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Black Finish, Clear Coat And Sanding...


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Hey.

I'm in the process of finishing my Explorer at the moment, and I have been layering quite a few coats of acrylig car paint from spray cans.

I have been struggling with dust and runs and what not, but I have learnt a lot too. I'm also struggling with getting a uniform flow while

spraying, some parts of the guitar seems really nice, some have more of the orange peel. Now, what I'm curious about is how much do I have to

sand the finish before applying clear coat? I have my neck sanded up to 12.000 grit with StewMac's micro mesh fingerpads. I can still see the some

fine scratches from the sanding tho. Is it too much? too little? Should I buff it before clearcoating it..?

I would much appreciate some guidelines here, thank you!!!

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If the color coats are smooth (no runs or drips), you can either lightly scuff sand (400 or 600 grit) or just leave it, and level the clearcoats only. Any sanding of the colour coats and you risk messing up the coverage.

Do not go buffing a finish you expect a clearcoat to adhere to.

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Hey.

I'm in the process of finishing my Explorer at the moment, and I have been layering quite a few coats of acrylig car paint from spray cans.

I have been struggling with dust and runs and what not, but I have learnt a lot too. I'm also struggling with getting a uniform flow while

spraying, some parts of the guitar seems really nice, some have more of the orange peel. Now, what I'm curious about is how much do I have to

sand the finish before applying clear coat? I have my neck sanded up to 12.000 grit with StewMac's micro mesh fingerpads. I can still see the some

fine scratches from the sanding tho. Is it too much? too little? Should I buff it before clearcoating it..?

I would much appreciate some guidelines here, thank you!!!

I know you're really meticulous with your work and the only thing I can say right now is DONT USE SPRAY CANS unless its DEFT, Stew-Mac or Re-Ranch. All the other brands do NOT cure well and stay soft indefinitely. I learned this the hard way on 2 projects. 1.5 years later, my polka dot Rhoads V still has a soft finish and fabric get imprinted on the guitar. I'll have to re-finish it from scratch one day, when I have the time.

As for the scratches on the clear coat, you should start at 600 grit, right up to 2000 grit, taking your time at each grit to make sure you removed the scratches from the previous grit before moving on to the next. After the 2000 grit, you should be able to buff and medium and fine grits.

For the color coats, 800 grit should be ample enough.

Edited by guitar2005
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guitar2005: Thanks alot man. Yeah, I have learn't my lesson, and I won't do it again. I am only going to finish this guitar now, and and I think that I will eventually scrap it. There are some issues with it that I'm not entirely happy with, and it nags on my pride.. hehe. I have learnt a lot tho, and the next one will be a lot better...

What irritates me is that I spesifically asked for paint that would cure totally solid, but I don't think I got it right.

I think that next time I will paint at a pro painter tho, it will actually turn out cheaper than what it will cost in cans in the end.. hehe..

cheers!!!

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Considering pro paintjobs run in the hundreds of dollars (3 or more isn't uncommon), I'm not sure about that.

You want paints that'll burn in, so the scratches in the coats below really don't matter. Only the final coat needs real sanding up to very fine grit. I tend to level sand fully with 400 to 800 grit (depending on how smooth the surface is), then shoot a final clearcoat, and not touch that one with anything less than 1200, preferably with 1500 and above only. Easier than trying to get rid of scratches from 600 grit paper, that's for sure!

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I really like Deft nitro lacquer, it is one of the cheaper ones, that finishes nicely. It does not check or yellow (or at least it is advertised that way, mine hasn't yet but it is only 1-1/2 years old and stays out of the sun). Before applying it over acrylic lacquer do a test run to make sure they are compatible. 320 grit is the coursest I would go for a scuff sand, I usually go with 400 grit, YMMV. As soon as you spray the first coat of clear, it will fill in the sanding scratches and in fact the lacquers will even melt into the color coat a little and that scratches will disapear.

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I wouldn't really go above 400 grit. I have been told that 400 is even too fine for a scuff sand, that it does not create enough tooth for the next coat to grab. Generally 600 and up is polishing. Unless your color coat has runs in it, I wouldn't worry about level sanding yet. Get a bunch of clear coat on before you level sand.

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