rustyvw Dork
6/20/22 9:21 p.m.

I decided to try to paint the Sonett this past weekend. I have spent the past couple weeks sanding and getting ready for paint.  With a cheap Harbor Freight gun, a used compressor, and a kit from I figured it was time.  The primer was mixed per instructions, and laid down really nice and smooth. 

When it was time for color, I got heavy orange peel.  I tried every adjustment I could, and it wouldn't smooth out.  I hoped it would smooth out, but that didn't happen.  I think the paint was just too thick, even though I mixed it per instructions.  I did a test afterwards, and with more reducer it sprayed much better. 

Now I'm starting to sand it down so I can lay a couple more coats of color.  It seems to be smoothing out well with 400 grit, hopefully the next time will go better.

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
6/20/22 9:32 p.m.

Good to hear you can fix it.  

My daughter mentioned at our local car show tonight there was a car once purposely painted orange with a ton of orange peel to look like an orange.   It stood out in her mind.   

MyMiatas New Reader
6/20/22 9:32 p.m.

What type/brand paint did you use?              There are several reasons for the orange peel on the paint surface but I would need to know the paint used.

JThw8 UltimaDork
6/20/22 9:46 p.m.

Saw your post on FB about it, based on your location and the weather we had on the east coast over the weekend it may have just been the heat playing against you.

Even with slow reducer once the heat gets too much you start shooting chunks.  Ask TB Cahill.  He left a car with me to paint once and we had a heat wave.  It was his "city beater" so he said go ahead anyway but it looked like it was shot with bedliner because it was just too hot and things were curing right out of the gun.

Thinning it with extra reducer helps, painting early morning or late evening when its cooler is definitely worthwhile.

I've done a lot of backyard sprays and ambient temp and humidity are always the two factors which can really screw with you.

Overall it looks good though, give it an extra coat or 2 so you have some build to work with and then do a good color sand on it.  Its tedious work but worth it :)

jgrewe HalfDork
6/20/22 10:24 p.m.

Sand until you don't see any dots from the low spots.  If you break through you might want to hit the spot with sealer. You can use epoxy primer as sealer by reducing between 10-50%.

It looks like the paint didn't have enough time to lay down before the reducer left the game. I usually spray  with reducer that is one step slower than what the temp calls for. I'd rather shave a run off the bottom of a door than have to sand the whole car for orange peal.

TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
6/20/22 10:56 p.m.

I would sand that down with 320 until it is flat, no low spot dots, then go over it with some 400.   There are so many things that can go wrong when painting.  Try making a small batch of paint and do a test panel, do a little practice and adjust until the test panel is good.   So many things can be adjusted, air pressure, temp, reducer.   It is a great skill to have for doing home projects.

    I think if you sand it down and try again, it will be awsome.

Agent98 Reader
6/22/22 10:04 p.m.

Hey you got paint on the car! In the old days they painted cars with brushes then hand rubbed with pumice on a rag, eventually they had a smoothfinish. I agree knock down the peel with 320, then 400 then 600. Wet sanding with a little dish detergent in the water is best for this...then get out your harbor freight polisher...This is how the roller paint guys start out

(already looks pretty good from a distance...)




6/22/22 10:10 p.m.

When it comes to sanding, the mantra is "Coarse makes flat, fine makes shine" 

400 is too fine to get rid of the lumps.  300 or 280 even will make for a flat surface then shine with 400.

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