Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2008

Fish Eyes

Q: My motor home was recently repainted and the clear coat fish eyed. While the motor home factory and the paint company argue over a cause ... I have a thought. Please let me know what you think.

The roof is rubber and we use a non-petroleum base coating on the roof, the tires are Armor Alled, and the cabinet doors I use Armor All on the handles. They sanded the coach completely down but they never washed it completely. Thank you

A: You didn't specify which of the ArmorAll products you used, but according to their web site the wheel cleaners contain silicone. The FAQ on their web site provides the following:

"What are the ingredients? Do they contain silicone, alcohol or petroleum distillates?
Armor All® Wheel Cleaner contains surfactants and sodium metasilicate. Armor All® Tire Foam® Protectant contains silicones and a propellant. Armor All® Extreme Tire Shine products contain silicone, petroleum solvent and a fragrance. Armor All® Detailers Advantage® Protectant contains silicones."

If you in fact used a product that contains a silicone ingredient and especially if the coating was applied using an aerosol container, it is quite possible that this is the cause of the fish-eyes. Even if the product was applied by wiping the possibility of fish-eyes exists, although not to the same extent.

If you coated the handles with a silicone-containing product, you most probably also transferred silicone from one surface to another with your bare hands.

Sanding of the surfaces might cause more trouble especially if the sanding process moves the silicones from one area to another. Before you expend too much time on this problem, I suggest that you first check that the product you used did in fact contain silicone. Also, if the product does contain this ingredient it is not a foregone conclusion that it caused the problem on your motor home. It is possible that something else is the culprit.

Unfortunately, silicones are extremely difficult to remove from a surface. Washing with solvents or detergent and water generally does not remove these troublesome compounds.


Ron Joseph

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