Fixing Other's Mistakes

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Paul in Colorado, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Several years ago a "friend" painted an Esquire body for me using ReRanch Daphne Blue. I was out of the country for the summer, so I don't know his process, but I believe all he did was prep the body and spray it. I don't think he even used a clear coat over it. From the beginning it began to chip off easily. I thought it looked kind of cool like a "relic" but as it continues to chip around the edges I'm beginning to have second thoughts. Last week I dropped the guitar and even in it's gig bag, I lost some paint.

    So I think it's time to start over and do it right. So what is the process for "doing it right?" Do I strip it back to bare wood, use a grain filler, sealer and a primer, then do the color coats and clear coats? Or can I use the present finish as a primer and just sand things smooth and go from there?

    I will probably farm out the spraying, but I'd like to know the process and I can do some of the prep work. It will also give me an idea of what it needs to have done and help with pricing the work.

    Thanks for the help and insight.
     
  2. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Meister

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    I suck at finishes, so I have little to offer here. In any case, I wouldn't recommend using the existing finish as a base if it chips away easily. It sounds like a bad way to start a good paint job.

    Approximately 10 years ago I repaired & refinished a Strat using an automotive rattle can. I didn't like the way the color changed when I used the clear coat from the same line so I used another company's clear coat. To this day that paint hasn't finished curing. Lol. You can touch it, but anything left touching it will get absorbed into the finish.

    I gave the guitar to my daughter & she refuses to let me try again.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
  3. Mr Scallywag

    Mr Scallywag Tele-Holic

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    It's tempting just go over what you have, especially if you're lazy and impatient like me, but I would strip back and start again. None of the processes are hard, you don't need to farm anything out, it's just time and diligence. With wait times expect it to take months rather than weeks or even days. The problem I found was collating all the contradictory info from across the internet. StewMac has some great videos, and sourcing it from one place should make it consistent at least.
     
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  4. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

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    It is chipping because the top layer is not well bonded to whatever is below it, so the last thing you would want to do is to just add another layer on top. Chips would keep coming off because the real problem is still there.

    Try chipping off the finish with plastic tools. Sometimes the adhesion problem is so consistent that you can quickly chip off the whole topcoat. Otherwise sand or strip off the top coat. Both ways are annoying with potential health issues. If sanding, wear a dust mask and work outside or at least away from where people live in a room that is easy to clean. If stripping, when the can says "well ventilated area" it means outside or in the shade of a garage with the garage door open. I've never tried to remove nitro color coat with lacquer thinner but I imagine it would be a goopy mess, cost a lot of thinner, and take thick rubber gloves and plastic scraping tools.

    Who knows why the lacquer didn't stick? Could be an incompatible sealer, could be human skin oil, could be armor all, wax, or some miracle one-step wax containing silicone. Could be soap from wet sanding or spray from the stuff sold to help you "fret faster". So wipe down the sanded body with alcohol, then naptha, then lacquer thinner. If any of these give a color in the rag you are using to wipe them off, keep using that one till no more color.

    Shellac is easy to use, non-toxic and has a reputation for helping almost anything stick to anything else, so that is probably the safest thing to use for your sealer. If the body has a lot of pits or sunken grain you can use filler, but sometimes shellac is all the sealer and primer that you need. Use "white" shellac, also called crystal clear. Don't use the orange shellac, it contains wax that can complicate things.

    Shellac is an ancient, simple, consistent product, but other than that it is best to stick with one company's product that are intended to go together. Pay attention to that company's directions. The paint chemists are always changing things to reduce problems. You've got to trust their advice over any other source.

    Stewmac's book "Guitar Finishing Step by Step" has a lot of detailed advice. If it saves you from wasting one can of spray it has paid for itself.
     
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  5. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic

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    I have stripped reranch lacquer with acetone. It's stinky, but it comes off effortlessly. You just wipe it off with a rag.
     
  6. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    Strip it. Anything else, you're not going to get the result you're looking for.
     
  7. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I differentiate. A mistake is something done out of good intention but missing a detail or misunderstanding a step or having something go wrong.
    Just 'bangin it out' knowing that it is a half measure isn't really a mistake, it is accepting less and just not caring to do it right.

    I have done both many times in my life.

    If you want that body done right, you'll need to disassemble the guitar, get down to the issue with the chipping and eliminate it first. Like body work on a car, you have to get it all straight and smooth first, prime it first, sand it smooth, once it is as perfect as you can make it, then you can begin to spray. What is interesting is that the prep takes 85% of the time and the spraying and clearing and wet sanding takes the rest.... but most people spend it in reverse and are bummed at the result.

    reranch has instructions.... prep is the key.
     
  8. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Never try to do your bodywork with the color coat
     
  9. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, that's what I expected. I've stripped a guitar before (someone sprayed it with metallic blue spray paint) and I'm willing to do the prep work. I think the guy who did the original finish just got lazy. He left it in the window of a store front where his shop was for three months so it faded to a nice slightly green color on the top and it's still Daphne Blue on the back. I was willing to live with it, but it's just chipping around the edges more and more so I want it done right.

     
  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Shellac can be a good adhesion promoter but does not have the pigments with "sealing properties" that sanding sealers have. I only use clear ("white" and "orange" )shellac on historic instruments and string family (violins, violas etc) where it was originally used as a finish; the pigmented version as a buffercoat/adhesion promoting primer over questionable surfaces - not as a "sealer".

    Any conventional lacquer will be damaged/removed (to some degree) by acetone, but acetone is a very unsafe material to use as a "stripper" due to the very low flash point.

    Agree 100%!

    If this body is chipping as badly as described I suggest taking it to a furniture stripper. The do professional coatings removal quickly and at low cost. Then start from scratch - first research the PROPER materials, application methods and safety equipment; then prepare and apply the ENTIRE system - including final buffing - on scrap wood BEFORE starting on the actual guitar.

    Get all the applicaton details worked out and techniques completely refined; solve problems; and perfect the entire process on scrap. Get the learning process worked out in advance and you'll save yourself a bunch of money and headaches!
     
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  11. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. That would be the correct approach.
     
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  12. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Holic

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    Paul, unless you're keen to DIY and learn how, why not just pay someone good to do it?
     
  13. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I probably will, but I mostly wanted to know the process and what needed to be done. I will probably strip it myself and do some of the prep work.
     
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