Tips on shooting clear???

Joe Palmer

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First time painter here. I wanted to practice before I paint the Road Runners engine bay, so I painted my sons hood. Prep, primer, and base were perfect. When it came to the clear it didnt want to lay out smooth. We had to knock it down with 1500 and buff it out. Not a big deal, but I would like to have it smoother out of the gun. Internet search showed hundreds of tips. Any old school painters with real tricks?

IMG_6144.JPG IMG_E0034.JPG
 

QOTHL

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Look up videos on Paint Society on YouTube. Best info I've ever had and it worked great. The senior painter I was working with had a 50/50 chance of getting runs because he is an IMPATIENT POS.
The key advice they give is: Slow is fast. Take the time to let the first coat tack up and the odds of getting runs are very low. Don't use the fast reducer.
 

turbine68rt

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When you say it didn't lay out smooth, can you describe the results? Debris? Orange peel? Fisheye?
 

BrianS

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I am by no means an expert but I have painted my fair share of cars and have a restoration shop owner who I have known for years who doesn't mind sharing. I also used to have a neighbor who owned a collision repair shop and he would stop in my garage and give me tips-he also told me it was impossible to eliminate orange peel. Personally I have no use for the internet "experts", anyone can be an expert on the internet and you really don't know their skills. HOWEVER there are some pretty sharp guys on here who will chime in with great advice. The SPI forums are also pretty reliable.

IMHO
1. Cutting and buffing are part of the process, I start at 1500 and go up to 6000-8000 before buffing.
2. The "new" clears will never allow you to get away from urethane wave. I like to apply 2-3 coats block it down and apply 2 more coats and then cut and buff.
3. Stay away from cheap guns, I use a Devilbiss for base and a Sata for clear. Totally different gun for primers and sealers.
4. Adequate air supply is crucial along with proper pressure. I prefer high flow fittings keeps the supply more consistent.
That is the short answer now I will sit back and see the experts chime in :popcorn2:
 

1967coronet

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Not sure if you were dry or orange peeled ?
Myself I like a 1.4 tip.
Got to keep the gun / pattern straight and level, not tipped. 40 to 50% over lap.
Orange peel is most times to much fluid and not enough air.
Dry is to much air .
A ton of things can change all that.
Arm speed , distance from the panel , pattern you have set the gun to,
Then the air supply , and regulator settings.
Not to mention the clear its self and activator speed used.
Flow out is a big factor.
Just have to practice and change up some things then see the results 1st hand.
If your not getting a sag or 2 now and then your to dry.:D
 

Nate S

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There are numerous clears. Some aimed at full cars “glamour clears” and some aimed at touch up jobs and all steps in between. The glamour will have less orange peel than the touch up.

Another factor is the gun. An HVLP will make more orange peel than an “RP” or compliant gun. Often it’s the same gun with just a different air cap.

All other stuff mentioned previously too.
 

QOTHL

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impossible to eliminate orange peel.

Not true, when I followed the Paint Society advice I had NO orange peel. People who have a lot of experience and have done things a certain way for a long time don't like to change.

The above mentioned on clear is also correct - good clear makes a difference. We used a German clear, kinda expensive.
 

Joe Palmer

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How hot was it? If you're painting in direct sun/heat, that's going to happen.
AHHHHHH Rookie mistake, LOL it was in the shade up until clear. I will be painting everything else in the shop....
 

Crowbar

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Most of clears today are for OEM cars which have an abundance of orange peel so they will match the look I’ve talked to PPG and that’s what they said I’ve put a little more reducer in the mix and this helps with allowing it to flow out more In the old days you could lay down a tack coat then come back heavier Today’s clear they say put it on the way you want it to look RC
 

towtruckAl

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at the trade school up here when i took the b-c paint courses they really emphsized the need for an orange peel effect on the colour coat to give the clear something to anchor on to and it didnt matter who the manufacture was , I painted with all the previous paints out there , took a lot of brain re training for me , some of you will remember the early factory clears coming off , .painters at factory were still spraying colour like enamel , and the right reducer for air temp and humidity is very important for any paint .
 

Nate S

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at the trade school up here when i took the b-c paint courses they really emphsized the need for an orange peel effect on the colour coat to give the clear something to anchor on to and it didnt matter who the manufacture was , I painted with all the previous paints out there , took a lot of brain re training for me , some of you will remember the early factory clears coming off , .painters at factory were still spraying colour like enamel , and the right reducer for air temp and humidity is very important for any paint .
Sorry, but as an engineer, I know the knowledge transfer to trade schools can be pretty poor. The bonding from color to clear has far more to do with chemistry than any mechanical effect, at least on the scale of orange peel.
 

zyzzyx

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If you do any painting outside, be prepared for a Sabre-Toothed Moth to land in your work!
 

QOTHL

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I know the knowledge transfer to trade schools can be pretty poor.

I agree in some cases. I was lucky and had an excellent automotive instructor and the diesel instructor was an old school Mopar racer when he was younger.
 

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