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Matte finish... how?

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

  1. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    I know that if you sand an buff polyurethane, you'll get a mirror like finish. These "Tuxedo" black Les Pauls have a nice matte black finish, how do they achieve that? I know that sanding with a finer grit, say P2500, will hield a matte appearance, but the texture of the Tuxedo black Les Paul is different, and it's a lot more black, where as a fine sanded poly surface would have a lightness to it, like a chalk board. How do they do it?

    [​IMG]
     

  2. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    Use a flat or satin sheen clear coat.
     

  3. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    Oh, that makes sense. Do you happen to know if the original Tuxedo black Les Pauls in the 50's used a type of nitro that resulted in a matte finish also, or are they doing this to recreate the appearance of a scuffed up, aged nitro?
     

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  5. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    A clearcoat with a flattener in it, literally a fine powder suspended in the finish, will refract light and provide that matte finish. Matte black hot rod finishes are being used on some show cars today and the finish is just as smooth as a buffed gloss, only the appearance is dead flat because of the composition of the finish.

    And i believe that Gibson continues to use nitrocellulose lacquer, which is certainly not the same formula used in the fifties, but has nitrocellulose as the main resin ingredient not urethane.

    The OP's guess about rubbing out the finish, which is commonly done on pianos, would yield a more linear scratch pattern that catches light differently and is hard to make consistent.
     

  6. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA

  7. An Ex Parrot

    An Ex Parrot TDPRI Member

    Age:
    52
    5
    Jul 13, 2017
    Reston, VA
    How/where would a normal human being go about getting some of additive to produce a matte clear coat? By normal human being i mean someone who does one or two guitars a year and doesnt want to get tons of the stuff.

    Thanks,

    AEP
     

  8. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    378
    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    Buy a satin sheen finish and use that for the final top coat.
    Do not lay down multiple layers of satin. The suspended particles, if in enough coats, can give a negative effect.
     

  9. sfcmark

    sfcmark Tele-Meister

    315
    Apr 17, 2011
    Augusta, GA
    One might just buy satin or matte clear lacquer and spray as normal.

    http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/catalog_browse.asp?ictNbr=580

    Mohawk also sells the lacquer in aerosols branded as both Mohawk and Behlen if you're not set up for spraying, and the Behlen in quarts if you are but don't want a whole gallon.
     

  10. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 5, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    Mohawk makes lacquer in any sheen you want. Both bulk & aerosols. Another option is to hand-rub the finish with 0000 steel wool, wool lube & pumice. It's quick & easy to do on something as small as a guitar.

    Bob
     

  11. An Ex Parrot

    An Ex Parrot TDPRI Member

    Age:
    52
    5
    Jul 13, 2017
    Reston, VA
    Thanks. I see Behlen has a lacquer flattener for this purpose and since I'm using behlen lacquer that's perfect.

    If i spray a lacquer color coat before the clear should i add the flattener in the color also, or does only the final clear matter for achieving a matte finish?

    Thanks,

    AEP
     

  12. An Ex Parrot

    An Ex Parrot TDPRI Member

    Age:
    52
    5
    Jul 13, 2017
    Reston, VA

  13. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    The matte agent would just be in final finish coat. Everything else in process remains same, but of course since you're not going to buff you want to make sure surface is flat and clean before spraying final coat.
     

  14. An Ex Parrot

    An Ex Parrot TDPRI Member

    Age:
    52
    5
    Jul 13, 2017
    Reston, VA
    Excellent. Many thanks.

    AEP
     

  15. Kennedycaster

    Kennedycaster Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 5, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    Your final topcoats set the sheen. There's no need to add flatting paste to your color. Instead of adding flatting paste to your lacquer, it's easier just to buy a couple cans of matte lacquer for your topcoats. If you do choose to add flatting paste, so a test board or two first to get the sheen right.

    Bob
     

  16. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    Sherwin Williams Nitro in satin.
     

  17. JORear

    JORear TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    97
    Jun 11, 2017
    Alabama
    This is great advice. I would add do not sand where fine grain paper. You can sand a flat finish and make it look glossy.
     

  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Be advised....all of these satin finish guitars get polished in the 'wear' spots. I dont' see the value of it....except the manufacturer doesn't have to spend as much time and care in the finish aspect of the deal.



    No....to my knowledge, Gibson NEVER sprayed dull/satin finishes until 'modern' days. Even the inexpensive, bottom of the line guitars got shiny finishes. The original black Les Paul Customs were called 'Black Beauties'......and also 'Fretless Wonders'. 'Tuxedo' is another modern thing.

    INterseting thing....I once bought one of the satin finished Fender Strats. IT had started to 'shine' in the wear spots, so I removed all of the hardware and buffed it out. Then, it took on the look of an early '60's vintage guitar that had never gotten really dirty but had also never been polished....quite attractive after that it was, imho.
     

  19. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    ^ good point on the natural polishing that occurs.

    I've got a 2007 Highway One that was matte. About the only place that's not shiny now is around the back of the bridge. Everywhere it touches you or you touch it gets polished by contact.

    The partscasters I've finished flat are doing the same thing, over time.
     

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