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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter dinged up her 02ES in an ice storm in early March, and I decided to try to replace the right front fender myself. I've never done any body work of that nature, but it has been a good learning experience. Picked up a fender at a junk yard for $85, primed it, painted it using a spray system that included both the paint and the clear coat in the same can, and then tried to paint clear coat over that. Parts of it came out great, but there is also a large part in the middle of the fender over the tire well that is positively scaly - looks like the back of an alligator. I did all of the required sanding and polishing between coats of paint, and then applied two coats of the clear coat about 30 minutes apart. Any body have any idea what might have happened?
 

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That is called orange peel, and is caused by the paint drying before it either hits the surface, or before "levelling" it self.
With spray cans, that is almost a certainty.
Generally caused by either/and too warm a temperature and spraying from too far away overspray that is almost dry when it lands on the already-painted areas, and doesn't level in.
 

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Not orange peel

Thanks for the reply, TFC, but it is not orange peel. I had that in the paint when I first put it on, and was able to get rid of all of it with sandpaper and polishing compound. Some parts of the new clear coat are absolutely perfect, with no peel at all. But this is literally scaling: ridges and valleys in the paint that make it look reptilian. I'll post a picture tonight.
 

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Thanks for the reply, TFC, but it is not orange peel. I had that in the paint when I first put it on, and was able to get rid of all of it with sandpaper and polishing compound. Some parts of the new clear coat are absolutely perfect, with no peel at all. But this is literally scaling: ridges and valleys in the paint that make it look reptilian. I'll post a picture tonight.
Could be fish eye, from chemicals or dust that were on the fender surface before you painted it.
 

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was the surface smooth before you applied the paint?
 

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Fish eyes are usually round dimples of various sizes.
If you have ridges that look like scales, then it is the opposite, you have held the spray too close to the surface, and the overlap of the spray pattern has not been even, and has dried before it has self-leveled. Again, it is a simptom of spray can painting.
It is almost impossible to get the solvent/carrier to stay even while spraying, which results in different amounts of both with each pass, so it ends up thicker/thinner in coverage, and progressively gets worse as you get lower in the can.
Cans are really only suitable for very small area painting. Larger areas like finders and doors should really be done with a gun to come out good.
 

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I got one off ebay. They are brand new from paint shop. Payed about $200 for it. Already painted. Just tell them the paint code or send piece of paint. They did a nice job. Got it and bolted right on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I gave it some thought

I thought about buying a painted fender, but decided that I wanted to do it myself for the experience. The guy I bought the paint from said that I didn't heat the fender enough prior to painting, and that the chemicals in the clear coat were able to penetrate the paint, which had not dried properly, and cause the scaling. This seems to be a good hypothesis, because I was able to dent the clear coat and the paint with my fingernail, and then scrape it all off with a razor blade. I'm going to prep and prime again tonight, and then re-paint tomorrow, this time after heating the fender in advance.
 

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Usually, if the top coat is attacking the base coat, it is wrinkles, not scaley., though if it is still soft, that is possible. Not sure why he'd say you'd need to heat the surface first, since that will casue the solvent to flash off too fast, thus not allowing the paint to cure fully first and it will not bond properly to the primer.
As long as the surface is about 45 degrees or warmer, that sould be fine. What do the directions on the can say?
Most clear-coat application is made after about 30 to 45 minutes after spraying the base colour, since all that is necessary is a flash-off of the base solvent, which allows the clear to bond to it rather than sit on top as it would with the base coat drying first.
Also, check on the lable, you stated previously that it was a base & clear mixed in the colour coat you are using. Some of those are not made to have a clear coat put over them later, as they are different materials. The mixed colour could be an acrylic enamyl base, while the clear could be urethane based, which will cause the reaction you describe, in both lack of drying and bonding.
 

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To prevent this from happening again you'll be better to use seperate base color and clearcoat. The type of 1-shot paint is called Delstar(through PPG anyways) and it more difficult to use, especially by a painting novice. If done right, usually with an HVLP gun, you shouldn't need additional clearcoat. The 2 part will allow you to make sure the base is perfect before applying the clear. Basically, you're only managing one aspect of the paint at a time, instead of both at once. You definately want to make sure you're working in the correct environment as far as temperature. The ambient air temp will affect the paint as much as the temp of the fender. A clean surface is hugely important as well in order to get the correct adhesion.
Talk some pics so you can show off your work when you're done.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, guys

I cleaned and primed tonight, and I'm hoping to paint tomorrow, after some sanding. I'm going to stick with the two part since it is a relatively small job. If I ever do anymore, I'll get more professional.
 

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I ruined a grill on my ram by mixing an acrylic enamel base and lacquer clear coat. I had no idea what I was doing, believe me I did some research after wasting some of the montego blue paint which cost me 71.00 a quart. :) I paid to have the paint put into spray can as I was afraid to use my gun.

My paint did the same thing you are talking about and trying to sand it off to start over was near impossible as the paint was mushy and rolled into little balls with the sander... Ohhh good times.... good luck with your painting. I found a lot of good info at autobody101.com :D
 
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