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FROM THE December 2008 ISSUE

Cloudy paint

RELATED TOPICS: PAINT
Q: I just sprayed painted a car body with enamel (spray can; color coat), and a big part of it is cloudy now that it's dry. Will I have to strip it, or is there a quick fix to this problem?

- Art Petrosh
via E-mail


Ken: It sounds like humidity is the culprit, Art.

When you spray a model, the paint atomizes as it leaves the nozzle, and the mist of paint picks up moisture particles as it travels through the air toward your intended target - in this case, your meticulously prepared car body. The clouds appear as the moisture-laden paint dries.

There are several ways to fix this.

Don't touch or try to spray over it right away. Let the body dry, and wait a few days until the humidity goes down. If the cloudy finish hasn't corrected itself by then - which it probably won't - you can either wet-sand the color coat and spray it again (if it's an opaque color) or you can just spray on a coat of clear, which usually causes the clouds to simply disappear.

I've heard that Krylon Crystal Clear is a great paint for this, but do a test-shot first on another body (painted with the same can of color that clouded up) to make sure it's compatible with that particular brand of paint.
Of course, all situations are different, but unless there's a real problem, this should do the trick.

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