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Troubleshooting Guide


Solutions to Common Finishing Problems

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A-B


Adhesion – Intercoat

Adhesion – Intercoat


Problem

    Delamination between coats
    Whitening of film between coats

Solution
    Ensure correct sanding between coats
    Topcoat within recommended time limit after sanding
    Allow correct dry time of sealer coats
    Use correct finishing system
    Ensure no contamination on previous coat
    Apply a wet coat material
    Do not fog or mist coating to apply thinner film builds

Adhesion – Stain

Adhesion – Stain


Problem
    Delamination to stain
    Whitening of film between coats

Solution
    Reduce application of stain
    Ensure sufficient wiping of stain
    Allow correct dry time of stain
    Dark stains should be obtained by using toners before stain application
    Avoid heavy shading
    Make sure to use the correct finishing system (sealer/topcoat) to match stain
    Apply wet coat of sealer or topcoat
    Do not fog or mist coating to apply thinner film builds

Adhesion - Substrate

Adhesion - Substrate


Problem
    Removal of film to substrate
    Delamination to substrate when impacted

Solution
    Ensure correct sanding of substrate
    Use correct finishing system to match topcoat with primer used
    Ensure no contamination on substrate
    Apply wet coat of material
    Do not fog or mist coating to apply thinner film builds
    Closed grain hardwoods should be well sanded before use
    Higher solids finishes need a better wood profile to anchor to than low solids
    Ensure sand paper is not worn

Air Entrapment

Air Entrapment


Problem
    Bubbles from pores in the wood
    Air entrapment from preparation of paint
    Air entrapment from application
    Blistering from drying techniques
    Topcoat attacking previous coat

Solution
    Use defoamer
    Use slower solvent balance
    Change airflow during drying, check for drafts
    Reduce air pressure during application
    Spray thin wash coat as first coat
    Ensure adequate flash off before oven
    Reduce viscosity
    Bring lacquer to room temperature
    Use correct thinner
    Use weakest solvent for previous coat to avoid blistering
    Reduce recirculation speed
    Reduce film thickness

Bénard Cells

Bénard Cells


Problem
    Cell pattern in finish
    Color and surface irregularities

Solution
    Add dispersant
    Add silicone additive to reduce surface tension
    Increase application viscosity
    Lower application thickness
    Add thixotrope or thickener

Bleeding

Bleeding


Problem
    Color migration from coated substrate
    Color in sanding dust
    Colored film on surface

Solution
    Avoid bleeding dyes and pigments
    Use vinyl sealer to seal color
    Change from acid catalyzed material

Blocking

Blocking


Problem
    Sticking together of panels when dry

Solution
    Reduce film build applied
    Increase or ensure recommended dry times are followed
    Ensure ovens are at the correct temperature
    Increase or ensure correct airflow during dry
    Ensure correct temperature of substrate
    Decrease or ensure correct temperatures at stacking

Blooming

Blooming


Problem
    Hazy deposit on film
    Oily or wax-like substance on surface
    Reduced gloss
    Mottled or non-uniform surface

Solution
    Adjust catalyst level – over–catalyzation
    Do not use stearated materials such as lacquers and certain polyesters under acid
           catalyzed coatings
           Check formula for incompatibility
    Check substrate for contamination

Blushing

Blushing


Problem
    Whitening of surface
    Lowering of gloss

Solution
    Reduce humidity
    Use richer thinner
    Check water level in equipment
    Warm lacquer to room temperature
    Increase temperature of application area
    Slow dry time
    Dry waterborne stains or sealers

Brittleness

Brittleness


Problem
    Poor coin scratch
    Delamination of film when impacted

Solution
    Ensure that brittleness is not lack of adhesion
    Check with representative
    If a catalyzed system, check ratio

Brown Spots

Brown Spots


Problem
    Brown spots in film

Solution
    Clean air lines of oil contamination
    Drain or repair oil separator

Bumps and Sinks

Bumps and Sinks


Problem
    Uneven surface appearance
    LOW Depth of Image (D.O.I.)

Solution
    Add silicone flow additive
    Add thixotrope


C-G


Cold Check

Cold Check


Problem
    Cracks in finish

Solution   
    Decrease dry film build
    Ensure minimum room temperature during cure
    Use only freshly catalyzed material
    Ensure correct catalyzation
    Ensure profiles are sanded to reduce sharp angles

Cratering

Cratering


Problem
    Depressions in finish with raised edges and material at center

Solution
    Remove source of contamination
    Clean substrate before application
    Clean equipment before application
    Filter material
    Clean air system and ventilation control
    Addition of silicone flow agent

Crawling

Crawling


Problem
    Formation of beads, islands, craters or pinholes
    Poor wetting of substrate

Solution
    Clean substrate before application
    Ensure sanding before application
    Addition of silicone flow agent

Discoloration

Discoloration


Problem
    Change in color of finished parts
    Yellowing of film

Solution
    Check age of coating
    Check contamination from drum liner
    Check iron or aluminum contamination from application equipment
    Check for presence of foreign vapors or fumes
    Check to ensure presence of UVA, if required
    Check to ensure material not stored at excessive heat
    Check for tannin bleed

Dry

Dry


Problem
    Wet film
    Soft film

Solution
    Decrease humidity during application
    Increase temperature in drying and curing area
    Clean wax or oil contamination from substrate
    Mix catalyst and thinner well into material
    Ensure correct ratio of catalyst
    Reduce / ensure correct addition of retarder solvent

Fat Edges and Picture Framing

Fat Edges and Picture Framing


Problem
    Paint build-up on edges
    Poor edge coverage

Solution
    Addition of thixotrope
    Addition of silicone flow agent
    Faster solvent balance
    Lower viscosity   
    Ensure profiles are sanded to remove sharp edges

Fish Eyes

Fish Eyes


Problem
    Depressions in finish with raised edges and uniform material at center
    Undispersed droplets in paint
   
Solution
    Remove source of contamination
    Remove source of incompatibility
    Clean substrate before application
    Clean equipment before application
    Clean air system and ventilation control
    Addition of silicone flow agent

Floating

Floating


Problem
    Mottled, blotchy or streaked appearance
    Separation and uneven distribution of pigment
    Result of Bénard cell formation

Solution
    Increase application viscosity
    Lower application thickness
    Add thixotrope or thickener
    Add dispersant
    Add silicone additive to reduce surface tension

Flooding

Flooding


Problem
    Uniform color change
    Surface enrichment of one or more pigments
    Different color on disturbed surface/ Rub-up
   
Solution
    Reduce film thickness
    Raise viscosity of coating
    Speed drying

Gloss Variation

Gloss Variation


Problem
    Uneven gloss areas
    Incorrect / unexpected gloss
    Flat or glossy spots

Solution
    Ensure correct drying or oven temperatures
    Ensure correct film build
    Apply seal coat to eliminate absorbent areas on substrate
    Reduce solvent strength to reduce exudation of resins from wood
    Ensure clean substrate
    Addition of silicone flow agent

Grey Pores

Grey Pores


Problem
    Grey areas in deep pores
    Poor cleaning of sanding dust from pores
    Poor wetting of pores

Solution
    Blow out sanding dust from pores on sanded panels
    Reduce viscosity of sealer
    Add non-contaminating silicone to improve wetting of sealer
    Change sealer to improve wetting and shrink-back
    Change to urethane sealer


H-R


Haze

Haze


Problem
    Dulling of finished surface
    Exudation to surface
    Fine solvent pops
    Microvoids
    Fine Bénard cells

Solution
    Use correct thinner
    Check current catalyzation
    Check the dry of previous coat
    Stir material to ensure uniform product
    Use retarder solvent

Hiding

Hiding


Problem
    Poor coverage
    Show-through of dark lines at edges of profiles
   
Solution
    Reduce amount of thinner in material
    Mix material thoroughly before use
    Increase / ensure correct film build
    Sand sharp corners of profiles
    Increase speed of solvent balance

Lifting

Lifting


Problem
    Wrinkling of the finish
    Unevenness of the ripple effect on surface

Solution
    Ensure correct system
    Do not use weaker films under stronger
    Apply thinner coat of topcoat
    Apply heavier coat of sealer
    Use weaker reducer
    Ensure correct air movement and dry
    Allow longer dry on previous coat
    Ensure correct catalyzation
    Use freshly catalyzed materials

Marring

Marring


Problem
    Surface damage when scratched

Solution
    Use freshly catalyzed material
    Increase dry and cure of finish
    Increase cure area to room temperature
    Allow 14 days to obtain full cure with acid cure materials
    Add silicone anti-mar additive
    Follow manufacturers recommended shelf life
    Add coalescing solvent to waterborne material to ensure good film formation

Mud Cracking

Mud Cracking


Problem
    Fine cracks in surface of waterborne finish
   
Solution
    Increase temperature of application area
    Increase drying temperature
    Add coalescing solvent under agitation
    Increase substrate temperature

Orange Peel

Orange Peel


Problem
    Surface bumpiness or waviness
    Orange peel effect
    Poor leveling   

Solution
    Check and / or lower viscosity
    Apply correct or thicker film build
    Reduce dry spray or overspray
    Increase atomizing air
    Reduce fluid pressure
    Check correct air cap
    Use retarder solvent or rich thinner
    Eliminate excessive air movement
    Add silicone flow agent
    Apply even stroke with spray gun at the correct distance from the substrate

Printing

Printing


Problem
    Marks in finish after stacking

Solution
    Increase dry time
    Use freshly catalyzed materials
    Do not dry or cure in cool area
    Ensure correct catalyzation

Rub Up

Rub Up


Problem
    Color change on disturbed area of finish
    Flocculation of pigments

Solution
    Reduce film thickness
    Raise viscosity
    Add thixotrope or thickener
    Speed drying
    Add dispersant
    Add silicone additive to reduce surface tension


S-W


Sagging

Sagging


Problem
    Gravity driven flow on vertical surfaces

Solution
    Speed up solvent balance
    Control or reduce application of material
    Increase application viscosity
    Correct spray application, avoid overlap, use correct gun angle, speed gun movement
    Apply several thinner coats
    Reduce drafts and application in direct sunlight
    Increase temperature of application area
    Reduce application nozzle size
    Reduce fluid pressure

Seeds

Seeds


Problem
    Small granules in finish
    Undispersed or flocculated pigments
    Dirt
    Resin gel particles
   
Solution
    Check to confirm dirt and not small air bubbles
    Clean environment
    Clean application equipment
    Filter material
    Use correct thinner
    Store and apply material at room temperature

Separation

Separation


Problem
    Partial precipitation from solution
    Syneresis or phasing of material
    Pigment settling
   
Solution
    Change solvent for reduction
    Store at room temperature
    Ensure good adhesion
    Lower amount of reduction
    Slower addition of reducer
    Keep container sealed to reduce oxidation

Silking

Silking


Problem
    Parallel lines of irregularities in finish
    Floating problem
    Phase separation
    Specialized Bénard cells
    Incompatibility

Solution
    Add dispersant
    Use silicone additive
    Increase application viscosity
    Add thixotrope or thickener

Skinning

Skinning


Problem
    Skin on surface of paint
    Gummy material in bottom of paint
   
Solution
    Keep containers closed
    Check pot-life
    Add water / solvent coverage to material

Solvent Trap

Solvent Trap


Problem
    Cracking / crazing of finish after unpacking
    Glossy or flat spot after stacking
   
Solution
    Decrease or ensure correct film application
    Ensure correct air movement and dry times
    Do not store in cold environment before complete cure
    Increase cure before stacking or packing
    Ensure correct catalyzation

Tearing

Tearing


Problem
    Large cracks in waterborne finish
    Uneven drying of the surface before the body of the paint film
    Poor through cure in waterborne materials

Solution
    Decrease surface heat to finish
    Increase substrate temperature

Telegraphing

Telegraphing


Problem
    Structural or surface features revealed in finish
    Show-through of fingerprints, water spots or sanding marks
   
Solution
    Addition of silicone flow agent
    Increase viscosity of coating
    Addition of thixotrope
    Faster solvent balance

White Spots

White Spots


Problem
    White spots or contamination in film

Solution
    Ensure flatting agent is completely mixed before application
    Filter material before use
    Check water separator




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