Wipe on clear top coat?

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Jon Whitney
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Wipe on clear top coat?

Post by Jon Whitney »

I'm currently working on my first solid color instrument finish (a solid body bass guitar). I've sprayed the body with several coats of black paint - Rust-o-leum - from a rattle can. During this process I got runs, orange peel, you name it - despite taking great care. I have sanded it flat (more or less) with 500 grit paper. The color is still intact except for one small area I just resprayed. I'd like to apply two or three clear coats to bring it to a respectable gloss and protect it, but now I'm leery of spraying from a can. I have no other spray equipment and don't really want to spray anyway. I'm used to applying wipe on polyurethane and Tru-Oil and I like the results I get from that on bare wood. Can I use wipe-on poly over the spray paint, or is there something better I can wipe on?
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Bob Gramann
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Re: Wipe on clear top coat?

Post by Bob Gramann »

Everything depends on the compatibility of the exact finishes you use. Why not make up some test blocks and try your different combinations? Assuming the differences in hardness of the two finishes don't cause crazing or worse, I would worry about adhesion of the top coat to the black paint. A surface that looks good could crack or peel off after a hard knock. Again, some testing may help.

When I was beginning this journey in the early 90's, I eschewed spraying and tried many different routes to avoid it. When I finally surrendered and bought my first spray gun (a Devilbiss jamb gun), there was no going back. It was so much easier to get good results than I expected that I lamented putting if off for so long. I have upgraded my equipment. It came down to being able to do a repeatable good job. spraying saves me a lot of extra work.
David King
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Re: Wipe on clear top coat?

Post by David King »

If the Rust-o-leum is an enamel you may be in for a bit of a challenge. I'd contact Rust-o-leum and use their compatible rattle can clear coat assuming it exists.
Once the Rust-o-leum is completely dry (no detectable odor) I'll bet the Tru-Oil will be just fine if you have the patience to deal with it.
You could possibly brush on a clearcoat like General Finishes Endurovar and be happy.
If that didn't want to stick to the Rust-o-leum you might have better luck brushing/rolling on a bar top epoxy or West systems 105-207 finishing epoxy which will go on fairly thick and is very easy to level sand and buff.

Keep in mind that a gloss black finish is one of the most difficult finishes to do well. Take your time and practice with the clear coat until you understand how it behaves out of the can. Rattle can sprayers need to be cleaned immediately after use. Invert the can and spray until the paint is out of the siphon tube and just propellant is coming out. Take the spray tip off the can and soak in acetone, I use a small pipette to squirt acetone through the nozzle.
Daryl Kosinski
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Re: Wipe on clear top coat?

Post by Daryl Kosinski »

I have used this for many years on everything from my banjo to my kitchen cabinets.

http://mohawk-finishing.com/catalog_bro ... ictNbr=215
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Jon Whitney
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Re: Wipe on clear top coat?

Post by Jon Whitney »

David King wrote:If the Rust-o-leum is an enamel you may be in for a bit of a challenge. I'd contact Rust-o-leum and use their compatible rattle can clear coat assuming it exists.
Once the Rust-o-leum is completely dry (no detectable odor) I'll bet the Tru-Oil will be just fine if you have the patience to deal with it.
You could possibly brush on a clearcoat like General Finishes Endurovar and be happy.
If that didn't want to stick to the Rust-o-leum you might have better luck brushing/rolling on a bar top epoxy or West systems 105-207 finishing epoxy which will go on fairly thick and is very easy to level sand and buff.

Keep in mind that a gloss black finish is one of the most difficult finishes to do well. Take your time and practice with the clear coat until you understand how it behaves out of the can. Rattle can sprayers need to be cleaned immediately after use. Invert the can and spray until the paint is out of the siphon tube and just propellant is coming out. Take the spray tip off the can and soak in acetone, I use a small pipette to squirt acetone through the nozzle.
The Rust-o-leum rattle can clear coat definitely exists, I guess I'll try that first. It's not very expensive. I suppose if it runs, I can sand and polish. It's probably too late to hope for a top-quality finish on this instrument. But that's OK - it was supposed to be a quick and easy bass I could keep around for back-up tracks etc. I bought a pre-made neck from China and the finish on that isn't great either. On the whole, I wish I had used some leftover ebony stain I've got, rather than the black spray paint.

Thanks, everybody, for your input.
David King
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Re: Wipe on clear top coat?

Post by David King »

To avoid runs is not that difficult if you have good lighting. You just barely want to wet the surface and let the finish flash off before going back over the same area. Wait for a dry warmish day outdoors and make sure the wind is to you back and slightly to one side. Spray narrow overlapping bands from edge to edge starting at the top and going down. If you are planning to sand and buff the topcoat then you need to pay special attention to corners and edges and build up extra finish there before you start your pattern spraying. You'll want to hit the corners and edges twice as often so that you end up with enough thickness later for buffing. Have a paper towel handy as you spray to wipe the can's nozzle if it decides to start sputtering. You can also use it to soak up any drips and runs. I have no idea how the rusto clear is going to behave out of the can or how long it will take to recoat but I'd suggest building the thickness up slowly and letting the finish dry for several hours before re-coating to avoid crazing or cracks as the finish shrinks over the next few weeks.
Allyson Brown
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Re: Wipe on clear top coat?

Post by Allyson Brown »

It's great to find something versatile enough to use on both instruments and household items."
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