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How Long Does Lacquer Take To Cure For Finish Sanding And Buffing?

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i read two weeks in another thread, but the can indicates far less than that....

I've heard it's best to leave a laqcuer finish cure for about 1-2 months. You probably want to get to the sanding sooner, but if you do, a couple weeks after you've wetsanded and buffed your finish it might get uneven or worse, crack.

Aparently Gibson lets it cure up to 6 months. But they're Gibson so...

So I'd recommend you let it cure for at least a month or two.

I got a book that's all about painting guitar with laquer spraypaint. It's a good buy and if you're thinking of getting into painting guitars with laqcuer it's a really good read. Here's the link : http://www.paintyourownguitar.com/

It's about 30 bucks but it's well worth it. And It has some of the best customer service I've ever had.

Hope I've been some help,

Good Luck! :D

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If it is Nitrocellulose Lacquer you will want to wait at least 30 days for the solvents to gas off. If you attach your hardware too soon it will sink into the finish. A thick nitro finish (20 or more coats) could take even longer. The longer you let it cure the better.


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In my experience with lacquer based finishes , the longer the better . Drying time really depends on 2 issues....first is the viscosity of the lacquer you're using . Is it a store bought aerosol ( usually thick ) or are you mixing your own consistency ? Thicker coats are good for building up finishes , but take longer to gas off and set . Second remember a new coat of lacquer will melt into the old one making drying and handling times progressively longer with each new coat . If you mix your own lacquer then you probably have the experience to thin out your final top coats . Bottom line is be very patient and let the guitar hang , when you think it's ready wait some more....your patience will be rewarded with a great finish the first time around . We are all chomping at the bit to play our new creations , but rushing the setting time can bring you more headaches by having to resand and refinish a flawed lacquer job . Fingerprints in a finish suck !!!

On a personal experience note....be careful with casing your newly finished project.. I once and only once put a guitar that I just finished buffing into a gig bag with a nylon lining....what a disaster...the lining melted the finish and was ruined because lacquer and nylon apparently are volatile...who knew !!!

For speedier finishing , after the wood is dyed , a couple of sealer coats with light sanding in between , then spray automotive clearcoat to finish . Drying time is about two weeks and if your sanding is good the final coats are flawless and durable . I apologize to all the purists who believe that laquer is the only finish for musical intruments .

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Is it a store bought aerosol ( usually thick ) ... ?

That's incorrect. Aerosol lacquer is actually quite a bit thinner than the stuff you get out of the gallon paint can; because it has to flow through that tiny plastic nozzle, they thin it way down, with the result being you need a lot more coats.

Let hang in a garage or closed-off room. When you hold your nose up to it and can't smell it anymore (us. ~1 month), then do the fingernail test in an inconspicuous spot. If you can dent the lacquer with your fingernail, leave it alone to cure some more. If not, then buff away.

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Well, 1st of all, do a search, and go to the tutorial section like mentioned above, this has been covered many times before.

Faster drying is auto poly, 2 part, but it is toxic, so you need the right eqipment to user it.

www.paintyourownguitar.com, save your money. All the info in that book is in this pages, and more.

If it is possible and you can afford to buy real nitro behlen or other, buy it. Use a Preval to spray it if you don't have a compressor set up. at the end it will pay up. I have several guitars that I will be refinishing that were painted with can nitro.

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