Paint Problems

Are you having problems with your paint jobs?

Here is a list of common problems and what they mean.

Orange Peel

Just like its name it looks exactly like that, an outside layer of an orange peel. There are a couple of things that can result in this outcome.

#1 is that the paint was not reduced enough.
#2 is that you are applying with too low of pressure.
#3 You could be using the wrong tip size or gun set up.

If the panel is not to “peely” in some cases it can rectified by wet sanding with 1200 grit sand paper and buffing or re spraying the surface.


This is where you may have one or multiple cracks in your finish.

#1 At times it can happen when two different paints, solvent or hardeners are incompatible with each other.
#2 This will also happen when the undercoat or top coat is to thick.
#3 If you have over hardened your paint
#4 If you have painted over a cracked surface.

The only way to rectify this is to strip the panel and to refinish it correctly.

Pin Holes

A pin hole is where the body filler has contained air bubbles. When sanding
this will result in a small pin like hole being left on the surface.

#1 This can appear when not using proper mixing ratios.
#2 Overuse of hardener. This will make pin holes even more probable.

Follow your tech data sheets!


#1 When you hold your spray gun to close to the surface
#2 Moving to slowly
#3 The cooler weather can create this
#4 Uneven application

Hold your gun at a 90 degree angle. Make sure you are moving in fast even stokes.

Air Bubbles

Air bubbles are exactly that. Tiny little air bubbles that rise to the surface
of the paint and pop.

# This can happen if you are not using the correct pressure.
#2 Not holding your gun at the correct distance.

To fix these air bubbles sand the surface with 1200 grit sand paper, then follow with polishing.

Sand Scratches

These are steaks, lines or marks that appear in your paint finish.

#1 This can happen when you have not filled the scratches with primer filler
#2 Not sanding the body or primer
#3 Sanding a single stage finish before you clear it
#4 To course sand paper.

You can fix this by letting the job cure and re sanding it before refinish it.


This appears like a yellow stain on your top coat.

#1 This can happen when using to much or to little of hardener in your body filler.
#2 Not mixing the body filler correctly
#3 Applying your primer before the filler has a chance to cure fully.


Softness is when your paint is soft after it dries.
#1 This can occur if you have not given enough for the paint to dry between coats.
#2 Sprayed the coats to heavy
#3 Inconsistent mixing ratios

Crow’s Feet

Crows feet are a crack like appearance that may be present in your top coat.

#1 Using a blow gun to dry your primer
#2 Adding to much hardener to your primer or paint
#3 Not allowing enough dry times between coats
#4 Applying to thick of a top coat

Make sure you are mixing all of your refinish supplies at the correct mixing ratio. Apply your coats of paint and primer evenly.


Bleeding is when the fresh top coat dissolves pigments that are soluble in the old finish. This will appear discoloured.

The way to fix this is to let the top coat fully cure. Follow this with spraying
a sealer over the top. Then re apply your colour.


This happens when the shine of the finish dulls as it dries.

There are many different reasons as to why this occurs. But majority of the
time it is due to not allowing the undercoat to dry or cure properly.


Fish eyes can be present in both primer and paint. These have circular crater like appearance.

#1 This can occur when spraying your primer or paint on directly after they have been applied.
#2 This will happen when the surface has been contaminated by silicone, wax, grease or oil.

The best way to avoid this happening is to use a wax and grease remover whilst you are prepping your car.


Wrinkling will occur when you are applying a new finish or while the new finish is drying. The finish will have a shrivelled like look.

#1 This can occur from the old finish attacking the new finishing. This will cause it to lift and or wrinkle.
#2 This will happen with both Urethanes and Enamels when you have
not allowed them to fully cure.
#3 It can also happened when you wait beyond the specified dry time during your application.

Dirt in your paint job

#1 This can occur when the environment is very dusty or dirty
#2 Not using a tack rag between applications

To try and avoid this, if your area is prone to dust wet the floor in your booth before you begin your paint job and between each coat. Also using Wax and Grease remover is highly important.


Grit is the presence of solid particles of different sizes existing in the paint of your surface.

#1 This will happen if the primer or paint has not been strained or stirred correctly.
#2 It can occur if the paint you are using is old or out of date.

To try and rectify this problem you will need to allow the job to cure, then sand the job back and respray.


These are swollen areas that will appear in the job weeks or months after the job has been completed.

#1 This will occur from moisture being trapped under the surface of the paint.
#2 If the air isn’t clean

This can be avoided by making sure you paint in a dry area. Or using a dehumidifier in the area you are spraying in is one with high humidity.


Mottling is a streak like appearance which will be noticeable in transparent colours or metallic finishes.

#1 This can happen when using a spray pattern that is not balanced.
#2 Tilting the gun
#3 Over thinning
#4 Applying your clear coat before allowing the basecoat to dry completely.


This is when the evaporation of the solvent reduces the surface temperature below the dew point. It will appear very dull clouded look on the surface. This can be avoided by adding retarder thinner to the paint mixture. Or relocating where you are painting.

To avoid problems when painting it is so important to always read your tech data sheets. Always stick to the recommended mixing ratios and processes. Remember preparation is the key! Do not try and skip any steps to get the completed faster. If you are needing any of our data sheets, they can be found here.

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