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Old 07-04-2016, 09:33 PM
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Clear Coat Issue

Help!

I think I may have got a bad gallon of clear.

I painted my 69 mustang a couple of weeks ago. I shot 3 medium wet coats of clear and it flowed out like crap. The hood, The doors and the deck lid crazed up really bad on the third coat and there was so much orange peel on the rest of it that I spent 4 hours trying to cut it down with 1000 grit paper on about a 2 square foot section. My first reaction is I did something wrong. This is only my 4th paint job.

I cut it all back with 600 and re-shot the clear. After fixing a a couple of spots I burned through. This time I tried 2 full wet coats. Wet enough to run in some spots. I thought the issue was me so I was trying to correct it. This time it had even more orange peel and I ended up with a ton of urethane wave.

So I cut it with 1000 but I could not get it to flatten out without getting into the base coat on every edge. It is almost like it did not build at all on the edges.

Cut again with 600 fix all of the burn through spots. Now lets try this one more time since the clear is almost gone anyway. This time I changed from a Vaper gun with 1.4 tip to a Starting line gun with a 1.3 tip. I Reduced the clear a little to see if it would flow out better. It did flow out a little better It looked really good for a few minutes then it started bunching up into puddles in some spots. I used the called for reducer and hardener. And guess what the darn orange peel is still coming back as it cures.

I waited a couple of days for it to cure and then went to cutting it again with 1000. This time I had the same issue with it covering in some spots but others were very thin and I burned through the the previous coat a clear really easily. and now there is a slightly off color edge where I did. It is not like when you cut into the base it is like a slightly yellow edge. It is somewhat noticeable after full cut and buff.

So now it is mostly cut with 1000-1500-2000 then buffed with wool, foam, and finer foam. It looks OK but I am really concerned about the troubles I had with the clear. Did I screw something up or could I have got some bad clear.

Why would it flow out smooth as glass then have orange peel once it cures?

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Old 07-04-2016, 09:46 PM
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This picture shows the orange peel. It is more noticeable on the door.

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This is the quarter after over 4 Hours of Cutting and Buffing. It look really good but still has some urethane wave when you look at it at just the right angle. I tried to show it with my camera but could not get the angle just right.

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If I can get the whole car to look at least as good as the quarter I would settle for it for now.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:29 PM
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Click image for larger version

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Here is a picture of the clear coat edge I am talking about.


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And one of the Urethane Wave. If I cut this flat I will more than likely get into the base coat.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:17 AM
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Of course the number of application errors that could cause your situation is long, as you know. If you suspect defective product, gather batch numbers off the cans you used and call the manufacturer's tech line to ask if any of them had known issues.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:38 AM
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what clear ?
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:11 AM
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U-POL UP2882 4:1 Universal clear European Universal HS Clear. Manufacture date is week 10 of 2015.

I called U-Pol and am waiting for the tech for my area to call me back.

I never had these issues with the 5-star I used or the Finish 1. I did not like the Finish 1 because it is not truly clear. It has a yellow tint to it. But it did spray out very well.

The other think that was strange to me was that the U-Pol was dry to the touch within 5 minutes. Granted it was 85 degrees in my garage and I used the medium hardener but the spec sheet says it was OK to use.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:40 AM
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I Just got off of the phone with the tech. It was very informative. We came up with a probable cause of my issue.

It is a combination of problems.

1) The hardener is kicking too fast. This explained the crazing issue and part of the Orange peel issues. The clear was drying too much before I was getting to the next coat.

2) This clear works a differently than what I am used to. Most of the clears I have used you wait for it to tack up almost dry to the touch and then shoot the next coat. Tacky but does not stick to your finger. With the U-POL European HS you want to shoot it sooner. His explanation was when it gets stringy, When you test the cure by touching the tape you want the clear to sting off you finger as you pull it away.

I would call this a lack of product knowledge on my part. Oh boy the cost of education... At least I can fix it. I Just hope it does not require another gallon of very expensive paint.

Now I suppose it is time to make some decisions about what I can live with. For now it will be finish cut and buff and drive it for a while then go from there. I am sure there are a few things that will drive me absolutely crazy and they will get fixed later.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:34 AM
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This is probably a stupid question.
Was the sealer or primer sanded before you started to paint?
If you used a sealer and got OP then started painting without sanding it flat that texture will eventually come back as the paint dries.

What brand of base coat and reducer did you use ?

At this point the last thing you want to do is do it over again but if your not happy with it, it'll have to be done. with different materials (mainly your clear) and possibly a different gun, your trouble shooting should start with the air supply and filters and the compressor should supply a steady PSI to the gun.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:23 AM
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Blocked with 400 on a long durablock, Then wet sanded with 600 on a shorter durablock. Check for scratches and orange peel with 3 different light types and in the sun prior to shooting base coat. No sealer user. I had my primer tinted dark gray.

Base coat was R-M Diamont (Expensive stuff) with the recommended reducer. I dont remember the brand of reducer.

Air supply is filtered 3 Stages, with desiccant dryer at the drop and at the gun. 125 Gallon Tank. I can run a DA for about 10 minutes before it will kick on and then if I stop the DA it take less than a minute to turn back off. If I keep using the DA it will shut off after a few minute,

I would suspect gun issues except the base went on really well and I tried some different clear on a old fender this weekend and it laid out nice.

At this point it is about Risk. I am hoping I can get the clear to smooth out without getting into the base any more. If I can get the couple of cut through spots to blend well then I will be happy. This paint has a lot of metallic in it so it does not like to blend very well. The good thing is that the cut through spots are in transition areas so the the normal shadowing that you get on those transition areas may mask the blend.

I may actually take it to a pro at blending and see what they can do for me. Blending is not a skill I have mastered yet. I would rather seek help than have to redo it. Or it may be a good time to get good at blending on some scrap pieces.
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:42 PM
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So far everything sounds just right. I'd be looking hard at the clear being the problem. I wouldn't use a clear that didn't look like you spray it. My clear sprays wet and then flows out slightly more. my old clear did too but got too hard too fast ,as long as it was sanded within 3 days you were fine after that forget it. This clear I've been using for the past ten years or so stays buffable for a long time You spray it like you want it to look.
Diamont is good paint. its important use a good reducer. Blending isn't that hard but could be taking a chance so what I suggest is buying a qt more of base, sand the whole car down with 600 no coarser, use what base you have left over and blend the spots that need more base at least twice keeping the paint area small as possible and feathering out a few inches further, use the 1.3 tip if your comfortable with it, it'll save on materials wasted. use it for base only. when you have all the spots blended pop open the qt and spray the whole car keep track of how much you use on the first coat because 1 coat might be all it gets. if your sure theres enough to do another coat go ahead and do it. I would recommend SPI universal clear its very user friendly but must be sprayed with a 1.4 tip a 1.3 is too small and will give you a lot of trouble basicly there wont be enough material coming out of the gun. If you do all this I'm sure you will get the quality job your looking for. SPI has a 24 hour hotline and they can go over each and every step with you which in turn will give you an extra boost of confidence to get this project done right. They can also go into a lot more detail on the phone than I just did.
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:15 PM
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In my infinite wisdom I went ahead and spent the money for a "Better Clear". I guess I should have stuck with what I knew. The clears I usually use are the same as yours. You can spray a medium wet coat and come back before they have completely flashed of and spray a full wet coat and have them flow out really nice afterward. Very little left to do. Usually you could get away with no cut and buff.

This clear is super hard to cut. . I have it cut with 1500 on the hood and it took forever and the 2000 does not seem to be cutting it at all. you can go over it 10 times and get virtually no white clear coat dust in you water. I am going with a coarser compound. Then once it is all cut and buffed I will finish the interior and all of the bolt on stuff. Basically get the car as far as it can be towards completion. The come back to the paint.

I like your suggestion of blending the cut through areas with what I have left then coating with a new quart of paint. It make sense. I really dont need as much coverage since the base color is really close to the color I would be shooting on top of it. I just need enough coverage to get the metallic to lay out right. And mask the blending marks if there are any.

I have read a lot of good things about SPI so I will be giving it a shot.

One more question...

I blended an area on the edge of the door and it looked really good. I let it cure for the recommended time. (I think it was 30 minutes at 80f). Shot the clear on it. Then inspected it and could see the blend. However I could not see the blend area before the clear went on. Now for the question. How do I make sure the blend area is good before I put the clear on? It is not really obvious. It actually looks more like minor color mottling than anything.

Also on the blend areas would it be a good idea to use a touch up gun with a 0.6 tip?

Thanks.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:43 AM
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Getting the blend right is the hard part that's why I suggested going over the whole car once or twice more, that will cover any dry metallic in the blend area and make it all uniform. Sanding with 600 eliminates the need for the base to fill scratches , all your after is enough for the paint to stick, and get a uniform color and metallics 600 is perfect for that.

Use whatever gun your most comfortable with for the base, I've used a jamb gun on small areas also I kinda like it (less waste).
Dry metallics are in the outer blend area can be eliminated by more reducer in the base, holding the gun a bit closer or even a slower reducer but takes a little practice, going over the whole panel or car with 1-2 light coats is a sure way to get it right.

On my collision work that needs some buffing I start sanding my clear (SPI) with 2000, its quick and easy. use a rubber squeegy to wipe off water as you sand and quickly see how much you taking off

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Old 07-07-2016, 05:49 AM
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Thanks for all your help. I will be following your suggestions once the daytime temperatures cool down.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:55 AM
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One more thing.
With SPI clear theres no med wet coat. You spray it like you want it to look right from the get go.
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