Car paint geeks around the world will agree that automotive painting is an art and requires skill and expertise while getting the job done perfectly. However, everyone, expert or not, can make mistakes. While these mishaps and blunders may not necessarily be the painter’s fault, they could be due to other factors like the working environment, paint, composition, surface texture, etc.

Factors like humidity, temperatures, dry times, and the film thickness can influence the overall quality of the paint and its finish. There could be times when no amount of precision or care is enough for a blemish-free paint job.

Six common problems you could encounter while painting your car and their fixes are mentioned below to make your life easier.

1.    Peeling

This appears after you spray or paint the primer or paint on the surface. It appears like small craters or circular dips.

This usually occurs when the surface has been contaminated with wax, silicone, grease or oil.

To avoid this, thoroughly degrease or remove wax from the surface before going for the primer or paint. Using a fisheye eliminator can also help.

2.    Cracking

Long or shorter lengths of cracks can be seen on the paint wither while painting on a cracked surface or if the undercoat or topcoat film is too thick.

It can also happen when there is too much hardener in the paint composition.

The only way to fix it is by stripping the paint and redoing it to finish.

3.    Bubbling

Sometimes, tiny air bubbles in the paint can rise to the top and pop resulting in small craters. Adjust the spray gun settings to the appropriate pressure and spray the paint from a specific distance from the surface.

You can fix air trapping and bubble problems by sanding the spot with 1200 grit sandpaper and then polishing it.

4.    Fading or dulling

You may have noticed a loss of gloss or dieback after completing your paint job. This could be due to multiple reasons.

Some of the common reasons for dull appearance is contaminated hardener, porous primer, when solvent from topcoat attacks primer, uneven temperature of the environment, very thin topcoats. It can also occur with some metallic basecoats.

To prevent this, you must ensure to use fine sanding paper, increase topcoat thickness, provide even baking temperatures, and seal solvent sensitive primers like lacquer.

To fix dulling or fading, buff the surface and polish and if it is extremely dull, sand and refinish.

5.    Orange Peeling

After painting, the uneven texture of the finished surface may resemble an orange peel. This is the most common problem that can happen when painting a car.

This is caused when the paint is under thinned or is sprayed at low pressures. It can also happen when the environment is too hot while painting and baking. Very rarely, it happens when too many heavy coats are applied.

To avoid the orange peel effect, use paint mixing and thinners as instructed by the manufacturer. Use spray gun settings that are appropriate and schedule your painting sessions when the weather conditions are not too hot.

To fix orange peel, sand and buff using mild polish for enamel coats and use a compound for lacquer. In case of extreme conditions, sand the surface till it is smooth and re-spray the topcoat.

6.    Chipping off

Sometimes, small paint portions may chip off from the surface due to a lack of adhesion.

This can happen when the metal is not treated properly, improper mixing of paint components, when cleaning or preparation of the surface is done poorly or when a good sealer is not used in the process.

To avoid paint chipping off, make sure to measure and mix the paint components thoroughly, and use compatible products as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Degreasing the substrate and using proper metal conditioners can also help with chipping.

The only way to fix it is by removing paint from a larger area near the chipped area, smoothening the surface by sanding, preparing the metal and then refinishing.

Summing Up

Automobile paint jobs can be challenging when proper conditions and expertise are not available. Mishaps when painting a car is normal and every problem has a solution that does not require stripping off the paint of the entire car. This article has insights on the most common problems and ways to avoid them or fix them with simple yet efficient solutions.