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Dreaded Orange Peel


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I did a forum search looking for a specific tread dealing with orange peel issues and if I missed one I apologize.

Anyway, In the 6 or so years I have resumed building model cars I have yet to have very many good results getting a paint job and or clearing without the dreaded orange peel. Over those years I have used rattle cans (enamels and laquers) and in the last 1 to 1.5 years air brushing with a Paasch H and more recently my Mr. Hobby Proton that I really like. I have yet to spray any enamel because I just prefer acrylic paints but those have been limited to craft and Createx.  The only clear I have used on the acrylics is the Rustoleum Crystal Clear acrylic lacquer. 

I know wet sanding is an  after painting remedy but I have this fear of burning thru the clear with my heavy hand, ruining a reasonably nice base color coat.

I'm hoping a discussion on this topic will help me and those that may be interested in this topic.

Lets' hear it guys!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't have any orange peel issues.  I just apply the paint that is thin enough to self-level on the model, and I apply it in thick enough coats so it is able to self-level. Wet-coats are are the enemy of orange-peel. I don't have any formulas or procedures I follow - I just do it.  I never have to sand or polish my paint jobs.

The orange peel issue seems to be quite prevalent with automotive modelers striving for a glossy finish.  I suspect that you all apply paint that is either too viscous, spray too far from the  model, or spray on too little paint.  Either of those things (or combination of multiple of those) can cause the paint not to be able to self-level on the model, resulting in rough finish (orange peel).  I would say practice your spraying technique to see if you can get a nice shiny finish just by spraying paint.

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I gave up trying to prevent orange peel years ago. These days I assume it's going to happen and figure out how much paint I need to put on so I can safely color-sand and polish it out. I've gotten pretty good at it. 

Every once in a while I get lucky and get a pretty smooth paint job out of the can or airbrush, but I NEVER count on it happening. 

I discovered that if I thin Testor enamels with naphtha (lighter fluid) and lay it on just right, it will flow out to a nice gloss, and dry in a reasonable time (a few days). BUT any leftover paint so thinned will turn to Jello in a few days, whereas paint thinned with lacquer thinner can remain usable for YEARS. So I don't do that very often any more. 

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I do know with say tamiya X series paints pretty sure the same with there LP range anything gloss color wise needs to be thinned properly and sprayed at low PSI.  I remember when i did some side view mirror after the 3 pass with Tamiya X-1 black the gloss just appeared smooth as a babys bottom and mirror finish no orange peel nothing show room quality gloss on side view mirrors LOL.  But i mainly use basecoats like scalefinishes on bodies, and never have orange peel.  The orange peel will come from the gloss coat 2K or whatever you like to use, because if 2K especially isn't thinned right or sprayed too low of a PSI and heavy coats  you will get orange peel.  I do all body painting and gloss coats with a procon PS-290 with fan pattern cap, and everything else i do with iwata eclipse i upgraded too a .5 needle setup.

There is one trick i read about for lacquer paint like mr hobby is if you get any orange peel just spray lacquer thinner over the base coat and it'll self level the orange peel out.

Edited by Dpate
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One method I've ditched is "apply a couple of mist coats". I've read that advice here on the forum and it just doesn't work for me. I mostly spray lacquers, Createx or Scalefinishes products. I put on 2, maybe 3 medium to heavy coats. I've got a PS290 but really use my Paasche H with a #5 tip most of the time. I adjust my regulator to 20 psi with the airbrush trigger open. Distance is 4 to 6 inches. I base my speed on how the paint is laying down. I always focus on the surface as the paint goes on, not the brush or the spray pattern. Everyone has their system, that's mine. 

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I've never been able to lay down a perfectly smooth paint job. Never. I've gotten close a few times.

But, I can sand and polish a paint job perfectly smooth. A few years ago, I bought the Tamiya polishing compounds. There's Course, Fine and Finish. I sand the clear smooth with either 2000 or 4000 grit. Then I go over it with the three compounds. I use a piece off of a soft cotton t-shirt. Wrap the cloth over the tip of my finger and dab a little compound on and rub it in a circular motion. Then go over it with a clean cloth to remove the residue. It's super easy. 

This was my first paint job using the Tamiya compounds. I sanded it with 2000 grit, then polished. 

20190810_190136-1-1.jpg.81428227d5ff4e6a1f6cb75300b628fe.jpg

I've polished around 40 models so far with the compounds. Probably have enough to do 20 more. It's worth way more than I gave for it to me. Also, I've not burned through the paint on a single one. I sure can't say that about the polishing cloths!

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Below is a Corvette promo body wearing its factory paint.  The clear is 3 or so wet coats of Duplicolor Perfect Match Clear from the can.

 I am quite pleased with the results. This is my best clear coat job to date.  I was astounded to see so little orange peel once the clear set up. 

20220108_055716.jpg

Edited by Dodge Driver
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I very rarely get heavy textured orange peel, but I do every now and then get micro orange peel. Which I deal with in the same way as Roger but I dont wet sand, just use the Tamiya compounds.

When polishing with the Coarse and Fine I use the Tamiya compound sponges, much more control using them and are like block sanding but with compounds. Then switch to a micro fiber to polish with the Finish. Then finally rinse under warm water to remove any left over residue in door gaps etc and to remove any static.

Sponges are washed out with dish washing detergent after each use, so they are reusable.

1ptu1R9.jpg

 

The 62 Bel Air im working at the moment has been 3 staged with the compounds, no wax has been applied yet.

g9lPLjg.jpg

 

 

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I use spray cans, when I returned to building, I had paint issues as well, always got orange peel, and lots of it. Thru experiment and reading topics here, I found that a ‘quick and close’ method worked for me. And I always do a full on ‘wet’ coat. Obviously air brushing is a different game, but I’m still in rattle can territory. Here are some examples before clear coat polishing,

 

3384F6F5-432C-423A-B7A6-12D1D1671B24.jpeg

8C7EEA02-5314-4854-B8C2-CDACA88F7F4C.jpeg

170948BF-32B2-4C73-8774-7981762A6755.jpeg

7A40BB65-47F3-4ACA-B9D8-4458415ACD98.jpeg

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To prevent orange peel you need better atomization. If using rattle cans, keep them stored at a higher room temperature. Not in a cold basement. Or place them in a hot tap water bath for 15 minutes and be sure to shake it well before painting. Some manufacturers suggest shaking for one minute. The higher temp will increase the pressure and lay the paint down smoother. Do not use boiling water 💦. Also be sure the outside of the can is free of water before painting. One drop of water will ruin the paint job. If airbrushing, either add more thinner, increase air pressure or do both. You need to experiment to get it just right but the idea is to get finer particles of paint onto your model. 

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I think I'm right there with Mike.  I spent a lot of time last year testing different paint and air brush vs rattle can.  I couldn't seem to find a good process to eliminate the orange peel.   I have pretty much giving up on trying to get that nice shiny finish.

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Thanks guys' for chiming in on this subject.  A lot of good advice using different types of paints. Since I've become determined to get an acceptable good craft paint and/or Createx due to my just not wanting to use solvent based paint so it's where my focus is.  As we know, these paints don't usually dry glossy but in my limited experience generally don't orange peel. There may be a bit of a rough finish which I expect is due to a few issues and those can be lightly sanded out to a smooth finish. For me, it's the clearing process that rears it's ugly head. 

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Try the 'Donn Yost' or 'Andy X' method! I found it some months ago, and it worked extremely well for me.

Here are some test pieces - so far it worked with all brands of model enamel that I tried.

donnyost-01.jpg

donnyost-02.jpg

The method is simple and easy, give it a try!

Rob

 

 

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5 hours ago, Cool Hand said:

I very rarely get heavy textured orange peel, but I do every now and then get micro orange peel. Which I deal with in the same way as Roger but I dont wet sand, just use the Tamiya compounds.

When polishing with the Coarse and Fine I use the Tamiya compound sponges, much more control using them and are like block sanding but with compounds. Then switch to a micro fiber to polish with the Finish. Then finally rinse under warm water to remove any left over residue in door gaps etc and to remove any static.

Sponges are washed out with dish washing detergent after each use, so they are reusable.

1ptu1R9.jpg

 

The 62 Bel Air im working at the moment has been 3 staged with the compounds, no wax has been applied yet.

g9lPLjg.jpg

 

 

Definately a great finish...you didn't mention what paint it is.

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14 hours ago, Miatatom said:

One method I've ditched is "apply a couple of mist coats". I've read that advice here on the forum and it just doesn't work for me. I mostly spray lacquers, Createx or Scalefinishes products. I put on 2, maybe 3 medium to heavy coats. I've got a PS290 but really use my Paasche H with a #5 tip most of the time. I adjust my regulator to 20 psi with the airbrush trigger open. Distance is 4 to 6 inches. I base my speed on how the paint is laying down. I always focus on the surface as the paint goes on, not the brush or the spray pattern. Everyone has their system, that's mine. 

The two mist coats approach works well with acrylics and flash dry or heat set both/each one before laying on heavier coats. It's not needed with solvent paints in my experience. Start right out with medium and go progressively wetter especially with enamels.

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1 hour ago, robdebie said:

Try the 'Donn Yost' or 'Andy X' method! I found it some months ago, and it worked extremely well for me.

Here are some test pieces - so far it worked with all brands of model enamel that I tried.

donnyost-01.jpg

donnyost-02.jpg

The method is simple and easy, give it a try!

Rob

 

 

Well, Mike says he's shooting acrylics. Different animal that needs a different approach than with solvent based paints.

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One thing I would add on treating the derided Orange Peel. When it first appears stop applying paint. Let the paint fully dry and then start some light color sanding. Depending on how bad it is this is when you consider, do I sand the object smooth and apply another coat or is it time for the "purple pond". Appling additional coats of paint in hopes that it well somehow level its surface is just going to make the paint thicker and will not stop the orange peel. Additional coats of clear has the same effect as too many coats of paint that has an orange peel finish.  I build on a cool basement, temperature wise, and have found that warming the paint before applying and holding the spray can or air brush close to the item you're spraying. Spraying paint at too far away allows the paint to start to dry in the air and is to dry when it lands on the object you're painting to dry smoothly. I would suggest practicing different painting methods on an old body or plastic spoon till you find a way that works for you. 

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714912039_thumbnail_20191025_165950base.jpg.dfe74062e9d58ba39e59d7adb233891b.jpg1452933760_thumbnail_20191026_144602top.jpg.fa181aa176e5ac08d748792a2a90b656.jpg

The top photo is Base coat ( Craft Smart craft paint) followed in the second photo with Tamiya clear blue acrylic. Not polished , straight out of the dehydrator after drying in both cases.

Edited by Dave G.
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4 minutes ago, Dave G. said:

714912039_thumbnail_20191025_165950base.jpg.dfe74062e9d58ba39e59d7adb233891b.jpg1452933760_thumbnail_20191026_144602top.jpg.fa181aa176e5ac08d748792a2a90b656.jpg

The top photo is Base coat ( Craft Smart craft paint) followed in the second photo with Tamiya clear blue. Not polished , straight out of the dehumidifier after drying in both cases.

Dave....is the silver base coat a primer or a silver that would be used for a finish coat?

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25 minutes ago, Zippi said:

Dave....is the silver base coat a primer or a silver that would be used for a finish coat?

The primer was white Stynylrez with a drop of black in it, so kind of platinum. The silver which doesn't show in the photo is actually called rose gold, it is more silver than gold though in that particular brand but depending on your monitors color balance you might pick up a hint of the very faint underlying rose in it.. So the silver is a craft paint base coat thinned with my own thinner formula, the name is Rose Gold and the brand is Craft Smart which not my favorite craft paint. That's about 4 coats you see there, might even be 5. The blue is more like the 5-6 but progressively wetter coats till the final full wet coat . So as you can imagine I shoot the stuff pretty thinned out. The clear blue was thinned with Lacquer thinner. The Stynylrez on that model I don't recall how I thinned it but these days I thin that with lacquer thinner as well. I rarely shoot straight Stynylrez almost always thinning it. Because if you start with a rough primer coat it gets worse and worse as more colors are added. Stynylrez with LT goes on baby bottom smooth.

Edited by Dave G.
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30 minutes ago, Dave G. said:

714912039_thumbnail_20191025_165950base.jpg.dfe74062e9d58ba39e59d7adb233891b.jpg1452933760_thumbnail_20191026_144602top.jpg.fa181aa176e5ac08d748792a2a90b656.jpg

The top photo is Base coat ( Craft Smart craft paint) followed in the second photo with Tamiya clear blue acrylic. Not polished , straight out of the dehumidifier after drying in both cases.

Hi there Dave...I can always count on you for advice😃

I have been using the stynylrex primer since you suggested it to me.  I more recently discovered the Createx Autoborne sealer and really like it. Goes on easily to a smoothe finish. One plus with the Autoborne is it come in several colors so you can kind of color key your top color coat.  If I understand right, the Tamiya is a clear that has color??

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2 minutes ago, TransAmMike said:

Hi there Dave...I can always count on you for advice😃

I have been using the stynylrex primer since you suggested it to me.  I more recently discovered the Createx Autoborne sealer and really like it. Goes on easily to a smoothe finish. One plus with the Autoborne is it come in several colors so you can kind of color key your top color coat.  If I understand right, the Tamiya is a clear that has color??

Ya, they have several colored clears that come out candy-ish. But their X22 is straight clear.  I use other clears too though. Those clear colors are handy in other ways too though, like green clear over green base comes out super deep for instance.

Lately I've been playing with Shellac as clear coat. I haven't air brushed it yet, I'll share it if it takes off for me. I've using that on ornaments this year and the finish has been phenomenal on those. So I'm back to craft paints on prescription bottles and top coating with shellac. Just haven't felt like decanting . I'm playing with another thinner recipe for craft paints at the same time, so I've more been testing that out than the clear coat up to this point.

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Dave G. said:

Ya, they have several colored clears that come out candy-ish. But their X22 is straight clear.  I use other clears too though. Those clear colors are handy in other ways too though, like green clear over green base comes out super deep for instance.

Lately I've been playing with Shellac as clear coat. I haven't air brushed it yet, I'll share it if it takes off for me. I've using that on ornaments this year and the finish has been phenomenal on those. So I'm back to craft paints on prescription bottles and top coating with shellac. Just haven't felt like decanting . I'm playing with another thinner recipe for craft paints at the same time, so I've more been testing that out than the clear coat up to this point.

 

 

 

Well Dave, as it appears my orange peel issue is likely the Rustoleum rattlecan Crystal Clear acrylic lacquer, maybe it's time for me to try another product.....or change the way I spray it. I've been sitting here looking at available products and since all my purchases are pretty much limited to on-line with HL exception, I can't do a lot of trying different products.

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23 minutes ago, TransAmMike said:

Well Dave, as it appears my orange peel issue is likely the Rustoleum rattlecan Crystal Clear acrylic lacquer, maybe it's time for me to try another product.....or change the way I spray it. I've been sitting here looking at available products and since all my purchases are pretty much limited to on-line with HL exception, I can't do a lot of trying different products.

I never have liked solvent based acrylic lacquer on plastic models or even in 1/1 for that matter. There are tons of other products out there. I use several different clears to include nitro lacquer but try to stay away from acrylic lacquer solvent based. Just me, others love the stuff.

 

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