Monday, 15 January 2018

Orange peel

Some say old dogs and new tricks are incompatible but this old dog is getting quite an education while painting my Kawasaki tank.

I can’t believe I’ve circled the sun this many times and never really did any serious painting of anything that wasn’t big and flat, i.e. a wall. But I have, and so this could charitably be considered my introduction to rattle can painting.

I did finally choose a colour I liked and laid down the first couple of coats. Of course a gloss paint immediately highlighted a few minor imperfections that needed to be fixed – back to sanding, filling, and repainting. That was disappointing but not unexpected. This is, after all, a learning experience. And I have lots of time before riding season is upon us again.

More concerning was the surface finish of the paint. It was nice and glossy, but not shiny as the surface consisted of many small undulations. Baffled as to the cause, I was halfway through the description to my body-shop friend when he said “Orange peel. You’ve got orange peel.” He was right, it does look a bit like this (but not orange).

orange peel

And so it was back to the books Google to find out what I was doing wrong, which, apparently, was nearly everything. (As I said, a learning experience.) The main factor seems to be temperature, which is a lot more critical than I realised. Likely my garage was too cool, the tank was too cold, and the paint wasn’t sufficiently warmed before spraying.

My garage is heated but I sure don’t keep it at 65-70 degrees, the minimum recommended painting temperatures. So I’ll have to crank up the thermostat for a couple of days to get everything nice and toasty warm (after sending a blank check to my propane supplier) and try again. After first sanding it all back down to a nice smooth finish.


  1. Still no hint on the color...

  2. I learned the term long ago from hubby while looking at used cars to see if they'd been repainted.

    And I agree with Richard........still no hints on color.......


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