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Using Poly For Clearcoat: Better To Use Satin Or Gloss?

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I've experimented with several different types of rattle can clears, mostly over material finish guitars. I had good luck with acrylic lacquer, but I think I prefer poly for its reliably quick dry time, hardness and other properties. In my experience, it seems like the satin version (MinWax poly) flows and evens better than their gloss product. If I want a shiny finish, I suppose I can then do the fine sanding plus polish procedure. However, I rather like the look of a satin finish over the material as the flat finish seems to reveal the subtleties of the fabric better than a gloss.

To the question -- for other folks that clear with poly, do you generally use a gloss or a satin finish? Also, would you agree that the satin seems to apply better or is that my imagination (or unique to the particular line I'm using)?



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Satin is nothing but gloss with a flattening agent added.Paint starts off as clear gloss...then colors and flatteners are added to get the desired result.

I once bought 5 pounds of fumed silica to flatten some clear gloss(it was on sale :D) only to decide I did not like the flat finish as much. If you add your own flattening agent you can choose exactly how "satin" it gets.

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