4 Common Automotive Paint Problems and Solutions

    Posted by Mike Bonner

    Jul 27, 2017 1:59:00 PM

    car tire and side panel.jpgAs an auto manufacturer, there are few problems that are more frustrating than stopping the production process due to issues with paint and coating application. Seeing defects pop up in the vehicle’s finish are particularly discouraging because they can be prevented with the right solutions.

    Below is a list of some of the most common paint and coating issues that can impact the quality of automobile’s finish:

    Orange peel

    Orange peel is a textured imperfection in the paint job. The finish will have a slightly wavy appearance and will reflect light at different angles. Essentially, the finish will resemble the texture of an orange rather than the smooth, shiny finish preferred by car owners.

    There are a number of things that can cause orange peel issues, including incorrect spray pressure, improper gun setup, inadequate viscosity control, incorrect application temperature, and/or the wrong combination of solvents.

    Adding temperature and viscosity control solutions to your paint and coating processes can help ensure that these finishes are applied at the correct temperature and at the ideal consistency needed to deliver the optimal gloss and finish that consumers desire. Plus, these solutions can help reduce the amount of solvent and other additives needed to maintain paint and coating standards.


    Another common defect occurs when the finish on a vehicle possesses a hazy quality, which will not only affect the luster, but could also show obvious color variations. Clouding is often the result of incorrect spraying viscosity or spray booth temperature. Combined with proper gun setup and proper spray pressure, adequate temperature and viscosity control can mitigate clouding and mottling issues.

    Color variations

    There are a variety of causes that can lead to color variations from vehicle to vehicle and even from one section of a vehicle to another. Modern vehicles use a variety of substrates (plastics, steel, aluminum, alloys, etc.) that paints will adhere to differently. Many of these parts may be painted in different plants that have varying temperatures and environmental conditions.

    One important step in ensuring that color is uniform across all surfaces is to define the ideal formulation to be used across all application processes. Once that is established, temperature and viscosity control can help manufacturers maintain these standards and deliver consistent color from bumper to bumper.

    Solvent pop

    Automakers can identify solvent pop by blisters that appear in the paint surface. Solvent becomes trapped in the film and will then escape during baking, leaving pop marks. This is often the result of incorrect spraying viscosity and/or pressure. Inadequate drying and curing times can also contribute to solvent pop issues.

    By applying an optimal film thickness and ensuring viscosity and spray requirements are being met, painters and coaters can prevent solvent pop issues. Temperature and viscosity control solutions can further diminish the frequency of solvent pop issues by reducing the amount of solvent needed in automotive paint and coating jobs.

    Issues like orange peel can lead to quality issues and customer rejects. Download your free copy of our Controlling Orange Peel Guide to learn more about the causes of and solutions to orange peel problems.

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    Topics: paint and coating

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