When applying lacquer, one of the most common problems that can arise is orange peel. Lacquer orange peel is a term used to describe the appearance of the finish when it dries and resembles an orange peel. The problem occurs when the paint does not level properly. Notably, the issue can be frustrating, especially when you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your project.
But, in this article, we will discuss what causes lacquer orange peel and how to prevent or fix the problem.
Causes of Lacquer Orange Peel
Before discussing the best ways to fix the orange, let’s look at the causes of the problem. Usually, many factors can cause lacquer orange peel. The following are some of the common causes of the problem:
- Improper paint application. Failing to apply the paint correctly often causes problems such as lacquer orange peel. For instance, if you apply a thick layer of lacquer, the solvent in the paint may evaporate too quickly, causing the surface to dry before it has a chance to level out. This can result in a rough, uneven surface that resembles an orange peel.
- Use of defective painting tool.Another cause of lacquer orange peel is a problem with the spray gun. If the nozzle is clogged or damaged, the lacquer may not be applied evenly, leading to an uneven surface.
- Incorrect adjustment of application tool.Sometimes the tool may be okay but incorrectly set. For instance, the air pressure and fluid flow must be set correctly to ensure the paint is applied evenly.
- Very high or very low Humidity. Humidity can also be a factor. If the humidity is too high, the lacquer may take longer to dry, leading to orange peel. On the other hand, if the humidity is too low, the paint may dry too quickly, causing orange peel.
- Applying the lacquer on an unsanded surface. For best results, proper surface preparation is necessary. However, failure to sand the surface will result in an uneven finish.
- Excess lacquer per coat can result in an uneven orange peel effect. Applying excess or a thick coat of lacquer can result in orange peel.
- Large distance between the spray gun and the surface. When you hold the spray gun too far from the painting surface, the paint will not break into small particles but form an even chunky finish.
- High viscosity of the finish.A high-viscosity finish may be difficult to work with and may result in orange peel.
- Sanding the surfaces between coats before the initial coat dries. Sanding a surface when the paint coat is still soggy is not recommended since it can cause orange peel.
- Failure to consider the room temperature. The room temperature and the immediate environmental conditions are crucial considerations when choosing the right amount of hardener or solvent.
How to Fix Lacquer Orange Peel
If you’ve already applied lacquer and noticed that you have orange peel, don’t worry. You can fix it with some easy-to-follow steps. But, before you fix the problem, find out the exact cause of the problem. Mainly, if you have orange peel, it’s always due to the failure of the paint to be broken up into small particles. Importantly, since there are many reasons why the paint may result in an uneven chunky finish, it’s always important to find out why. Based on your findings, you can fix and prevent the problem from recurring when paint reapplying.
Now, the following are the steps to follow to fix lacquer orange peel:
1) Stop Painting Immediately
If you notice orange peel during painting, stop the painting exercise immediately. Before fixing the issue, wait for the orange peel to dry fully. Also, during this time, you can try to investigate the cause of the problem.
To correct the orange peel problem, you must sand to remove the existing paint and then reapply a new coat of paint. Notably, the level of sanding will depend on the severity of the orange peel. If the orange peel is minor, you can lightly sand the area. However, if the orange peel is major, you must sand the area to remove the existing paint and repaint it completely.
Therefore, after the orange peel has dried, sand the surface using sandpaper to achieve a smooth surface. Sanding will remove the orange peel and smooth out the surface.
3) Clean the Sanded Surface
After sanding, clean the surface thoroughly and dry it. Remove any sanding residue to prepare the surface for the next coat of lacquer.
4) Adjust the Spray Gun
Before fixing the orange peel problem, you may have thought the spray gun settings were the cause of the problem. Therefore, if you notice the problem was due to an incorrectly adjusted spray gun, then you must correct that. Adjust the air pressure and fluid flow to the recommended settings.
5) Test the Spray Gun
To avoid the orange peel problem from recurring, you have to avoid taking chances. You have to ensure the spray gun is working properly. You should test it on a different surface.
6) Add Thinner
If the spray gun is not the problem, you need to check the viscosity of the paint you are using. Usually, if you are holding the spray gun and spraying the painting from the recommended distance, then the thickness of the paint could be the problem. Therefore, dilute the paint using thinner and spray it again on a separate surface to test whether the problem is resolved.
7) Increase or Decrease the Humidity
If the humidity is too low, increase it to prevent orange peel. You can do this by using a humidifier. On the other hand, if the humidity is too high, decreasing it can help prevent orange peel. You can do this by increasing the air circulation in the room.
8) Apply a New Coat of Lacquer
Then, after you have ensured everything is perfectly fine, evenly apply a thin layer of new paint using a spray gun. Allow lacquer to dry completely between coats. Importantly, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times and the number of coats.
Preventing Lacquer Orange Peel
Lacquer orange peel is a common problem that can occur when applying lacquer. Preventing lacquer orange peel is much easier than fixing it. Notably, there are several steps you can take to prevent this issue from occurring. The following are some tips to help avoid orange peel.
- Apply the Lacquer in thin, even coats
One of the most critical steps to prevent lacquer orange peel is to apply the lacquer in thin, even coats. This will allow the thinner paint to evaporate evenly and the surface to level out. If you apply the lacquer in too thick coats, the solvent may evaporate too quickly, causing orange peel.
- Use a high-quality spray gun with a clean, properly functioning nozzle
The spray gun you use can impact the quality of your finish. For instance, a blocked nozzle can cause the lacquer to be applied unevenly, leading to orange peel. Therefore, it’s essential to use a high-quality spray gun with a properly functioning nozzle.
- Make sure the air pressure and fluid flow are set correctly
The air pressure and fluid flow are critical factors to consider in achieving a smooth finish. If the air pressure is too high or the fluid flow is too low, the lacquer may not be applied evenly, leading to orange peel. Therefore, you must check the manufacturer’s instructions for your spray gun to find the correct settings.
- Apply the lacquer in a low-humidity environment
Humidity can also affect the quality of your finish. If the humidity is too high, the lacquer may take longer to dry, leading to orange peel. If the humidity is too low, the paint may dry too quickly, causing orange peel. Therefore, try to apply the lacquer in an environment with favorable humidity to prevent orange peel issues.
- Allow the lacquer to dry completely between coats
Another essential step to prevent lacquer orange peel is to allow the lacquer to dry completely between coats. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times between coats.
- Lower the viscosity
Increase the percentage of thinner into the finish to lower the viscosity for easy and uniform application.
- Proper sanding
Sanding is crucial when painting to prevent common issues such as orange peel. Importantly, you should allow the initial coat of paint to dry before sanding it and applying a subsequent coat.
The Lacquer orange peel problem can be frustrating, but it is a common problem that you shouldn’t worry much about. It’s an issue that you can easily fix. All you need to do to fix the lacquer orange peel is to carefully sand the affected area and reapply the lacquer following the above. By following the above simple steps, you can fix the issue and achieve a smooth, flawless finish on your project. Importantly, you can also easily prevent lacquer orange peel issues by paying careful attention to detail throughout the application process.
Lastly, by following the tips in this article, you can prevent the orange peel from happening in the future. Therefore, you can effortlessly achieve a smooth, flawless finish on your next project.
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