What Causes Orange Peel? And How To Fix or Prevent Orange Peel Paint

So What Causes Orange Peel ?

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Hopefully you’ve already watched the video above. If not, I’ll try my best to quote it below…

There are 3 main reasons or a combination of the three that will give you orange peel effect in your fresh paint job or, you may already have it on your stock car paint job.

1. Your Ambient Temperature. 

Which means the temperature in the room that your spraying your project in …also the temp of your panel.

2. Your Spray Gun Settings / Spraying PSI 

When painting, you must have the proper gun settings, gun flow and spraying psi set. Hint… Wide open fluid flow, wide open and back 1/4 turn fan width and when spraying base coat clear coat paints or enamel you want to spray between 26psi – 30psi.

3. Your Paint, Material Mixture

Which includes your reducer temp, your clear coat activator/hardener temp. When spraying single stage enamels the same apply with reducer and activators. You need to make sure that you are using the correct additives when painting in certain temperatures.

Fast temp for spot panel repairs and touch ups, Slow for painting on 75-90 degrease days etc…  

That is really the gist of it.

You can always repair and smoothen out orange peel by color sanding and buffing your panels out. Orange peel comes with the territory. That’s why almost ALL custom paint jobs are color sanded and buffed to a high gloss.


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18 thoughts on “What Causes Orange Peel? And How To Fix or Prevent Orange Peel Paint”

  1. Your explaination about what causes orange peel was greate. I recently had my car painted at a local shop here in Las Vegas NV and when i first seen it i was disapointed with it because of the orange peel and i told the owner of the shop that i wasnt happy with it at all and he said he would take care of it but to give it some time then bring it back to his shop and i did then when i went back to get the car it was like night and day it realy looked good or i should say 90% of it did there was orange peel still there on the lower quarter panels but i didnt say anything i figured i would take care of it myself and i did ive been around cars long enough to have a little no how and i have a polisher its a rotory with varible speed and i have both foam and wool pads that i have bought but im not sure which one im supposed to use and what polish i should use i took it down with 2000 grit and then polished mostly by hand because im still trying to learn about everything. I would join your program but i cant afford it so im learning the only way i can and thanks to you ive made alot of progress so thank you and im looking forward to your next class. Don

    • Awesome Don! ahh… you would love the VIP auto body and paint course. You can’t polish this by hand you need the high speed from the buffer. You start with the wool pad with compound, then the foam pad with the glaze.

      Did you get the free e-read? Get on our newsletter, sometimes we do special offers, give aways and more. 🙂 be cool Don.

  2. hi tony

    this is a first for me im going to be painting urathane and im not really sure about it. i bought it from summit racing and it only came with activator no reducer and no info on how to lay it down. do you know about this paint and how to spray it so i dont get peel or any other thing?

    thanks tony and hope to hear from you

    • They mix at a 4:1 ratio, so when a gallon of paint is mixed with activator (sold separately), you get a full 5 quarts of usable paint. You can add any kind of urethane reducer if you think the paint is too thick. I wouldn’t add more than 10% reducer.

      Barry have you checked out our LABAP VIP Course? I think it could be of great benefit and value to you…

      All the best!

  3. hi tony,just to praise you that you are doing well. it reare you see person like you giving what you have out without requesting for anything.its a nice one keep it up may God strenghten your effort. i yusuf really enjoyed your NOTEs on causes of ORANGE PEEL and remedy its added to my knowledge thanks expecting more from you.

  4. hey , i think i have learn a vast amount of stuff from this vedio. i just want to say thanks alot for shearing it with me

  5. ive been a fabricator/ painter for 15 years building a wide variety of things and had some challenging paint jobs to lay down. mostly not automotive quality but with sometimes up to 15 mills of epoxy on jobs that are “orange peel rejected’ . Just reading your post here is very helpful . sometimes the specs on air settings can be a struggle when I am painting a cheap and allready thin enamel with a 1.7 tip and trying to go fast. Now getting ready to paint a 94 tracker and I have to slow down and forget a lot of my bad habbits ..Thanks Tony !

  6. Stop sanding at 2000 on colour sand? Isnt this more than a little lazy, I sand to 3000 before even thinking about touching the car with a DA. I never use a rotary or wool and always use a 3 stage finish process. The car looks better and actually has a reflective shine prior to any finishing with the DA.

    • Jack, I wouldn’t be advising hundreds of thousands of people if my methods were not going to give you or other users bad results. I am bodyshop raised and trained. Been in the business for 17 years I can confidently say that buffing over 2000 grit will give you SHOW STOPPING gloss and results. 3000 is overkill and I personally have not seen or heard anybody using a 3000 before buffing in my circle of bodyshops (Some who only do insurance jobs for Mercedes and Bently). Jack, if you want to use 3000, nobody is stopping you. Just saying I think it’s a waste of time. Good luck in all you do 🙂


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