My thoughts are that orange peel occures when the paint is coming out too dry or not atomized well. Which would mean not enough reducer / thinner. But having 3 runs, must at least indicate the paint flowed without much resistance.

    So, thanks for reading this long story and I hope to become wiser and improve my painting skills in order to fully restore and paint my car like you did on Jaded.

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