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

First finish failures?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by dallasblues, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    I've had so many 'first finish fails' that it aint funny.

    There was the one that broke free from the 'paint stick' supporting it after applying the final coats of clear... That dent sure didn't sand out. Scrapped that one.

    There was the one that had millions of tiny bubbles embedded in the finish. Extreme solvent pop. Stripped to bare and re finished it.

    One of the most frustrating fails was the one that kept getting these tiny flecks of white in the clear. After stripping and re doing a few times I realized that the paint cup liner on my brand new spray gun was coming off and contaminating the clear.

    Bugs in the finish far too many times to count.

    Elbow into the freshly sprayed finish a couple times.

    I've cut through with the buffer numerous times too.

    What makes me keep doing it?

    When one turns out like my avatar.
    dallasblues likes this.

  2. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Holic

    Jun 7, 2011
    clinton, ia
    A cat hair preserved for eternity in amber and slight sand through in one spot. That's ok though. I ain't perfect either.
    dallasblues likes this.

  3. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    Tru Oil over dye. Polished. Went perfect. Sold it, later on I bought it back for half price. Win/win. Fortunately, never had any failures. Pays to practice and ask the experts before messing up. Measure 7 times, cut once.


    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
    dallasblues likes this.

  4. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    I've never had a go at anything like this but I have a black (white-ish pick guard) "Lone Star" Strat that is in pretty decent condition but has a couple of dings which have chipped the paint.

    Having seen some examples of Fender Custom Shop relic and journeyman finishes on guitars for sale in my local guitar emporium (in the UK), I seriously considered whether I could get a few grades of glass paper and set-to making my Strat look authentically aged.

    Then I went to a talk by John Cruz (a Master Builder from Fender Custom Shop) at the aforementioned guitar emporium a month or so ago. He really opened my eyes. I genuinely had no idea (a) that the guitar I have has a TOTALLY different type of paint finish applied compared to the nitro-cellulose applied to the bodies that Fender Custom Shop uses and (b) how much time and skill goes into making the Custom Shop guitars look the way they do.

    I'm still not sure I'd spend the money for a Custom Shop guitar (mainly because I don't have it) but I now have a healthy respect for the craftsmanship and artistry it takes to do this type of work.
    dallasblues likes this.

  5. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    I double this... the amber tint goes on very uneven and builds strangely. In order to get the edges of the headstock the same tint as the face and back is a real serious challenge.

    As far as first finishes are concerned, I have one that I've painted and sanded back 5 times so far! It's a build that's still not finished!

    Then I've had others that worked great on the first try...

    Take your time and test, test, test!
    dallasblues likes this.

  6. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    May 29, 2016
    Not my first finish, but probably my finest failure, I had just sprayed a great coat of lacquer on my bass that I was refinishing and all was going well. I had read that you need to wet sand it with either water or mineral spirits, and not wanting water to get into the grain of the screwholes I chose mineral spirits. So I say to myself "Mineral spirits, that's just paint thinner. I have that." In a brain fart I grabbed my bottle of lacquer thinner and rubbed a heaping portion right on the back of my bass. It took it all off, but not evenly. I was left with holes and splotches and I had to sand and restart. I fixed it and it turned into my finest finish job to date, even better than later jobs where I should have done a better job because I had more practice :(
    dallasblues likes this.

  7. dallasblues

    dallasblues Tele-Meister

    Nov 29, 2011
    My first finish job is still underway. It hasn't been a graceful job so far if I'm being honest. Fortunately it's an el cheapo body and neck and I have very little financial investment so far. It's a learning project so to speak.

    Here are my stumbles so far:

    After sealing and priming the body, I ordered a can of Fiesta Red from ReRanch. I thought the can was mislabeled as the color appeared to be a more Coral shade. So I contacted ReRanch and they graciously sent me a new can of Fiesta Red. Once I started spraying the new can I realized it was the same color as the previous. However, I also noticed the color got deeper and richer with each coat. Duh! The color was correct to begin with. I just needed more coats over the white primer to get the actual Fiesta Red I wanted.

    I can also tell you that I didn't do enough prep to the body before getting started on finishing. There are dents, dings, and gouges in the body that should've been filled and sanded beforehand. So the pretty Fiesta Red is covering a body full of scars now. Oh well. Like I said. It's a learner.

  8. 61fury

    61fury Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 28, 2009
    knoxville, TN
    Me it's sand throughs, my first attempt I stripped the finish off twice. Also I was attempting an LPB which takes some finesse not to come out blotchy, that was strip down 1. 2 and 3's were merely the result of sand throughs. Its hard to have enough lacquer on there to sand 400,600,800,1000, 1200 to 2000.

    So I took some wise advice from a member here, sand to 600 and buff out. His logic was that they didn't have grits higher than 600 back in the golden age. I'm a hobbyist so my results suit me, I don't know about others.

    Actually my sophmore attempt, a plain white Strat, I almost gave up on , sand throughs are obviously my bugaboo.

  9. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    My first nitro neck spray, about three years ago, went great. I used a friend's HVLP rig and laid down 3 lightly tinted coats in about an hour. No issues at all. Polished the back of neck, left rest matte. Fingerboard is all polished from wear except for the very upper parts where I don't venture very often.

    On the second neck I did, I had to match a tint that was already on the face of the headstock (someone had bought the allparts neck, applied a decal, and sprayed tint nitro over the face of headstock only, then I bought it). I decided to use shellac for the tint and tint match. Except I was too cheap to buy flakes and mix with DNA; I figured I was just using a little bit so I'd just borrow a few ounces from my handyman neighbor. The canned shellac he gave me was old, so it dried slightly gummy. I figured (wrong) that the clear nitro over would seal up and come out crisp.

    The nitro, Watco through a Preval, hardened relatively well but not good enough for a back-of-neck surface. I ended up sanding it to bare wood after using using every other light abrasive known to man in attempts to get the surface to feel better.

    The fingerboard on that one has been a mixed blessing - that not-quite-hard lacquer hasn't felt sticky since it started to wear, and it wore fast. In two and a half years I've worn through in all the right spots, fast relic-ing.

    Now I use Mixol tints in lacquer, and make my own shellac. Still using Prevals, which work great for me. Moral of the story is don't cut corners.

  10. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Holic

    Feb 14, 2017
    Too bad this thread is for first failures, I could go on and on with many finish failures.
    dallasblues likes this.

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