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19 comments on Ask-A-Pro: Orange Peel Part One of Two – What is it and why is it a problem?

  1. Fabian says:

    Thanks for the write up Marc. I know a lot of owners on AcuraZine have been wondering why their brand new Acura TSX has such a crummy paint job for a $30K+ car. So how is Ford able to minimize thier stone chip problem when Acura can’t even do that? Is it that Ford just adds another layer of paint?

    • Marc Harris says:

      Glad you enjoyed the article and I hope we included enough information to give a good understanding. I totally understand what you mean about some luxury car owners not being completely happy with their paint that’s less than two years old. Chipping is something that has gone on for years and will continue to happen. Many times with having a faster or more fun to drive car, people drive much more “spirited” and they also pay much closer attention to their pride and joy than they have to vehicles in the past. If you think the Acura owners aren’t happy about chips, go talk to the Caramo owners from Camaro5.
      You say Ford seems to be minimizing chips – but are they really? I’ll be waiting to see what the new “5.0” Mustang owners have to say within the next year of how their paint is holding up to chips: especially if any use lowering springs or new coilovers. Ride height, paint color, the vehicle’s design, where you live, and how you drive all affect chips: but it’s much easier to point the blame elsewhere. If anything, I’d say if there truly is a chipping problem; it’s because of adhesion issues with water-based base-coats. When base coats were still solvent based, the primer surfacer, base-coat, and clear-coat were all solvent based which means they all bond extremely well to each other. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that clear-coating over the new water based paint isn’t allowing for the same level of adhesion. Without insiders at places like DuPont or PPG chiming in to shed a little light (which they’ll never do as it may cause warranty issues to the manufacturers using their paint systems), we’ll likely never know.
      Maybe I need to do an article addressing chipping problems on newer factory paint jobs…. 😉

  2. Garrett says:

    I am looking forward to this article. Especially since it seems it was done on a Buick GN which I am getting ready to detail soon, so any information on improving the single stage black on these bad boys would be awesome.

    • Marc Harris says:

      Thanks for taking a look! The pictures are in fact from a Buick Grand National, but most of the paint was not the original single stage black. At some point this car was repainted, and while there wasn’t a lot of dust marks or fish eyes, there was a horrible amount of orange peel. Grand Nationals have infamously bad paint, and it is rare to find one with original paint that isn’t plagued with “crow’s feet” which can only be solved through a respray. Also be careful as I haven’t found one yet that doesn’t have very thin factory paint. The roof on this car was the original paint, and was only corrected to around 70% because of the large amount of defects and the extreme thin layer of paint that was still there. In that case; a huge difference is made by removing the oxidized chalky paint to leave glossy paint behind that could be protected by sealant/wax.
      Thanks again for taking a look and stay tuned for the follow up article 🙂

  3. Mo says:

    Where is part 2?!?!

  4. Mike says:

    I am with you Mo, I can’t wait for Part 2!

  5. Perry says:

    Oh man Mr. Harris, you have me excited for this write up. My car is a ’96 volvo and yeah it’s not as good looking as a BMW or a MB but to my eyes it’s beautiful so I’ve spent close to $200 on this site to get equipment to make it look beautiful. The only thing that’s missing is to get rid of the orange peel and if you can show me how to do that…. well…. me love you long time. :):):)

  6. Fabian says:

    So how much longer for part two? It’s already been two weeks since you posted part one. I just hope it’s worth the wait and lives up to the hype.

  7. Fabian says:

    I’ve seen on other sites that they’ve wet sanded the paint then went over with wool pads and then they detail the car as if it a were normal scratch/swirl mark correction job.

    • Marc Harris says:

      That is exactly how it works. Some things I’ll be covering is the importance of doing it right and the dangers you can get into if done wrong… along with a step-by-step process as an example of how it can be done of course.

  8. Marc Harris says:

    Sorry for the delay guys! First off – I’ve been busy trying to make some nice automobiles beautiful again, and I’m sure you can understand that.
    Next off, Part Two is coming along. Just as with proper detailing, I’m working to a standard – not to time. The goal is never to rush articles out so they lack in-depth information. Taking on the Orange Peel topic is something I feel is important, and is important to do right. Right now I’m shooting for the few few days of September as I’ll be in California for an old Army buddy’s wedding (it’s been planned since ’07 when we were in Afghanistan).

    Thank you for the continued support and in the mean time, enjoy some of the current and coming great articles from the DI Ask-A-Pro blog members!

  9. Garrett says:

    Thanks for the tips on the GN, it is still the original paint but it only has about 23,000 miles on it. Either way:

    Number Two!!!

  10. Fabian says:

    Any updates for the second part???

  11. Allen says:

    I enjoy these Ask-A-Pro articles that are longer and have pictures.

  12. Mike Gideon says:

    Can’t wait for part two.

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