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Attempted To Paint 2day

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1) go read StewMac.com's finishing instructions.


2) read various pinned threads (or search) in appropriate sections here.

but mostly, before anything else, leave the guitar alone, and go finish a piece of scrap wood, from raw wood all the way to your desired, finished product before continuing. Get to know your paint, your equipment, and how it all works together to get the result you want. This is called learning to crawl before you run.

Also, you may want to get a smaller gun or a larger compressor. Honestly, you shouldn't be spraying that much (not non-stop, takes me about 20-30 seconds of actual trigger depression to lay down an even, thin coat on an entire guitar (body, set neck, headstock face). Even relatively small compressors should be able to handle that, and cheap HVLP guns are available from places like Harbor Freight.

Short answer to the sanding issue, though: don't sand color coats unless you have to (ie, there are drips and runs), because it'll mess with, well, the color. In only scuff-sand very lightly with, say, 400-600 grit between each day of clearcoat spraying, final level with 400-600 (or higher, depending on how level it is), then spray 1 or 2 light final mist coats onto the level finish, then start levelling at 1200 or higher, where possible. Progressing through all grits can be a major pain in the butt if you're starting at 400 and want to get all the way to buffing, but for scuff-sanding between coats, relatively rough is fine as long as you make sure you don't cut through the finish at the edges, for example, since the next layer will melt right into those scratches and make them dissapear.

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No - it will always look dull after sanding, even with wet paper. I usually use 1000 or 1200 grade paper, and I soak it, but I've never seen the need to soak overnight. I just soak it for a few minutes beforehand and keep pouring water on the surface to keep it wet.

The water is just used to lubricate the paper and extend its life. I find it gives a much smoother finish too with less scratching. If you put a drop of detergent in with the water, that helps lubricate and keeps the paper from clogging. Keep an eye on the paper - if it starts to clog, the finish might get stratched.


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Exactly. If it's not perfectly dull, flat, matte, and unreflective after wetsanding, it's not been levelled properly. Any shiny spots left are spots that need further levelling. As your progress through grits and move to micromesh or polish, you'll see that lovely gloss start to appear.

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Can't really answer that, as it depends on what you're calling a 'coat', and what kind of finish you're using (how many solids? how much is getting on per coat?) I shoot betweeon 9 and 12 coats of either nitro or waterbased, each one encompassing 3 or 4 relatively quick passes with an HVLP spray gun, and looking only just wet (no drips or runs, nothing crazy!heavy, a lot depends on humidity, temp, paint temp, etc.). That's on top of the colour coats (usually 2 or 3). And 3 coats per day, max.

Practice on scrap until you get it right.

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