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Thread: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    After spending 3 years building,with many body mods and endless tweaking of panel gaps. I decided not to paint it myself but take it to be done professionally.

    Original estimate was for about 3-4 weeks and price was about middle of the range.

    It turned out to be 12 weeks, and obviously was keen to see the finished car.

    Upon 1st glance it looked good, a nice glossy finish: ( was base coat and clear )

    In fact from a distance it looked a great job.

    However getting closer to the car revealed all was not so good.

    All round the car there were many fish eyes.


    Take the bonnet:

    while you cant see on the picture, there are many fish eyes all over the bonnet. However the worst area is the
    leading edge as can be see:

    The same problem manifests itself on the door edges and the bootlid:

    The car is the GTS version with the removeable roof panel, and rather than removing the rubber trim the guy has masked the rubber trim and painted to this edge. This is frankly crazy when it takes minutes to remove the rubber trim. This gives a real messy edge:

    There were a few area's where buffing had burnt through:

    There were other problems such as the condition of the interior with dust and overspray, however i have managed to clean up most of this so not worth dwelling on at this point.

    So i have a number of questions that i would appreciate your opinions on :

    1. Fish eyes - what sort of number of these would you expect for a mid-range paint job ? eg: a couple per panel ?

    2. Fish eye cause - i presume this is due to contamination on the panel or within the paint ?

    3. touching up fish - eyes, i have been told that its possible to fill in fish eyes with a toothpick like you do with stonechip repair. The guy had already waxed the paint, so how would you effectivly clean the fish eye since it will have wax in now ?

    4. The roof panel edge ........... I was thinking of 1500-2000 wetndry the messy edge, just to clean up the edge and debris. However i'm not sure as a home repair that i could apply the base coat and blend in the clear top.

    I should point out at this stage that the guy has agreed to take the car back, however i would rather take the time and care to correct what i can, eg the fish eyes / oversray issues etc ... since i have a feeling there will be a limit to what he will correct.

    thanks, Nick.

  2. #2
    Senior Member swoodard23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    Fish eyes are from improper preparation and cleaning prior to paint. I've only painted a couple of cars and did not get a single fish eye in either paintjob. Have you approached the painter? He should be responsible for repair unless you agreed to pay less for less prep. Even so, the problem could have been avoided with 10 minutes of better prep to free the surface of contaminants.
    Did you use a factory color? The stone chip repair might work but color match would be iffy and you have to sand those flush. Hopefully he put down enough material that you would not sand through but who knows if he was budget minded.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sc80's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    99% of the moulded off panels have wax on them.
    clean them with degrease liquid and some 1500 grade sanding can help...

  4. #4

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    sc80, is correct. All panels need to be prep correctly and gone over with an detailed eye. Unfortunate what could have band should have been done is not going to do you much good at this point. This is a very poor paint job. Their are guys here that have painted their cars in their own garage with fantastic results, so with this in mind if a facility in business of painting cars did the job you should take it back and ask them to correct the problems. If you had an guy working out of his garage making a few bucks on side do the job, you need to move on and take it to an reputable place to have it all corrected.

    One of the number one give away with replica's is the attention to detail and quality of the paint job. Real exotics do not have fish eyes.

    Good luck and let us know if we can help in anyway.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    I paint for a living, and I would never let that get out of my shop. The only way to fix it right is redo it. If it is a shop you took it to , have them redo it. You will never get it to look right spot repairing it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    thanks for inputs guys, it does sound as though most of the problems then are due to lack of proper initial cleaning. I didnt specify 'extra prep cleaning' i didnt think this would be necessary if the paintshop were doing the primer coat onwards.

    I am extremely dissapointed with the number of faults, and cant help thinking wish i'd done it with cellulose myself - at least this way you can just keep going at it, till your happy !

    Dna like you say people here have done theirs in their garage, i've seen Nutjack/Madman's paint job in the flesh and that was a really great finish.

    MisterD - yes i too am surprised he let the car leave the shop in this condition, if that was me i would have been embarassed.

    As i say , the guy has agreed to take it back - but i get the impression the faults will be repaired, rather than complete panels redone. I cant imagine such repairs will be satisfactory. Do you think i should insist on the whole thing done again ?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    I painted my car in a portable carport and there was some fisheyes on panels so I redid them until it was pefect, if a car is done professionally there should be zero fisheyes and car should look showroom finished.

  8. #8

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    Absolutely you should demand that the car is 100% to your satisfaction. We all here know what a good paint job should look like. Working with glass is a bit different and to make the car look better in the long haul takes more work. This shop for one reason or another decided to skip the extra work. Let them know in advance what you expect and have them take several pictures during the process. Also, let them know that you want your car completed within two weeks and if it is not completed you will come pick it up. I have been in your position before and know how frustrated you must feel. One more thing, when you car is completed drive it as much as possible and if you can expose it to extreme conditions. If there are any problems you want them to reveal themselves now and not too late down the road.

  9. #9

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    Few things I also suggest you discuss with the painter:
    one of them: his "wet-sand/buffing job".
    If this was also part of the work you paid for, you should make sure it's done by someone who's experienced. From the pictures above, this wasn't done properly neither. You should make a point to see the car before they do any detailing on it, i.e. straight out from the paint shop. They might do a better paint job this time but mess-up again with this final stage of wet-sanding. And yes, you should demand an entire new paint job on the car, touch-up won't work... BTW, in addition to a conventional automotive grade degrease, I would suggest to use 90% alcohol. If your car has a white or darker base primer, you should make sure he starts all over from an entirely uniform surface. As you probably know, red doesn't cover that well and you want to have an "even" base color to work with. Otherwise, you might end up with different shades of red: where they sanded through the red and where they didn't. One last thing, make sure to check the car under neon lights and then, normal day light. Neon lights don't hide any imperfections.

    Just my 2 cents... Good luck

  10. #10

    Re: poor paintjob / fish eye corrections

    AP, your 2 cents was good advice.

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