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

Did I get this right (Nitro schedule)

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by papaschtroumpf, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

    Nov 24, 2015
    First time using Nitro. My head is spinning after reading a number of threads on motor finishing and all the different terms, wet vs thin coats, coats vs passes, etc...
    Ron Korn's nitro finishing ebook helped but no completely

    I am refinishing a cheap Epiphone LP Jr that I am converting to a Tele bridge (inspired by the Fano SP6). So I had to patch the some existing cavities and reroute the proper one (I have some other questions about that I other threads).

    The body is mahogany (multiple pieces) with a very smooth veneer. The neck is mahogany with very obvious filled areas (from Epiphone). The guitar used to be black but I stripped all the black paint to the wood.

    I am going for a solid color (actually two colors), which is good given how many patches this guitar has.

    I sprayed the body with a Rust-Oleum Filler primer. It's gray and supposedly has high solids content to help fill scratches, etc... I like how the primer makes it easier to find flaws by making everything uniform color even though the sheen is flat.

    I sprayed a generous coat of primer, and it has a rough feel under the touch, but I went over everything with 400 grit paper and it looks almost shiny and smooth.

    I'm guessing the primer acts as a filler so I don't have to worry about grain filling given that it all looks smooth and almost shiny.

    I'm unclear on how much color to apply next. I read somewhere I want 3 coats. Is a coat 3 passes 30s to a minute apart? On a test piece one coat (3 passes) looks like it provides full coverage (that color is flat black) should I still do 3?

    There is a hint of orange peel with one coat, so I'm wary of doing 3 unless they will actually smooth out. I saw several schedules were it says NOT to sand the color coats. Why?

    I was thinking about sanding it lightly (400) and maybe do one more coat wet enough to avoid orange peel?

    I will also add some yellow and from a test piece I will want several coats (probably 3 coats of 3 passes each) to get the color completely uniform over the gray primer. I think I can do all 3 in a day, 1h apart?

    I'm even more confused about how many passes/coats to do for the clear. I think I read 15 coats? (3 passes each). And I don't want to do more than 3 coats a day?

    So I think this gives me this schedule:
    -spray primer
    - wait 1 day
    - sand primer with 400 grit
    - wipe with NAFTA
    - one coat of color (3 passes to a coat 30s+ apart)
    - wait at least 1h
    - second coat of color
    -wait at least one hour
    - for the yellow, another coat (3 passes) of color
    - wait at least a day
    - 1 coat of clear (3 passes)
    - wait at least 1 h
    - repeat coat clear / wait, 3 coats a day max
    - repeat until at least 15 coats of clear (5 days)
    - wait 6 weeks or more
    - wet sand 600 - 800 - 1000 - 1500
    - buff with buffing compound
    - wax coating

    I'm also painting the neck, same schedule on the neck?

    I'm going to use a water decal, do I do it as part of the initial spraying of clear (say after the 12th coat), or should I wait until after the wet sanding and reshoot a coat or two on top of it?

    I read it takes 2 cans to do a body. I can't imagine I can get 15 coats (45 passes) with just 2 cans?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. Daniel94

    Daniel94 Tele-Meister

    Oct 31, 2016
    Odessa, MO
    You may have said, but what type of spray are you using? The finishing schedule on stewmac is what I basically followed:

    I just followed their suggestions for how many coats to do, and what I consider a coat is 2-3 passes, just enough to make it a fully wet coat but not so much that you get runs.

    Basically you just need enough color coats to make it opaque, then go on to your other color and clear coats. I think 15 clear coats seems pretty high...I think I did more like 9-10 on just want enough that you can wet sand it flat and polish it out without sanding through your finish.

  3. sfcmark

    sfcmark Tele-Meister

    Apr 17, 2011
    Augusta, GA
    Three coats in a day is doable. I'm pretty sure you can shoot successive coats of nitro after 30 minutes, though an hour wouldn't hurt.

    15 coats would be a LOT of clear. I don't think I used 15 passes, and I got a pretty deep finish. About a can and a half of Minwax spray lacquer. I don't suppose it would have hurt to finish off the second can, but it didn't seem necessary either.


  4. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

    Nov 24, 2015
    Great thanks!
    It's all rattle can. Design-Master for the paint and minwax lacquer (black cans) for the clear.

    I think I got the number of coats from the Ron Morning book, but it's all mixing up in my head, I should have taking notes as I went.

    I also had looked at the Stewmac schedule but that's at the time I was all confused by the wash/seal/fill coats.

    I I consider the primer the sealer coat then I can follow the last 3 boxes of their chart. That's 4-10 coats of clear. While I don't want to do it overly thick, I hear it shrinks over time and I'm not an expert at wet sanding (done it once) so a few more coats are insurance against sand through.

    Thanks I think I got it straightened in my head.

    Why do most instructions say not to sand the color coat?

  5. sfcmark

    sfcmark Tele-Meister

    Apr 17, 2011
    Augusta, GA
    Color sanding isn't necessary with lacquer. Your first coats of clear are going to "burn in" to the color anyway, and if you sand through on the color coats you have to recoat to repair it.

    I'll tell you the instructions on the Reranch website are pretty solid for painting with a rattle can. You should also look up some of the build and finishing threads posted here on TDPRI by Colt W. Knight, along with his accompanying YouTube videos. Between Reranch and Colt, I learned everything I needed to get a professional nitro finish from rattle cans.

    Daniel94 likes this.

  6. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    If you needed grain filler on the open-pored mahogany, you'd know it by now. Either you hadn't stripped out all the filler that was there already (nicely done), or you've applied enough primer to build and sand back so there aren't any little pore divots visible.

    If you got complete coverage from a rattle can with black in one coat (and good move testing on scrap for test panels, very important), I'd be worried that it went on a little heavy. Adjusting your technique will also address the orange peel to some degree.

    As far as sanding between color coats, it's not necessary unless you're addressing specific defects like runs or sags (in which case i would be scraping them with a utility knife blade or cabinet scraper and not even sanding). Theoretically if you've already block-sanded the primer you've got a smooth consistent base to lay down the paint and wouldn't need to sand the color coat otherwise.

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