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Subject: Re: SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Varnish - Orange Peel


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Message Thread:

SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Varnish - Orange Peel

Pete Member

I'd really appreciate any insight on this finishing issue from this talented group!
I'm currently having issues with light orange peel using SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Conversion Varnish when spraying with our HVLP gravity sprayer, details below:
- 35-40 PSI at the gun with a 1.5mm tip
- 4.5 Catalyst (V66 V21)
- 20% Naptha reducer
-Shop temperature 80-90 degrees

This tinted varnish seems to have this issue more so than the water white clear version. Appreciate any advice!

Kemvar 80 Series CV

9/13/23       #2: SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Varnish - Or ...
Leo G

Looked at the specs of the finish and it doesn't say anything about thinners.

Never heard of using Naptha for a thinner in a conversion varnish. Really really slow.

If you want a slow thinner use the Butyl Acetate they list in the cleaning section.

9/15/23       #3: SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Varnish - Or ...
Yavuz Member

I cannot speak for your product but i spray V84F83 sometimes and i use the same catalyst with %3.13 percent.
1.4mm needle Iwata w400 series HVLP spray gun.
my ratios for 20 oz batch are :

Catalyst: 18.5ml (V66V21)-%3
Retarder :1 oz (Mak R6k30)-%5
Thinner : 3oz (Butyl Acetate)-%15
Lays like glass and dries hard. Check your gun setup and air adjustment.
make sure the product thinned good enough to spray.i mean the viscosity is very important. Make trials on test panels and find a balance between air temperature-viscosity-spraying equipment-mil thickness.
if it does not make sense please upload a photo here.we go from there.

9/18/23       #4: SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Varnish - Or ...

I spray the KemVar Plus, not the KemVar 80 so I'm not sure the difference, but 20% Naptha is a TON of naptha!

Naptha is compatible with KemVar Plus, for sure, so I'm sure it's OK in KemVar80. It's the only CV I've ever seen with naptha compatibility but it does make a nice retarder for KV+.

I've only ever used it up to 3-5% (I cant' remember which) and I remember distinctly that going over that % really slowed the curing down crazy.

You probably need to do what Leo suggests and switch over to butyl acetate, or possibly the proprietary mix they sell called KemVar reducer. The KV reducer cost a bit more than the single-ingredient thinners but it does a great job

I don't know the solids content of KV80, but I know that KV+ is designed to be thinned 40-50% straight out of the can, it's really thick. If KV80 is anything like that, there's your problem, you don't have enough thinner.

Fluid pressure, air pressure, and tip size are your next two targets. Either you want higher fluid pressure, smaller tip size, or higher air cap pressure when trying to eliminate orangepeel. But if you don't have your thinner right, all you're going to do is waste time and material. A properly thinned CV has decent "wiggle room" for variations in pressure settings and tip sizes.

9/20/23       #5: SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Varnish - Or ...

We thin the Schedule 80 product very little with Lacquer Thinner and get excellent results.

9/28/23       #6: SW Kemvar 80 Pigmented Varnish - Or ...
John G

You shouldn't need to reduce the 80 series. This could be part of your problem. The shop temperature seems to be a little on the high side, but could be okay depending on humidity.

I would try reducing with Butyl Cellosolve r6k25 at 2%

I usually use a 1.8 tip, but have fought the same issues with HVLP as it seems to be touchy with the PSI. I primarily use an Air Assisted Airless pump.


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