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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Any poly spray lacquers out there?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by GS37, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. GS37

    GS37 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    21
    May 27, 2017
    Oakland
    I want to darken my new Mexican Tele maple neck alittle bit. It's got a poly finish on it, so I can't use nitro sprays from StewMac or Gracey's. (I don't want to sand this neck down.)

    Any suggestions?
     

  2. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    "polyurethane" and "lacquer" are mutually exclusive terms.

    Lacquer will not adhere as there is zero chemical adhesion to polyurethane even if sanded. It also has very poor mechanical adhesion, so even good sanding isn't enough. Some do it anyway and get lucky, but you can get lucky with just about anything a few times.

    Unfortunately you are limited to polyurethane combination stain/finishes if you want the same effect as a lacquer toner. You may get other suggestions - all I can tell you is I was in the professional finishing business as well as working on guitars for 35+ years.
     

  3. harold h

    harold h Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2004
    Kiwi shoe polish
     

  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    What does this mean in a practical sense?
     

  5. harold h

    harold h Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2004
    Put it on, wipe it off.

    Neck darker.
     

  6. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Just about any wood stain will stain poly. Buy one you like and try it on the neck heel just to make sure you can live with the results.
     

  7. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
     

  8. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI
    I've used Tru Oil on three necks, it works well for me.
     

  9. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    33
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    I'm pretty sure tru oil is a poly blend. Alternatively, poly shades is made by minwax and should work pretty well. You could also rub shellac over the neck. It's slightly amber and it feels good on a neck. Bonds to everything, it seems.
     

  10. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    Tinted shellac will work perfectly. the more coats you apply the darker it gets.

    Shellac is used as a sealer between different type of paints so it will work on poly. You may want to give the neck a quick rub with 600 grade paper to give the shellac something to key on but even without, it will stick.

    If you don't like it you can wipe it off with alcohol or thinners. Neither used in moderation will affect the poly (though a test on the poly first might be a good idea).
     

  11. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    ah snap...didn't see the last post!
     
    ndeli55 likes this.

  12. GS37

    GS37 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    21
    May 27, 2017
    Oakland
    Thank you, everyone! I'll give Tru Oil a try!!
     

  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Shellac has the lowest durability and solvent resistance of any common guitar finish; it's easily marred by some fingerboard cleaners and scrapes very easily. And while "shellac sealers" stick very well to polyurethane "shellac" does not. It has zero chemical adhesion and only gains mechanical adhesion if the surface is scuff-sanded (600 will not work. It's simply too fine) and scuff sanding is a no-go with transparent coatings.

    Finishers use shellac as a sealer on bare wood; other than that it's used for restoration of antique furniture, on vintage violin family and Weissenborn-style instruments where it was used in the original construction and that's about it. It's imply not suitable for day-to-day finishing. It started being used by amateurs because it dries fast and can be applied by just about any method but it doesn't hold up.

    You may not be able to get it. I believe Oakland and the rest of the Bay area is subject to similar air-quality regulations as L.A. We can't buy it down here in stores and it can't be shipped in either.

    If you do manage to get it be aware that it provides very little in the way of a film, so durability - especially over lacquer or polyurethane - is very low. It's meant to penetrate, which is part of its adhesive process. No penetration=compromised adhesion.
     

  14. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    That may be true but many people have used shellac on necks for a long time with good results and in my experience with 3 necks done this way, that it is very easy to get the color tint/shade you want.

    My home built Strat with Shellac neck has no issue whatsoever, now roughly 4 years old and played extensively.

    In my case it was home made body with a bought in neck with a thin poly finish. GFS from memory (or maybe an old yamaha pacifica neck). Either way it came coated with poly and now works well with Shellac.

    No worries, just one persons real world perspective for the mix.
     

  15. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    No problem here! All kinds of things work for some people - in fact "wrong" uses are how a lot of advances in coatings are made.

    I was just cautioning based on experience and knowing the product very well - but OTOH if something goes wrong with a shellac topcoat it's easy to remove, so there's normally no harm in trying it.
     

  16. GS37

    GS37 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    21
    May 27, 2017
    Oakland
    My Tru Oil arrives this week. If its durability is low, can I finish the job with my can of StewMac Aged Clear nitro lacquer? If not, I have a luthier friend who can spray a top coat of something on this neck. Would some coats of his clear nitro or poly work? Thanks in advance.
     

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