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Jaymez 09-07-2010 06:03 PM

Clear Coat Adhesion Problems

I spent a good portion of my spring and early summer trying to paint my S10. I had a LOT of problems during that time. Chemical reactions such as fish eyes and lifting drove me nuts as did getting the paint's mixing ration correct. After nearly 3 months of trial an error, I thought I finally got it right. After all my hard work, I had this to show for it..

As awesome as it looked, it still needed to be cut and buffed. That FINALLY got started today.

My buddy who was doing the buffing for me covered the various seams around the roof with masking tape to prevent any build up of compound. When he removed the tape, the clear coat came up in sheets.

The entire upper half of the door, for example, in a single sheet.

The entire truck peeled off in the same way. In the few pieces where I couldn't pick the clear coat up with my nail, a piece of masking tape removed it.

The entire truck in a bucket.

I've seen clearcoat fail before, but, never like this. I have no idea how I managed to **** this one up. All the materials I used came from They said if I needed any additional material, I could mix in PPG products so I did use PPG reducers. I am at a total loss.

Random thought.

I usually add adhesion promoter and fish eye remover to my first coat of color and clear. Could that have something to do with it? The same stuff is in the base that I used in the clear.

I used Bulldog Adhesion Promoter and DX73 PPG Fish eye eliminator.

As best as I can tell, the adhesion on the actual paint is fine. When lifting the clear coat, the paint stuck fine.

We let the base flash for at least 20 minutes before spraying the clear.

I'm not sure what happened, really. It laid down nice and smooth. Sure, it ran in a few spots, but, that was painter's error and something we should have been able to buff out.

It looked **** when it dried. It scuffed fine for the buffing. Blue masking tape was enough to lift the clear off the paint, though.

I'm not sure how to handle the situation at this point. Do I buy some higher grade clear and reshoot the clear after some touch ups? Do I strip all the paint off and start from scratch?

This is the exact Adhesion Promoter that I used. The manner in which I'd always used Adhesion Promoter was to use it in the first coat of base and clear. The other coats didn't need it because we were spraying wet on wet, basically.

Same goes for the fish eye remover. As long as the entire vehicle was covered with that first coat, there was never any reason to add it the next.

[color=blue] I have since learned that this is wrong. If I insist on using AP, I should spray it before applying primer. Do NOT mix it into the base or the clear[/color]

With the exception of under the mirrors and some panel edges, most of the clear coat has been stripped. I just need to give the whole thing a once over to make sure nothing has been left behind. What should be my next step?

Do I want to strip the truck down to bare metal? In addition to the factory paint and what I've done, I know of at least one other paint job that has been done to the truck.

Should I reclear what I've got with another brand of clear?

Obviously, if I were to reclear what I've got, I'd now have to go through and scuff everything and repeat all the basic prep work, without adding AP or Fisheye.

BTW, if any of this reads weird, I copied it from multiple posts I made on S10F before I was directed here.

kenseth17 09-07-2010 08:58 PM

I don't know what the cause was, nor have I used any products from paint for cars. Not knowing those products, what exactly you did and used.

First off, why are you adding so much crapola to your base and clear?
Fisheye elimanator is used as a last ditch attempt to cover a paint job that has already fisheyed. I don't use it. You are also contaimating your gun for future jobs, as your basically adding silicone to the paint. It also may be some part of the reason for all that orange peel you got. Fisheye elimator tends to cause it to spray with more orange peel.

Same with adhesion promotor. No reason to really use it, if you prep and do a thorough job sanding, its not needed. And everyone I ever used, you spray the adhesion promotor on first, not add it to the paint. The only time I would consider using it is on certain problem plastics- tpo, where its needed to help primer or paints to stick, it lowers the surface tension.

Could be many causes for loss of adhesion. Poor prep, not enough clear mil thickness, sprayed to dry, improper use of products-incompatabilitys, too little time between coats, too much time between coats (chemical adhesion).

Its important to have the product data sheets for you products, and read them and follow them. Many use different companys products together (cept should use the correct hardeners), and most different companys primers, basecoats and clears seem pretty compatable with one another, but your always taking a chance if you stray from manufactures instructions and recommended products. Get a mixing stick or mixing cup from a paint jobber to mix paint to the right ratio of paint, hardener clear. There are many good brands of automotive paints- basecoat, clearcoat, primers, and I suspect they would have better information about proper use of the products (product data sheets) and support, and likely improve the chances of success.

As far as what to do now that its peeling, at bare minimum you will have to go down and take off what ever isn't adhering. If its the clear that isn't adhering to the base, you will have to take off the clear and go down at least to the base. And you will have to respray the base. Not only will sanding the base likely leave you with a blotchy looking base when recleared, if the base has been exposed at all, its no longer good, and you can't just reclear, or you'll likely have the same problem.

bighotroddin 09-07-2010 09:49 PM

The last post pretty much just summed it up.

Addittives just make more problems if not properly used. No offense to the place where you brought your stuff from but I have found it alot easier to go to the paint store and talk to someone who can look at what your doing.

Not sure how the truck was before you started but one coat of sealer should have been sprayed over the body work and old paint followed by the base coat white then tape it for the blue and pull the tape off and three coats of clear.

If it was my truck I would sand it completly down wih 240-320 and start over. Trying to fix what you have started you are going to waste more time and money.

kenseth17 09-07-2010 10:00 PM

I guess I was wrong. Just read the data sheet on the bulldog, and looks like it can be mixed with the paint to use as a flex agent. At any rate, shouldn't be needed. If the stuff you used is a urethane, it is plenty flexable as it as, and you don't add flex agent to basecoat. The data sheet also says its not compatable with enamels, so if you used an enamel based paint, so could possibly be a problem if the products you used were enamel.

milo 09-08-2010 12:14 AM


Originally Posted by Jaymez

I used Bulldog Adhesion Promoter and DX73 PPG Fish eye eliminator.


Thanks for posting up so others can learn.

In various experiences with the Bulldog , I've found only a half coat or drop coat where you can't spend time prepping by abrading is the most one should way a full wet coat and repeat like shampoo etc as stated on the can .. better off with out.

Rx, , wetsand flat with 400 , rebase on there and reclear without any Bulldog or solvent based cleaners ...

BarryK 09-08-2010 06:19 AM

First of all, lets get things cleared up here.

I don't know the place you ordered the stuff from, don't know if its bottom of barrow stuff or the very best but will give you this fact, it had nothing to do with problem.

Pictures tell everything and looking at pictures, the clear looks like crap, cloudy, (trapped solvents in clear from the base) and very uniform orange peel, the orange peel is so perfect and even, I don't care how good a painter is, he could never duplicate this look, (contraction of base)

You have two issues here, you are peeling the large sheets off because of solvent trap in the base, as well as using fish eye eliminator in the base, you never do that, if you want the clear to stick.

The orange peel is contraction, that is caused by the base contracting as solvents escape and the clear magnifies it.

Dark green, Blue and blacks are the main causes of this and if enough solvent is trapped, it will break adhesion as the clear dries. (you have both)

Base rarely fisheyes, if it happens, you stop. Period and correct.

Also the silicone in the base from the fish-eye additive is still there, the base must come off as nothing will stick a 100% and you cannot clean it out of the base.

EDAA 09-08-2010 06:45 AM

I was there to watch the clear go on, as well as come off.

So, BarryK, just to clarify, you are saying that the orange peel was caused by solvent trap, etc, and NOT applicator error? I want to clarify because there's some people on another forum insisting it was caused by applicator error and I'm sure that is not the case, as I watched the clear flow as it went on and it flowed fine and the peel only appeared after it started to dry.

Also, I'm wondering if contamination in the air lines could have contributed to this at all?

BarryK 09-08-2010 06:52 AM


Originally Posted by EDAA
I was there to watch the clear go on, as well as come off.

So, BarryK, just to clarify, you are saying that the orange peel was caused by solvent trap, etc, and NOT applicator error? I want to clarify because there's some people on another forum insisting it was caused by applicator error and I'm sure that is not the case, as I watched the clear flow as it went on and it flowed fine and the peel only appeared after it started to dry.

Also, I'm wondering if contamination in the air lines could have contributed to this at all?


That is exactly right, you cannot lay clear slick and then it orange peels.

As you said, it started to peel as it dried, usually base will cause this problem in 4-24 hours but have seen it take 3-5 days to show up, it depends where the solvents were trapped at or in what coat of base.
3-4 days normally means solvent was trapped in the very first coat, overnight means base did not set long enough before clearing.

99% of times, airlines can cause the fish-eyes, if any cleaning was done at all.

Only applicator error other then flash times is the playing of bench chemist with all the crap added.

EDAA 09-08-2010 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by BarryK

Only applicator error other then flash times is the playing of bench chemist with all the crap added.

Can you clarify more on how the flash times were an error so we don't make the same mistake with that again? I'm pretty sure we followed what it said on the can, but I may be mistaken.

BarryK 09-08-2010 07:25 AM

I was not there but results kind of speak for themselves.

Improper reducer speed for temp.
Low grade reducer.
Improper flash times between coats.
Piling on base to fill imperfections.
Or just took to many coats to cover and that requires more dry time.

Perfect example, I started painting the vette Saturday, laid two coats of VW silver activated base.
Sunday morning I laid first coat of blue ink coat, let each coat flash of exactly 60 minutes and all coats were activated, it takes four coats of the ink coat to hide, so I did five coats.
Plan was to let set 24 hours, wetsand base with 800 and shoot one more coat of base and clear.

Monday Morning, found two imperfections in base, spec on fender and spec on deck lid, did not want to sand base yet but did take some 600 wet to one spot and sanded OK but base was not totally cured yet. Tuesday night base sanded like a dream and will finish up tonight. The more coats, longer to cure.

Now do keep in mind this is no enamel converted crap base, its one of the best and we still have two days.

Jaymez 09-08-2010 10:17 AM

Here's what I have learned....

According to Google searches and posts on Mustang Forums and Jeep Forums, it's not uncommon for clears made by Trinity 1945 AKA to peel off in sheets. Most people reporting the problem have seen the peeling take place 6 to 12 months after their vehicles were sprayed.

Given the overall "bad juju" that silicone can cause when it comes to automotive painting, adding the the Fish Eye Eliminator (FEE) to the base coat may have accelerated the peeling process.

None of the other people who have reported the peeling problems with Trinity products have gone into detail on the prep work steps that they took. Nobody else mentions the use of FEE or AP in their bases (this may be uniquely stupid to me).

At this point, I am lead to believe that the clear coat would have peeled off in sheets even if the prep work and application were done perfect.

As for the cloudy clear coat, I feel something was left out in my explanations above. Most of the truck had been wet sanded prior to the buffing that took place a few days a go when everything lifted. I don't know if that will change your opinion on what happened or not.

Regardless of what may have caused this horrible paint reaction, I hope others can and will learn from this thread and my mistakes.

As far as flash times are concerned, the way I was taught, and I realize this may have changed in the last 10 years, was to allow 20 minutes between coats. However, when spraying an entire vehicle, you can effectively go nonstop because it takes on average 20 minutes to circle the whole thing. We actually stopped and took considerable breaks between coats.

BarryK 09-08-2010 10:37 AM

Never heard of the stuff you are using but don't think its a clear problem, could it be the conditions, I bet it is.

You gave good flash time but temp and humidity changes everything as well as grade and quality of reducer.

Fast reducer at 90 with 70% humidity will flash and dry to touch in a minute and at the same time trap or delay the other solvents from releasing and in effect, slow the dry time down, fast is not faster.

No matter if this clear is made by a bottom feeder or not and like I said , never heard of it, its not the fault of the clear.
Take a carefull look at the reasons I posted and see if you can figure out what happened to you. Way too many did it once, "pros" on forums and I already commented on how the clear looked and that pretty well states a true scenario of what happened. It is a hand print.

Bad clears usually go bad after 1.5-2 years if everything else was done right, due to lack of mils or poor UV additive package.

OneMoreTime 09-08-2010 11:58 AM

Something about flash times that I believe and may be wrong is that the published flash times are minimums of time needed to flash under perfect conditions and are applicable to collision shops where production needs to be pushed. Even going a day or so after basing before clearing is not going to hurt anything except the bottom line in a collision shop.


crashtech 09-08-2010 03:58 PM

Fisheye eliminator is silicone. Putting silicone in the basecoat is not to be done, ever.

Can't say for sure that is the problem, but odds are good that is some of it.

Also, with good prep, the adhesion promoter is entirely unnecessary except on bare TPO.

deadbodyman 09-09-2010 07:57 AM

sand that base off ,its contaminated with sillycone,dont use that same gun again. its contaminated with sillycone..use wax & grease remover to clean the living crap out of the truck before you base it again....The proper way to use W&G is wipe it on with a soaking wet towel and wipe it off before it starts to evaporate with an other, dry ,clean towel.....Never use fish eye eliminator (ever) Its just a band aid on a severed artery...It's applicator error for sure, "He" put the crap in... "HE" sprayed the base too heavy(wet) and "HE" didnt wait long enough between coats (flash) All basic knowledge to a painter with at least 1-2 yrs exp....This guy is no painter (if he was he would have fixed it himself) ,A real painter would never let something like that leave the shop and would pay for the new materials himself ...I hope you didnt pay him much. If you buy new materials he'll probably screw it up again and say we're all full of crap he knows what hes doing...In reality you could have done a better job yourself in a home made tarp booth...
Try some new base like dupont or ppg (I've never heard of that stuff either) Do it yourself or get a new painter that'll take responsibility for his work...I've seen this stuff before ,all you'll get is excuses and its always someone elses fault...
Bottom line...the painter is responsible for quality control.....(any idiot can wave a gun back and forth),If someone sanded it wrong its still the painters fault for not catching it...and its his responsibility to fix it...Thats the difference between a "Painter" and someone that can paint...
To me,this guy sounds like a mechanic with a paint gun...painting without filters or old unchanged ones and not knowing any better.......And a long line of BS....I could be wrong ,but it sure sounds like it to me...That combined with a cheap crappy base is a recipe for disaster....Get some base and clear that everyone has used and likes,and stay away from the stuff nobodys ever heard of....even if its cheap ...50.00 more might have made all the difference....

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