How to Prevent Clearcoat Orange Peel

The car touch up paint repair process isn’t rocket science, and learning how to paint a car at home shouldn’t take up too much of your time. A car paint kit has everything you need to get the job done to a great standard and save you a lot of time. However, one of the biggest issues faced with clear coat spray paint is an issue known as clear coat orange peel.

When our customers buy clear coat they often ask whether clear coat can be removed, and usually, this is because they are worried about how to apply clear coat correctly and how to undo any mistakes that may lead to clear coat orange peel.

What is clear coat orange peel?

Automotive Orange Peel

Orange peel is essentially an imperfection in your custom car paint job. The clear coat is rough, and the paint looks uneven because the light reflects off it at different angles to the lack of a smooth finish. Clear coat peeling usually occurs after a panel has been repainted, but it can sometimes happen when the vehicle comes straight from the manufacturer too.

Clear coat cracking ruins the look of your freshly done car paint job and is a significant concern for many of our customers. So, we want to outline a few ways you can prevent clear coat orange peel and achieve a flawless factory finish.

What Are the Causes of Clearcoat Orange Peel?

Three factors typically cause clear coat orange peel to occur and ruin your paint job. These are:

Your Ambient Temperature

This also means the room in which you are spraying the car is not equal to your panel’s temperature. Too large a disparity in the temperature will cause clear coat cracking.

Low-Grade Clearcoat and Supplies

Issues are extremely common when buying cheap clear coat with a nozzle not made for delicate application. Your traditional spray can nozzle does not spray as smooth or clean as a nozzle we provide you in our kits.

Your Basecoat Paint Isn’t Dry

The basecoat paint may be dry to the touch, but the solvents may still be off gassing. You may need to wait longer for the paint to dry if the air is humid.

Not Following Instructions

Another problem is that people don’t read instructions or labels. We hope that if you’ve made it this far, you’re not one of those people! These labels contain essential information such as about temperature or how to use it. Car paint is all about application, so if you don’t follow the instructions provided, you will most likely have bad results!

How to Prevent Orange Peel Clearcoat?

Thankfully, there are many methods to improve how you apply automotive touch up paint, and they all help prevent orange peel clear coat. We recommend four main tips:

1.      Practice Spraying

Practice makes perfect. Clearcoat being the most difficult to spray, it’s always a good idea to practice on cardboard or another area before going directly to your car’s surface.

2.      Use the spray can trigger grip provided in our kit to apply 2-3 coats!

It’s not a gimmick! Smooth and even application is extremely important for a perfect result! You’ll want to apply multiple coats, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next, which usually takes about 20 minutes!

3.      Keep the can 6-8 inches away from the panel. Not too close, Not too far!

When you are spraying, keep the can 6-8 inches away from the body of the car. Painting too close can result in drips because the clearcoat is applied too heavily. Too far away can result in light coats, which can create uneven layers on the car.

4.      Consider wind or temperature

The environment also plays a role when you are doing a touch up paint job. Especially when trying to apply clear coat paint. In hot weather, the paint will dry quicker. This can cause an improper distribution of color. You also don’t want it to be cold! The best condition is early morning or in the evening with a temperature of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Strong winds can also create problems such as, and it will dry out the clearcoat before the whole body gets a sufficient amount of coverage or cause uneven layers! If your can of clear coat has been sitting directly in the sun or outside in the cold, you’ll want to get the can to room temperature. You can do this by pouring water into a large glass. The water should be around 80 degrees since we want to get the can to 75 degrees. Submerge it and leave it in the water for at least 20 minutes before spraying.

How do you fix orange peel?

It doesn’t matter whether you are using a Rustoleum clear coat or epoxy clear coat, repairing orange peel clear coat damage is always the same. You are going to have to wet sand the damaged area. To do this:

  1. Soak 2000 grit sandpaper in water for around an hour.
  2. Then gently sand down the affected area where the clear coat is rough.
  3. You are only aiming to take off the top layer so start gently then apply more pressure if needed.

Once the clear coat orange peel has been removed, you will need to wash the damaged area to remove any debris. Follow our steps on how to paint a car to achieve the perfect finish. Respraying your vehicle with clear coat is essential and means you can use clear coat to protect car paint and avoid any other blemishes occurring. By using our tips above, the orange peel shouldn’t return a second time.

Can I spray clear coat over the top of the peeling clearcoat?

Clearcoat Peeling

Customers often ask us, can clear coat be painted over? The short answer is no. If you spray clear coat on top of an existing layer that is damaged, it will make the issue worst and become even more unsightly.

You will need to follow the repair steps above, or check out the video link below.

Want to learn more about how to prevent clearcoat orange peel?

Our video below breaks the entire process down step-by-step to make it as easy as possible for you to follow. Take a look and get your clear coat shining again along with our library of How To videos on YouTube.

Remember! At the end of the day, applying clear coat doesn’t have to be complicated! Follow the instructions provided, and practice before going straight to the car’s surface!

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