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White Spots in Clear Coat

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:02 am
I am getting white spots or "fleck" marks in my clearcoat. They are not sanding out and you cannot feel them. Does anyone know what is causing this? Details and photos below.

For the record, I am not the one painting the car. The painter is excellent and I have used him for years without any issues. He says he has never seen this problem. My car is solid black and he painted a different solid black car and a dark aqua metallic car yesterday after he had problems with my job. No white spots on those jobs. On those jobs he is spraying a Valspar paint system, low VOC California compliant.

The paint I have supplied is Spies-Hecker Permacron base, 8180 clear, and Permasolid 3315 HS medium hardener and 3054 medium reducer. The materials are not old and their containers were not left open. This stuff is not the low VOC.

I brought him the paint and all related clear, reducer and catalyst. The clear is reduced slightly per the tech sheet at 10% or less. My painter said the white spots did not show in the clear on the first or second coats but on the third they started showing themselves. After sitting overnight, more appeared. He flashed 15 minutes between coats.

I'm still learning, but it kind of looks like the solids in the clear may not be breaking up. Also, there are a few fish eyes maybe 6 or 8 but not many for such a large car, 64 Lincoln Continental. All suggestions are appreciated. Pics below. Pic # 1 is the top of the fender and pic # 2 is the trunk lid, however, there are spots on the sides as well.
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Lincoln Spots in Clear 2.jpg
Lincoln Spots in Clear 1.jpg



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:30 am
15 min? seems kinda fast for clear. looks like solvent pop to me. plus it's already contaminated if you have fish eyes in it. Also, why is that second pic looks as if it was sanded with 80 grit??
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:48 am
Solvent pop will cause the fish eyes AND the white flecks?



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:56 am
fish eyes are from contaminents like silicone based chemicals floating in the air. solvent pop is not allowing the solvents to properly evaporate between coats. and if time is not given. and i don't think 15 min is good enough imo, then no matter what, they will find there way out, and thats how you get the bubbles and white spots in the clear. From what i see there. that has to be smoothed all out and if your don't burn through to the paint, then reclear, or if you burn through, gotta base it again, and clear it again.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:55 am
OK thanks for the feedback. I have more questions.

Even though I have used this painter for years, I have to consider the possibility that he did not study the tech sheet or read it wrong. He sprayed Dupont for years and now sprays solvent based Valspar. You know, CA "friendly" stuff.

After reading the tech sheet myself, this clear, Spies 8180 HS which I assume means high solids, should not be reduced. Their other clear Spies VHS clear is reduced 10%. Could reducing clear that should not be be reduced cause the solvent pop or white flecks? Sounds like it would.

I hear everyone loud and clear about a 15 minute flash being too fast, however, the tech sheet reads:

"1 medium coat followed by 1 full coat without intermediate flash-off." Then it goes on and says, " 2 coats with approx. 5 to 10 minutes intermediate flash-off."

Can someone explain what this means, i.e. intermediate flash-off?

He put on three coats, maybe 4. If the clear is not flashing off, could this be too much clear and causing the white flecks or solvent pop, or both?

I understand about fish eyes, silicone and contamination. Will this also cause white flecks?

The strange thing is he painted vehicles just before mine and just after without any white flecks or fish eyes so I am not too sure about the contamination. Can solvent pop look like fish eyes?

Thanks again for all the great advice!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:43 am
Reducing the HS clear by 10% would not cause the problems you are seeing.
Flash times are based upon temperature and in my thinking the tech sheets are offering the minimum amount of flash time at a specified temp (usually 70 degrees). Activators and reducers are also temperature sensitive thus you have slow for higher temperatures, medium, and fast for colder temperatures.
The white specks are from solvent being "trapped" below the surface because the solvent did not have sufficient time (flash time) to get out. When sanding you break open these hardened bubbles and they fill with white dust from the sanded clear thus showing up as white spots.
Basically your painter needed to let the clear flash longer.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:42 am
how come you supplied the materials? save money?, if i was to go to a bodyshop over here
i highly doubt they would agree to me supplying the materials for this exact reason.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:26 am
Cheaper I wish. The Spies-Hecker costs about 1k more in materials than the Valspar. I am just surprised that these problems surfaced. Everyone can make mistakes though no matter how much experience they have. He's painted cars for 30 years, 15 years his own shop and 15 years prior at a new car dealership. He's spraying some test panels tomorrow to see if the problems reoccur. Thanks for all the help.

BTW, if the clear was old could this also cause the white flecks?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:18 pm
Could be prep work if it's fisheyes. Tech sheet calls for 2 coats and he dumped 4.....could have pop and eyes. Be sure he repeats on one test panel and follows directions on the other......

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:09 pm
solvent pop comes from the last coat skimming over, basically the last coat dried quicker than the first two. so when the first two began to dry the 3rd was already done, so the solvents force their way out, and leave what you see. tiny little holes. i personally never wait longer than 10 mins. in a booth between coats. 15 is too long for me, so i doubt that the flash time was the problem.
1st coat is a tact coat, old school thing, when you do this, you spray it almost dry, this will help the next coat stick better, and lessen the chances of runs. that's why there isn't no flash between the first and second coat.
as for the fisheyes, anything could of caused it, so i wouldn't rack my brain over it, since he didn't have a problem with anything before and after, i doubt you'll find the cause. and no fisheyes don't cause solvent pop. the clear being old could also be a problem too. your guy been doing this a long time, i wouldn't worry too much. i will say that you'll most likey will have to reapint.
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