Solve common problems

Cratering and Dimpling

What are they and how do I solve these?

Cissing (or fisheyes), dimples are defects brought on by the presence of a minute level of surface contaminants during the painting process. However, there are ways to help prevent this and we’ll take you through them below.

Craters are a defect that is usually associated with spray application.

Cissing and Dimpling

How to recognise them

Cissing and dimpling (sometimes known as “Crawling” or “Fisheyes”) are very small  circular defects, where the paint has receded to expose the underlying substrate or coating. If the central underlying substrate area is visible, the defect is known as cissing. If the central underlying substrate area is not visible the defect is known as a dimple. The defects are usually around 1-3mm in diameter and are normally visible straight after application. Cissing is normally visible straight after application.

Causes and how to prevent them


  • They are a direct result of the presence of minute levels of contaminants on the surface. The paint will not wet these materials out (e.g. water on wax, grease or oil) and withdraws to form a bowl shaped depression.
    Prevention: Ensure that the surface is clean and free from grease, oil, and any other contaminants prior to application
  • Cissing/dimpling may also be observed if an unsuitable thinner/retarder has been used.
    Prevention: Use recommended thinners/retarders only.

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