Painting

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Charles Bloss
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Painting

Post by Charles Bloss »

I have found some good material on individual steps of repainting or fixing finishes but I have yet to run into a good tutorial on painting a newly built guitar. I am still selecting a wood for the body but the neck is hard maple. I have been playing around with some rattle cans on scrap but even the maple seems to just soak up the paint and doesn't want to seal and build up very well.

What is a general purpose sealer that I could start with to seal the wood before laying a base coat / clear coat finish on it? I have some ideas but I wanted to get some opinions.

Also, where can I find a good brand of primer that is truly sandable? Most "Sandable" primers I have used in the last few years tend to dry like the base coat and are a harder finish then the stuff I use to use many years ago. Where did the good gray and red primer that when sanded, turned to a power and really built up a surface well?
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Michael Lewis
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Re: Painting

Post by Michael Lewis »

The assumption is you are going to use lacquer as the finish. Either shellac or lacquer will suffice for a sealer. Your first step is to perfect the surface of your guitar, make it smooth and even with NO scratches or dents. The better you prepare the surface the less you will have to work with the finish.

When you apply the finish make it as even as you are able. spray enough to make it just wet and no more until it dries. After 3 or 4 coats you can sand it very lightly before spraying a couple more coats. Wet sand it smooth and spray a couple more coats, and when it is dry wet sand it again and spray another coat. Hopefully this coat will be the last one unless you find imperfections which will require more coats.

The idea of spraying so it is just wet and no more, prevents runs and sags, which would cause more problems if you get them because runs and sags are thicker and dry much slower than the surrounding finish.

John Hamlett
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Re: Painting

Post by John Hamlett »

The old "rattle can" gray and red primers were lacquer. Automobile painters don't use lacquer anymore (with few exceptions) so the lacquer products that used to be so easily obtained at paint and hardware stores are now nearly impossible to find.
In addition to the shellac and lacquer that Michael mentioned as being good sealers, there are vinyl sealers (that must be used according to the directions, for good results!).
I assume your color is to be opaque, but whether translucent or opaque, it is common to seal, then color, then build the finish thickness with clear. The color coats are then below the surface, safe from sanding and wear (other than excessive sanding or wear) and the color coats need not be built to a thickness beyond that needed for an even color.

Charles Bloss
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Re: Painting

Post by Charles Bloss »

I am thinking about doing a flat color as a base and then a transparent top coat with a bit of a sun burst effect but trying some things out on scrap to see what I like first.

I was able to get some nice examples using a clear lacquer base to seal and sand before each coat but I'll look around some more.
I was born with nothing and have even less today!

David King
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Re: Painting

Post by David King »

Would BIN work here? I guess it doesn't sand very well but it shouldn't upset further coatings either.

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Greg Robinson
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Re: Painting

Post by Greg Robinson »

For anybody who isn't familiar with B-I-N, it is a de-waxed shellac based white pigmented all purpose sealer. It is made by Zinsser and reputably stands for "Bulls-I-Namel". Zinsser also has a range of primers under the name Bullseye, hence the connection.

I don't have any experience with it personally, I suppose it could work as a sealer for an opaque finish, but if it doesn't sand well, you'd be setting yourself up for a lot of work. There are plenty of products that do work well for our purposes to choose from.
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Charles Bloss
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Re: Painting

Post by Charles Bloss »

Does sandable enamel primer seal enough to shoot a basecoat on or is a harder sealer a must?

I have been playing around with a clear acrylic spray that is doing a great job so far but it seems to be taking a lot of coats to fill in even small scratches. Could be operator error and failure to spend much time on prep time though. :/ It seems like it would be a great clear coat after the base is shot though.
I was born with nothing and have even less today!

Michael Lewis
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Re: Painting

Post by Michael Lewis »

Mixing finishes can lead to significant disappointment if not well planned. You can put most finishes over shellac but I would not advise any other combination. Test on scrap.

Terry Mashek
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Re: Painting

Post by Terry Mashek »

Charles Bloss wrote:I have found some good material on individual steps of repainting or fixing finishes but I have yet to run into a good tutorial on painting a newly built guitar.
I have a tutorial on my web site about how to paint a newly built guitar. You'll have to be the judge on whether or not it's "good." :)

http://www.tundraman.com/Guitars/Finish/index.php

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Eddie McRae
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Re: Painting

Post by Eddie McRae »

A word of caution regarding spraycan lacquer from automotive stores.......it was mentioned above about the auto industry using lacquer in the early 70's and you can still find lacquer sometimes in spraycans in some auto parts stores today.....BUT!!!.....auto lacquer is acrylic lacquer. It is not nitro lacquer. And I found out the hard way years ago that the 2 are NOT compatible. Nitro will eat acrylic lacquer. So be sure all the products you use are compatible, or at the very least, make sure you use a good buffer between incompatible products.

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