Fisheyes: A Painting Defect On Metal Doors and Hardware

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Last Updated: May 4, 2021

“Fisheyes,” small circular, crater-like openings that appear during or shortly after applying a coat of paint. Usually found on metal doors or metal garage door surfaces. Occasionally noted on large pieces of exposed metal hardware used to secure large decorative wood beams together.

Homeowners or handymen, who may not be professional painters but have a spray gun may occasional experience getting a non-professional look. Once you get this issue, merely putting on another coat of paint over the existing paint will not improve the look of the door. If the paint has dried, the area may need to be sanded to remove the fisheyes and then repainted.

Possible Cause 

  • Painting over surfaces contaminated with oil, wax, silicone, grease, etc.
  • Use of a thinner / reducer in place of a solvent cleaner when first cleaning the surface to be painted.
  • Spraying over previously repaired areas having a existing “fisheye” surface.
Who to consult? Painters and qualified handymen.

Home owners will often handle many painting jobs around the house, both inside and outside. Handymen and painters will also handle painting tasks. Normally painters are the most proficient, knowledgeable and quickest at doing painting task.

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I see 1 single fisheyt defect on my brand new Fiat 500 Pop. Its ok if I don’t do anything to this…? I will just wax the car and take the usual care.

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