Overspray

Definition - What does Overspray mean?

Overspray refers to that portion of sprayed paint that does not land on the target. It is most commonly encountered in graffiti, auto detailing and when commercial paint jobs drift onto unintended objects. Overspray is considered a negative occurrence in auto detailing when unwanted drifting paint lands on cars.

The most common procedure to remove overspray is the use of a special clay bar. Various measures are employed to prevent overspray from damaging property and emitting airborne toxins:

  • Applying paint with rollers
  • Dry fall coating
  • Containment systems
  • Implementation of wind monitoring programs

Corrosionpedia explains Overspray

Overspray is the application of any form of paint, varnish, stain or other non-water soluble airborne particulate material onto an unintended location. It is easy to determine the volume of material sprayed by an applicator that is overspray. First, calculate the amount of paint that lands on the target part. Second, subtract that amount from the total sprayed paint.

Paint overspray that settles onto painted parts can seriously degrade the quality of the finished product, reducing gloss and contributing to orange peel. Therefore, it is considered paint failure.

Causes of overspray include:

  • Triggering paint off the part or triggering when no part is present
  • Improper head-to-target distance
  • Improper angles of application
  • Turbulent air flow conditions
  • Cement, salt, lime, fertilizers, calcium and other minerals
  • Excessive atomization, creating tiny paint droplets that can dry out in flight to the target and get swept away by the flow of air

Often, spray guns have their atomizing and pattern air volumes so high that they are more efficient at fogging than painting.

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