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Hello, I'm currently refinishing a guitar as a sort of experimental project to find out what I'm capable of, to make mistakes on and to learn from before I start attacking 2 other guitars of mine.

I'm using Createx auto air paints with an airbrush (a cheapo airbrush, but it seems to work well!). I'm nearing the end of applying the colour, just have a stencil to paint and black burst around the edge, and am beginning to think about the best way to do the final clearcoats. What I would like to achieve is a nice hard high gloss finish similar to what you see on good quality guitars. I'd rather use a rattlecan for this as I think non-waterbased liquids will be a pain in the arse to clean out of the airbrush.

Does anyone have any recommendations for rattlecan clearcoat that will be compatible with createx paint and not *too* nasty to use?

Thanks,

Nick

I've just realised this is probably in the wrong forum...doh!

Edited by JellyBaby
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Hi to really simplify things clearcoat rattle can will not get you the hard durable finish that you get on industry standard guitars as they use a 2K clear polyurethane or polyester finish and by the sounds of it you will not have all the necessary equipment to spray this so your alternative is to use the rattlecan stuff "BUT" don't expect the impossible. I'm sure that many on here have had good results and believe me I have tried all the nitros,acrylics but have switched over to the industry standard stuff as it is the best and most durable and the gloss is outstanding when done right. Do a search function and you can gain a wealth of knowledge from this JMHO.

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2K urethanes will give you one of the best protective clear coats, but you can not spray it through and air brush for a full guitar. A desk sized model would be fine, but you don't get the coverage you need to do it with an airbrush. If you are so inclined you can get into buying a spray gun if your compresor will support it, but then you really really need a very good respirator, since that stuff is horrible for your lungs. Not the spray cans are much better to breath in, but not quite as bad.

The nitro lacquer from Reranch is very nice stuff and a lot of people use nothing else and get great finishes. Deft lacquer which you can get at Lowes is pretty good. It dries nice and clear, but does have more of a tendency to chip out.

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Does anyone have any recommendations for rattlecan clearcoat that will be compatible with createx paint and not *too* nasty to use?

I've used Minwax high-gloss poly numerous times and have had good results. Never had any compatibility issues so long as previously laid down paint is well cured. Its necessary to scuff between applications to ensure a good mechanical bond.

Edited by Southpa
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Thanks guys, some really useful info there. I do actually have 2 gravity fed spray guns, not used them much; when I first started out I used them to spray the createx paint and was a little horrified by just how much paint they got through for not very good coverage, so I switched to a cheap airbrush which has produced a nice consistent colour finish (from my experience, of which I've had very little!) using considerably less paint. So I could go for these 2k urethane things but I know absoloutely nothing about them and cleaning the gun afterwards will be a nightmare (I'm quite lazy when it comes to boring things like that :D )

That Aeromax 2k stuff looked interesting, but a little on the expensive side I think (I guess you can't have it all) .. I don't know if the 2k urethane for sprayguns is any cheaper??

That Nitrocellulose stuff from reranch looks like the biz, it's in the sort of price range I'd be willing to pay for my first refinish attempt. I'm guessing I'd probably need about 4 cans of the stuff, only problem is it's in the US and I'm in the UK so I'll have to have a little look around for some equivalent Nitrocellulose stuff

The Minwax is nicely priced and is a poly ... might also be worth a look.

Maybe what I should do is shop around by a few cans of different types and brands within the price range and see which one I like the most. :D

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That Nitrocellulose stuff from reranch looks like the biz, it's in the sort of price range I'd be willing to pay for my first refinish attempt. I'm guessing I'd probably need about 4 cans of the stuff, only problem is it's in the US and I'm in the UK so I'll have to have a little look around for some equivalent Nitrocellulose stuff

Don't really know about the price but these people do nitro in the UK

http://www.tonetechluthiersupplies.co.uk/L...duct-flyer.html

they also do it in a non-aerosol from

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That Nitrocellulose stuff from reranch looks like the biz, it's in the sort of price range I'd be willing to pay for my first refinish attempt. I'm guessing I'd probably need about 4 cans of the stuff, only problem is it's in the US and I'm in the UK so I'll have to have a little look around for some equivalent Nitrocellulose stuff

Don't really know about the price but these people do nitro in the UK

http://www.tonetechluthiersupplies.co.uk/L...duct-flyer.html

they also do it in a non-aerosol from

Nice thanks, unfortunately the website seems a little broken.

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What about acrylic lacquers, are they any good? I've been searching on lacquers for the last couple of hours and acrylic ones seem to be the easiest to get hold of. Nitro is pretty much impossible to get or far too expensive and I haven't found any poly yet ... having said that I have found a manufacturer called Morrells ( link ) which could be a winner ... they also have a branch in Bristol which is near me. Going to drop them an email see if I can get any prices.

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Bro if youre in the UK look on E-Bay for the 2K clear in the rattlecans I have seen them for £6.95+2.99 postage, again I have not used them but have the 2K clear which you mix and spray I have some that does not require thinning just mix 4.1 and the activator is a standard type not fast and not slow. My advice is experiment and use what youre comfortable with, also if you decide to mix your own use a standard activator as sometimes especially when you have done a graphic the clear will grab the paint and pull at it leaving a white line where youre paint was masked as it dries quite fast. I have not had any trouble whatsoever with the standard catalyst and although it takes longer to dry its trouble free, hope this helps and would love to see what youre working on..... :D

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i used minwax poly spray and it comes out awesome

aniceday088-1-1.jpg

thats just the second coat. i cant remember if this was leveled at the time. but you can see how shiny it is. ive sanded down this coat and bufffed it and its like glass :D its just about how well you spray and how well you level it

now i got about 18 more coats to go haha j/k but i still got work. but anyway i hope that helps?

Edited by Pestvic
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i used minwax poly spray and it comes out awesome

aniceday088-1-1.jpg

thats just the second coat. i cant remember if this was leveled at the time. but you can see how shiny it is. ive sanded down this coat and bufffed it and its like glass :D its just about how well you spray and how well you level it

now i got about 18 more coats to go haha j/k but i still got work. but anyway i hope that helps?

wow that is looking sexy ... not sure minwax is available in the UK though? I shall have a google.

What is meant by "levelling" when it comes to clear coating? Sounds like quite an important step in the clear coating process to get best results! :o

Edited by JellyBaby
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Do you mean this stuff: EBAY ?

Yep thats it but I dont know how well it performs as I have never used this but for the price I would give it a go.

Levelling a guitars finish is when you take down any imperfections or orange peel to a satin amtt finish and trying to eliminate any shiny spots,basically making the whole guitar a smooth satin or matt type finish this will the indicate that all of the guitars surface is uniform so its ready to polish. I would like to point out also alot of people make the same mistake as I have done in the past and that is when levelling a guitar finish and you start to make the guitars finish all matt looking and when you come to a shiny spot ie a dimple that is lower than the rest of the finish you try and sand this out "WRONG!" this can be removed but when it comes to polishing the guitar you will be left with a hollow that can be seen on the guitars reflective surface. What I do in these circumstances is wipe down the whole guitar of residue tack cloth it and then shoot another couple of coats till you actually build these shiny spots up, then depending on how well these coats have gone on flat down with 1200-1500 grit wet/dry paper and when all is nice and matt looking start the polishing and your results will be far superior thatn you can imagine. I have learnt over the years and expense that preparation is the key if this is bad the whole guitar finish will suffer, hope this helps. :D

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2K urethanese are usually a little pricier. For the lower end stuff, which will look nice but does not spray as nicely or flow out as nicely I have usually seen around $40 for a quart with catalyst.

Acrylic lacquers are used a lot by rookies, but have the tendancy to take forever to harden, and even then they never get as hard as nitro lacquer. People have reported getting marks in the clear coat after setting a guitar on a towel 6 months after spraying the clear coat with acrylic lacquer.

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2K urethanese are usually a little pricier. For the lower end stuff, which will look nice but does not spray as nicely or flow out as nicely I have usually seen around $40 for a quart with catalyst.

Acrylic lacquers are used a lot by rookies, but have the tendancy to take forever to harden, and even then they never get as hard as nitro lacquer. People have reported getting marks in the clear coat after setting a guitar on a towel 6 months after spraying the clear coat with acrylic lacquer.

Ah right I see. I have no idea how much a "quart" is, but assuming it's around 1 litre for $40 (about £25) doesn't seem too bad to me ... assuming I'd be able to do more than one body with that?

This 2k stuff I've bought I have no idea whether it is poly or acrylic, I assume it's acrylic as it's aimed at the car industry and that all seems to be acrylic. We shall see. I've just learned that the isocryanite (??) in the hardner (? the one of the 2 parts) is incredibly toxic and I am now paranoid about dying ... so I now need to find protective wear that's more suitable than what I have now (some old clothes, dust mask and some goggles)

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You'll want a good repsirator rated for VOC's. They usually have activated charcoal in them. Nitrile rubber is good for gloves, the solvents eat right through latex. A lot of people shy away from the 2K stuff because of the health risks. I even had 1 place refuse to sell to me because I do not own an approved spray booth.

In this case acrylic or poly shouldn't matter much, since it is a 2-part mix which is very different than rattle can stuff. Just remember which it is in case you have to do future work since they are not interchangable. And yes, 1liter is about the equivalent of 1 quart.

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Well that solves the cleanup issue. If you don't clean a gun immediately after finishing up you are going to have a very tough time restoring it.

The respirator is still a must though.

Yep, I've ordered a 3M 4255 respirator and a box of Nitrile gloves. Do I need proper coveralls or can I just get away with cotton ones? and what is the right eye protection? I have some impact glasses but obviously they won't protect against the gases.

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JB glad we can all help out. As regarding a respirator make sure it is for 2K use! The one I have and I think also many here have is the Gerson half mask respirator I got mine on E-Bay for about £ 39 just double check yours is for 2K use. I didn't use any goggles but if you have them use them and as for protective clothing wear anything that doesn't contain wool fibres as believe it or not when you spray you actually create a static charge and your clothing fibres as you move around cling to the finish like a magnet. I have a Tyvek paper style overall which I wear and it works but then again it is almost impossible to stop every contaminant when spraying unless you have hospital like coditions but generally don't spray where you woodwork. I will be building a spray booth specifically for guitar finishing in the next month or so just to try and eliminate any problems that may occur, love to see your project when done and report back on the 2k aerosol ie ease of use how well it flows etc as it certainly can help any other guys out there that dont have access to spray equipment and good luck :D

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Yes thanks everyone for all your help and advice! :D

I definitely have the right respirator, it's for moderate levels (5000 ppm or something) of organic compounds. Only cost me £12 from ebay B) It's reusable but only for so long.

I'll definitely get some pics up when I'm done (unless it turns out total crap haha) with some lessons learnt (of which there are many already :D ) and how well the lacquering went, but it'll be a good few weeks before I have anything to show. Stay Tuned!

Thanks Again,

Nick

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