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

Nitro Clear over Acrylic Lacquer Color

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by DrGnosis, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. DrGnosis

    DrGnosis TDPRI Member

    Age:
    38
    8
    Jul 25, 2017
    Boston, MA
    Hello -- Long time reader, first time poster. There's been similar posts to this, but none really answered all of my questions.

    I'm doing a poor man's finishing of a Warmoth tele body. I've primed it and sanded it to 400. I have an automotive black (gloss) acrylic lacquer that I plan to spray until fully covered, then do two more coats, and I have some spray nitro clear to follow with.

    My questions are as follows:
    1. It is my understanding that nitro over acrylic lacquer is compatible. Correct?
    2. Should I sand the color coat before the nitro clear? If so, what grit(s)
    I have a couple opposite concerns about sanding the color. One is that, if I do not sand to rough it up, the nitro may not adhere well. The other is that, if I do sand, any imperfections in the color will be visible through the clear and will not be able to be buffed out. Is it ever acceptable to buff the color coat?

    Thank you kindly in advance for your time and help.
     

  2. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    Leo used to use nitro over acrylic in the Pre CBS days so it's been done. The common advice is to always test your exact finishes just to be sure but it's a common recipe so you should be fine.

    Post your specific brands and versions and you might find people who've used the same.

    Buffing the color coat isn't common, one guy here does it, can't think of any other. I have gotten good black gloss by clear coating black primer after fine sanding, from 600 grit to 0000 steel wool. Buffing before clear will make any adhesion problems, if any, worse.
     

  3. poolshark

    poolshark Tele-Holic

    520
    Mar 20, 2011
    Tallahassee
    Agreed with the above. Nitro is *generally* fine over acrylic lacquer, but since most lacquers are actually a blend, it's wise to try your products out with a test piece. There are finishers out there who sand between coats, but I've never found it necessary.
     

  4. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Definition of lacquer is any paint using acetone as a thinner. Acrylic and nitro should be fine. Lacquer over enamel is the blowup risk.
     
    Rano Bass likes this.

  5. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Holic

    675
    Aug 14, 2015
    Nashville
    Minwax clear nitro lacquer over Duplicolor acrylic lacquer works very well, just ask the guitar in my avatar.

    I did sand the color completely flat all the way to 2000 before spraying the clear. Of course, I don't know how it would look if I hadn't done that, but it is super glossy and super smooth. So much so that a couple people were convinced the white part of the guitar was plastic rather than wood.
     

  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    They are the SAME thing. There are some differences in formulations between manufacturers, but with the expception of Deft products (which are notoriously slow curing) they are all very similar.

    There is no such thing as "nitro" lacquer in the common finish supply chain. ALL normal lacquers are nitro/acrylic blends and have been since the 1920's - no matter how the labels are worded.

    FWIW I spent 35+ years in the tech end of the business.
     
    Rano Bass and DrGnosis like this.

  7. zipseattle

    zipseattle TDPRI Member

    90
    May 23, 2013
    Washington state
    My avatar guitar is Duplicolor Metal Specks blue, with Minwax aerosol lacquer as the clear coat.

    With metallics and clear coat, one way is to mist the color coat on very lightly per coat and use many coats (requires patience). This is to allow the metallic specks to land and stick at various angles, capturing and reflecting the light. If you're doing it right, the metallic color coat will have an almost imperceptible fuzziness. Then, without touching or sanding the color coat, start misting the clear on very lightly, with multiple coats. Once the clear has built up enough to capture and seal the metallic specks, then slightly heavier coats of clear can be applied.

    If the initial coats of clear are too heavy, the solvents will soften the color coat, and the metallic flecks will lay down, reducing the effect. I used a lot of clear to ensure I wouldn't sand through when wet sanding and polishing.

    The end result can be a very deep and rich looking metallic finish.
     

  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    It's been a couple of months - it'd be nice to find out what you ended up doing.
     

  9. DrGnosis

    DrGnosis TDPRI Member

    Age:
    38
    8
    Jul 25, 2017
    Boston, MA
    I ended up going ahead and using nitro over black acrylic lacquer. No problems whatsoever. It turned out great. I don't have a picture handy, but I'll post one in the next couple days.

    This was actually my first telecaster not just to make, but to own as well. I absolutely love the way it feels and plays. I have this "where have you been my whole life?" feeling.
     

  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Glad it worked out so well - congrats!
     

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