What’s the Deal with Orange Peel?

orange peelOranges may be a great snack, but that doesn’t mean you want your floor to look like one! Orange peel is the pitting of a floor finish, so that the surface texture resembles that of citrus fruit.

So, what made your floor a lemon? It could be application-related, environmental, or both.

Application issues:

  • The roller was not suitable to be rolled, had the wrong size nap roller sleeve, or was used incorrectly.
  • The finish or sealer was overworked on the application surface, resulting in the formation of air bubbles within the applicator, which caused incomplete flowing out of the finish.
  • The finish was not applied according to the manufacturer’s recommended coverage rate and was either too thin or too thick.
  • The manufacturer’s recommended solvent additives or dry-time-extending retarders for unfavorable coating conditions were not used.

Environmental issues:

  • The finish flashed-off too quickly due to hot, dry conditions.
  • The finish dried too slowly due to cool, damp conditions.
  • The finish or substrate was too cold at the time of application, which caused uneven flow and leveling.
  • The surface of the finish was skinned or otherwise disturbed by airflow.

Once you discover those dreaded dimples, your only option is to abrade the surface and then recoat. A full resand may also be necessary in some cases. There are, however, a few steps that you can take to make sure your recoat bears fruit:

  • Confirm that you’re using the recommended roller with the correct size nap roller sleeve, and make the switch if you’re not.
  • Work at the spread rates appropriate for the finish as suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Verify that the product has adjusted to the proper temperature prior to application.
  • Ensure the conditions of the jobsite are optimal with respect to temperature, moisture, airflow, etc., consulting with the finish manufacturer as needed.
  • If necessary, utilize the proper solvent additives or dry-time-extending retarded.

Don’t let orange peel and other floor woes make you bitter! Subscribe to the Basic Coatings blog using the form on the top-right of this page to receive notifications when new tips and tricks are posted!

Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

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