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Sanding metallic finish

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I put the first coat of (red) acryl metallic paint (from an aerosal spray can) on my body and it's about time for the second coat.

Somebody told me NOT to sand metallic lacquer because you knock off the tops of the red flakes and the silver color from the aluminum shows through.

However, this guitar needs a couple of more coats, so I was wondering if it's okay to sand it a bit, as there are some flaws anyway.

Thanks for any help in advance!


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It is normal to sand or rub back metallic lacquers prior to recoating, either with more coloured lacquer, or clear. The metallic part of the paint is aluminium usually, and definately not coloured. Depending on the size of the metallic flake, it may even turn out like sandpaper (if the flakes are large, eg: the same size as youd get if you filed some aluminium with a rough file).

So, yes, definately sand between all coats.

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Yes, absolutely!!

If your really keen, try mixing one part metallic paint to four parts clear, and spray a couple coats like that. This will give added depth to the finish.

Make sure you always finish with at least three coats of pure clear though, so when you rub back and buff, you dont rub through to the coloured paint. I try to do no more than three coats of colour (two preferred), over a couple coats of sealer/primer, and maybe six coats of clear.

When rubbing back, use a very fine steel wool (from your hardware store) on the edges, and press lightly. This will help you avoid the dreaded rub through on the edges.

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