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Lacquer And Poly


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I was consulted on an interesting project last weekend. A kid wants to strip a teacher's guitar down, paint it white and have his students sign it then put a protective coat on it.

Time was of the essence. He asked my advice and I said, sand lightly, rattle can paint, sand, sign, then use a poly to coat the guitar. Remember time was REALLY important. He didn't have time to wait a month for lacquer to cure.

The question going over in my head all this time has been, why don't we use poly to do the final coat on a guitar? It sure would cut down on the polishing later on and be a much more protective coating.

Jef

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And even with the 2k auto poly's you still need to sand down polish. The poly I have used I found to sand easier that nitro lacquer, but it only saves me maybe 2 hours worth of work when it comes to sanding. And I can get the poly and the nitro to both lay down pretty flat with minimal to no orange peel. The last two guitars I did I only sanded with 2000 grit. But you still need to flatten off the surface to get that dipped in glass look. A quality finished clear coat in the auto industry will never fly on a guitar, it just isn't flat enough.

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No they are not. There are definite differences betweens brands. Plus there is acrylic lacquer and nitrocellulose lacquer. Nitro lacquer is what Gibson uses and Fender used to use. Acrylic lacquer tends to take longer to fully cure and cures softer. Most nitro lacquers yellow over time but there are some that will not because of UV inhibitors that are added. Both of them take at least 30 days to cure to the point of being able to polish.

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If the bottle or can isn't marked you can check the makers website. Hopefully you'll find something on it. But that is hit or miss. If you really know you chemicals you can read the MSDS sheet for them and identify the components. But I am no chemist so that never helped me. If you can't find info on the manufacturers website try posting on here what the brand and product line are. There is a good bet it has been used here before and someone might know what it is.

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I'm no expert on this..

Isn't the reason we use Nitro over Poly is that Nitro dissolves layers where poly is additive? If you need to touch up Nitro you can drop fill, or respray and it will dissolve the top layer, blending in without any lines. Polly adds in layers as far as I know and would be much more difficult to blend, especially for repair work.

Again I'm no expert, but that's what I was led to believe.

If I'm off base someone will certainly strighten me out quick. =)

-John

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John: You are pretty much correct. The thing I love about nitro is how it melts into previous layers and how a century later you can easily repair it with drop fills that melt right in. With poly you have to sand a little to give the new coats a little tooth. And if you sand in too deep you'll get witness lines. But while you are spraying fesh coats poly kind of melts into itself. If you follow the manufacturers instructions the coats are still slightly tacky and adhere to each other in one continous film. But you are usually only spraying 3 coats before letting it cure. Then you have to sand a little and spray again. So you have to hope that you don't sand into the first coats and get witness lines. Plus at least the 2 part poly's have the benefit of being extremely abbrasion resistant. So they are catching on fast.

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Yes. I have successfully finished a piece in NON-ENAMEL rattlecan paint and poly. The shine is ok imho. The key factor is patience. Something like Rustoleum's Painter's Touch or Krylon (ack) will be ready for poly (minwax) in 48 hours. You "could" do it after 24, but why take chances.

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Hey KP,

I think for an option like the original project, it's a good solution. And it's good to know it can be done and be something semi-usable. I was just never sure what paints/finishes/stains will mix. Knowing Rustoleum and Poly will work together opens rattle can possibilities. Knowing not to use enamel is another plus. I wouldn't mind playing around a little bit with some of the Rustoleums and Poly's for solid colors or even stencil designs.

I finished cheap Baja starter guitar recently and I loved it. It's like instant finished kit. And the guitars - although light as a feather from pine or poplar - are really pretty good. I could easily trick one up for $200 and get a really nice guitar out of it.

Jef

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