Solvent Pop

Here’s one that may not be so well known but around a paint shop solvent pop is all too common. It’s also known as boiling, solvent boil, boil, and popping. It looks like a blister on the paint surface that’s caused by trapped solvents in the topcoats or primer-surfacer, a situation which is further aggravated by force drying or uneven heating.

Some of the most common ways a solvent pop can occur results from solvent or air trapped in the paint and escapes during the drying process leaving a pop mark; incorrect spray viscosity, spray pressure, flash time, or improper drying; and, incorrect choice of hardeners and/or thinners. On the subject of fast-dry thinner or reducer, you need to be especially careful when the material is sprayed as too dry or at excessive pressure will lead to solvent pop. Drying (baking) temps are also critical; temperature too high, baking is started too soon after application, infrared lighting too close, too much material applied, and our old favorite, improper surface cleaning or preparation can all lead to solvent pop.

As with every aspect of prepping for the “perfect paintjob” it is always imperative that all areas to be painted are thoroughly cleaned, proper thinner and reducer is selected that works best in your area, always allow sufficient time between applying coats (flash and dry time) and never, never fan (using compress air through a spray gun) to assist drying time. Allow to dry naturally. Also, never spray too much material and always follow Axalta (DuPont) recommendations from their data sheets when working with their product.

Should you be well into solvent pop on your paintjob then you will find yourself having to remove the paint and get down to the undercoat, or possibly, the metal. This will be dictated by the depth of the blisters. And then it’s time to refinish but this time paying attention to all the aspects of a good paintjob.

Well, these are some of the more common problems you and I will run across when painting. It happens to the pros just as easily to the do-it-yourselfer, invariable it is a matter of plan your work and work your plan—no rushing, no shortcuts, and no excuses. The number of steps associated with body and paintwork is time-consuming and can often be tedious work but the end result more than makes it worthwhile and worth the effort.

Axalta Coating Systems