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Pitting surface on paint

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  • Member since
    June, 2009
Pitting surface on paint
Posted by Popcop45 on Friday, August 28, 2009 7:35 PM
I am so wanting to achieve that smooth showroom paint job, but all to often I am ending up with a rough pitting or almost like a popcorn ceiling effect on my die cast cars. It has occured with and without primer, but worse with the primer. How can I remedy this problem? Thanks in advance.
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Friday, August 28, 2009 8:17 PM

Airbrush or spray can?

If you're airbrushing or using a spray can and getting a rough, lumpy looking finish, then you have an effect known as "orange peel" (the paint finish looks like the skin of an orange).

This could be caused by:

  • insufficient thinning of the paint (thin the paint some more)
  • temperature being too high or very low humidity, causing the paint to dry before it has time to level itself (don't paint when it's too hot)
  • paint applied too thickly, (and sometimes combined with high temperature/low humidity) causing the paint to skin over and surface-dry, while the lower layers dry at a slower rate causing shrinkage and unevenness (this can also cause cracking/crazing or a snake-skin like effect) (apply multiple light coats rather than a single heavy coat)

Often, while you can take steps to minimise orage peel, it may happen regardless. You may need to wet sand and poilsh to eliminate it. Applying more paint won't level it. 

If you are using a spray can and are getting a honeycomb-like effect with tiny bubbles embedded in the paint,

  • you are applying too heavy a layer of paint and have dissolved propellant out-gassing from the paint on the surface of the model. This may happen if you are moving the can too slowly across the surface or spraying from too close a distance. Spray several lighter coats from a greater distance rather than a single heavy coat.



  • Member since
    June, 2009
Posted by Popcop45 on Saturday, August 29, 2009 7:37 PM

Thanks Phil.

It's mainly spray can. I painted a police car with a spray can on top, and air brush on bottom, and the air brush paint was much glossier and smoother. I am painting in my garage in south Florida; I thought the heat would actually help-I guess not. Thanks again for the reply.

  • Member since
    June, 2009
Posted by jimbot58 on Sunday, August 30, 2009 4:05 AM
I usually get better results with my airbrush. My attempts at spray cans always failed, though some get great results from them.


On my workbench now:

"Third Annual Berny Memorial Build"

1/72nd scale Academy F-8E Crusader and A-10 "Warthog"


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