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Decal clear coat questions

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by stephen78, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. stephen78

    stephen78 TDPRI Member

    85
    Mar 13, 2016
    Michigan
    Hi everyone. I'm planning on getting a Warmoth neck finished with Vintage Tint Satin Nitro. I would like to apply some sort of custom made waterslide decal (haven't decided the design yet). What sort of clear coat should I use once the decal is applied that would work with the vintage tint satin nitro (that hopefully won't ruin the look of the satin finish applied by Warmoth)? Also if you can recommend some specific brands and the method you used (applying/sanding/etc.) that would be much appreciated. I've never done anything like this so I'm a complete novice. Thanks in advance!
     

  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Howdy and welcome.
    First see if you can get the brand of nitro that Warmouth uses. Then google that to see if the sell locally or will ship to you. I'd even ask them what they suggest for a topcoat for what you want to do. Also ask if what you want to do voids the warranty and consider the answer before you proceed.
    That said Behlens String Instrument Lacquer sold at Woodcraft in both can and rattle can is Nitro and will most likely work but it's always better to ask first. Sherwin Williams Lo VOC is also Nitro as are a few of their other lacquers. The SW is usually by the gallon so unless you intend to build a few others the Belhens might be best.
    You'll also need painters tape so you can tape off the rest of the neck so the overspray doesn't ruin the warmouth finish.
    I use a credit card to get out all the bubbles from underneath the decal but you have to be careful not to rip it.
    Wait until it's fully dry before applying top coat.
     

  3. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    You might also consider getting some Microset setting solution. Its about $6 for a 1 oz bottle. It softens the decal up when you apply it, so that it gets nice and snug to the surface. A satin finish will not be as smooth as a gloss finish, so this may help get good adhesion.

    The next trick may be getting the clear coat over the decal to match the finish of the rest of the guitar. I have taken a liking to micromesh sanding pads. Their literature says that micromesh 3200 - 3600 is a satin finish. This is equivalent to 1350 grit paper (ANSI) - see conversion chart here.

    ...but smarter people may just apply the decal, clear coat it, and then go play their dang guitar. Me? I can't accept any process that is less than 12 steps.
     
    DrASATele likes this.

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  5. ndcaster

    ndcaster Friend of Leo's

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    shellac will work, won't it?
     

  6. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    As a top coat for the decal? I would think so. It wouldn't be a problem with the lacquer underneath. Might not be super durable but who really spills a beer just on the headstock?
     

  7. Crazy John

    Crazy John Tele-Meister

    Age:
    59
    227
    Oct 1, 2008
    Clemmons NC
    Many of the early Fender guitar headstock decals went over the finish. You might want to see how it looks with no finish over the decal.
     
    cmclayton101 likes this.

  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Whatever you do the decal has to be sealed before application. Decal setting solution or lacquer (very lightly applied in multiple passes) can be used to seal it - then lacquer will work fine over the applied decal (assuming it is properly applied).
     

  9. Rich B in Tempe

    Rich B in Tempe Tele-Holic

    Age:
    64
    539
    Apr 20, 2016
    Tempe Arizona
    Warmoth DOESNT SPRAY NITRO!
     

  10. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    And? . . . .
     

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