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How can someone tell what finish is on a guitar


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im just gonna state a few facts about both, cos im not sure i could tell them apart, however have a read anyway!

nitro lacquer checks and gives a very high gloss, very glassy finish. it is hard also, but more brittle than poly. poly withstands water better, and doesnt age or yellow like nitro does.

hope this helps

mike

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hmmm, im not too sure, i think nitro is quite sensitive to solvants, which the poly will have, to keep the spray in solution, this evaporates to leave finish, yadda yadda. ill ask dad, he'll know :D

dad thinks the poly will eat away the nitro. sand the nitro off and do it with poly.

mike

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Well, since I guess lac and poly are the top two contenders these days...

Find an inconspicuous spot on the body somewhere and drop a drop of lacquer thinner on it. Wipe it off after about 1 minute. If it's soft, you can scrape some finish off with your thumbnail, it's lacquer.

If no response, it's probably poly.

AFAIK, poly is harder and tougher than lacquer.

The old finishing rule is never apply a harder finish over a softer one, trouble will always follow.

If I remember right, you can get away with lacquer over poly, not the other way 'round.

BUT, you can always use 2 coats of shellac as a barrier coat. Shellac is a great 'separator', it bonds to almost anything and almost anything bonds to it.

So, if lacquer is on the bottom, shoot shellac, it'll stick to lacquer. Then shoot your poly over that, poly will stick to the shellac.

But you still might run into problems doing poly over lacquer...hard over soft just don't mix.

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drak has a good pint there, i actually stumbled over some shellac on one of my brothers shelves, dad had put it there, wee shells. i found it on the net, its the secretion of a bug from somewhere!

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i dont think ill be using it, cos i think im oiling my next guitar, or using poly, but i may experiment with shellac, i was on a site about it, saying about cuts etc... i didnt read very much of it, lol :D

mike

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Im still not 100% sure what this is about, but it seems like a question of if you can use poly over lacquer or lacquer over poly. The answer is yes. You'll just need to scuff/sand since it's an existing finish. I use only lacquer for my custom paints and clearcoat with poly. I shoot lacquer over old poly finished bodies after using the primer and sealer. I will, for the first time, be shooting nitro clear lacquer right over a nice see through blonde poly to create the checking effect doing the hot/cold thing. Looking forward to see how that turns out.

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What do you mean, like poly or lacquer?  What make/model guitar is it?

SX J bass. Made in China. The finish feels hard enough to poly, but I wanted to know if there is a way to tell?????

Getting back to your question, it will be safe for you to poly over poly with no reactions. I'm pretty sure most import stuff is poly as lacquer is more labor.

I lacquered over my poly base only after paint stripper did absolutely nothing to it. I had poly'd it about 15 years prior to doing a color change and it was soild as a rock. I should have stated that to avoid confusion as lacquer sprayed on anything other than lacquer will mess it up...unless you have a very stable and old cured poly surface. Good luck.

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When I talked to the guy at Guitar Reranch about 3 months ago, he said that Poly would work over Nitro. I also remember a automotive finish person tell me that I could spray clear automotive Poly over Nitro and it would work great. I have only done one guitar with this combination, using the nitro for the basecoat, and poly for clear, but so far it looks great.. I'll let ya know if it ever peels off.. lol

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