Antiperspirant and deodarant next to a paint can

Oils and liquid coatings don’t mix. Anything with a lower surface tension than that paint you are applying could potentially cause fish eyes or craters as the film cures.


Imagine dots of oil on a sheet of aluminum. When you begin your application, the coating will surround the oil, building an edge around it like the rim of a volcano. That is essentially how a crater is formed.


If you are experiencing more craters than normal you need to start an investigation to identify the culprit. Your investigation should begin with your air compressor for your paint equipment. There are a variety of tools you can use to check the quality of the air used for your spray gun. You need to make sure there isn’t oil or lubricants coming through the line. If you check that off you list as clean, you can start to look for changes in your operation that include: 


  • Grease
  • Wax
  • Diesel exhaust soot
  • Powdered gloves
  • New gaskets
  • Hand lotions
  • Antiperspirants


Some of the suspects listed above are more obvious than others. Most operators understand the need to keep their substrates clean of grease, oils, and soot, but you may not be aware that the personal choice of hand lotions and antiperspirants can cause fish eyes! Check the ingredient list of those types of products and shy away from those that contain material with “siloxane” at the beginning. Siloxane is a known culprit for causing craters.


The easiest and fastest solution to a problem that has been pinpointed to hand lotions, antiperspirants, or other personal supplies is to make sure your technicians wear a full paint suit and powder free gloves.

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