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Easier to achieve mirror shine finish?


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which product requires the least amount of work to get a mirror shine,

Are you refering to the paint... seems everybodyelse thinks its the polish...

I like the duplicolor but you have to let it dry forever before colorsanding as I found out... Nitro will be on the same spot, they can be buffed by hand or with your drill. Oil I haven't try yet.

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yes, i was referring to the finish itself. I tried Watco Clear Lacquer (apparently nitro cellulose) and it never dried flat, even with sanding between each coat, the surface is covered in tiny pinhole sized holes that are slightly lower than the finish. This is was prompted my asking the question, or should i invest in a different kind of lacquer? however, i live in canada, and cannot order anything except waterbased finishs off the internet due to shipping restrictions.

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Any automotive clear spray like Duplicolor will be good, I would wait for somebody from Canada so that he can tell you a Brand that they buy localy. Other than that StewMac sells a water base clear laquer that they say rivals nitro, and they have it in brush on or spray on. And it might help if you are ale to post a pic, that way the regualrs can help you better, maybe is in the prep that you did somenthing wrong, but I can't tell without seeing the guitar.

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Every -single- type of finish out there requires you understanding how it works for you to get the best results.

How do you get that understanding?

By sticking with it, and learning as you go, and getting better and better at it.

This goes for oil, shellac, lacquer, poly, -everything- out there requires your knowledge of the system that surrounds -that- particular finish.

To go finish hopping from one to another is to ask for a lifetime of futility and inferior results. Every finish has a complete 'system' that surrounds it that you need to understand to get your good results.

Sorry, no easy answer here.

You're going to have to stick with something for awhile, and practice. And practice. And read. And practice.

And one day, you'll get that superior result you're looking for.

Because you put the time in that it requires.

For lacquer, buy the Stew-Mac videos, 'Spray Finishing Basics', and 'Spray Finishing With Colors'. I don't know of ANY better 'primer' out there for getting you to good results as fast as possible.

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Pin holes can be caused by a number of factors. The most common are contamination of the wood by wax or silicon (Armor All used on the case or plastic parts can be a source of this type of contamination), temperature changes during the spraying /drying cycle and moisture in the wood. Wood contamination can be sanded out in most cases. Wiping with naphtha will also help in removing contamination. Temperature can also play a role in the formation of pinholes. If a guitar that has been in a cool environment  then sprayed (as might be the case if you are spraying in an unheated garage) and after spraying moved into a warm environment to dry, air bubbles may form as the wood warms and push their way through the lacquer leaving pinholes. The last frequent cause (and probably most common) is moisture in the wood. Water can get into the wood through washing stripper from the wood, wet sanding primer or sealer coats or not allowing a water based filler or water based dye enough time to dry. 

The solution? Sanding and wiping with naphtha should remove wood contamination and not subjecting the wood to major temperature changes during the spraying and drying process will prevent pin holes caused by bubbles (note that placing newly finished wood in the sun to dry is a guaranteed way to cause pin holes). Allowing the wood sufficient drying time after wetting will most likely eliminate moisture related pin holes. A sure way to prevent pin holes before spraying the lacquer coats is to seal the wood with a clear sand and sealer on translucent finishes and sand and sealer and/or a white pigmented shellac on opaque finishes. If you didn't seal the wood and now have pinholes you may be able to drop fill them with unthinned lacquer. The lacquer will over power the cause of the hole and allow subsequent sprayed coats to flow over the holes. After spraying about two coats the "bumps" from the filling can be sanded flat. Drop filling will work on sectional pinholes but if the holes are numerous and over a large area, starting over (this time either correcting the problem and/or sealing the wood before spraying the lacquer) may be the best solution.

Sorry for the long post but thats from Re-Ranch

Edited by AlGeeEater
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  • 2 weeks later...
...it never dried flat, even with sanding between each coat, the surface is covered in tiny pinhole sized holes that are slightly lower than the finish...

That sounds suspiciously like a surface prep issue - did you grain-fill, seal, and sand everything baby's-bottom smooth before you started painting? Lacquer shrinks in the curing process, so if there's any surface imperfection, it'll sink into it as it dries, a fact that hadn't occurred to me until after I shot the 4th can of Deft nitro on that first Strat body. :D

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