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

Paralysis by overanalysis

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by tfarny, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I'm just curious what folks think - I just ordered a Warmoth poplar tele body and will soon order a USACG neck. It will have your basic 'standard' tele appointments more or less - control plate, pickguard, vintage style bridge yadda yadda. I wanna talk about paint.

    I have long GASed, for whatever reason, for a Sherwood Green w/ white racing stripes tele. I am thinking of finally doing it. I think I have the basic idea but obviously the execution of it is harder than some other finishes. My other two ideas are either: Candy Apple Red (hard) or basic white with a a shiny pickguard, either red pearl or gold anodized (easy).

    I have done a few rattle can nitro finishes, it was years ago but I got the basic idea.

    So, what would you do, and how hard, really, is it to do racing stripes or candy apple, relatively speaking? I have read the basic rundowns on how to get these finishes but it's hard to get a sense of the difficulty of making it look great.
    Thanks in advance for any replies.

  2. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    To get a good finish on any guitar, requires, preparation, preparation and more preparation.

    Using rattle cans adds another level of difficulty in getting a nice even finish. Using high quality paint certainly helps. Using the same brand for all the colors helps.

    The candy apple red requires putting on a nice smooth base coat, then following up with an even coat of candy apple over the top.

    Doing the racing stripes requires getting a nice base coat, then taping and painting for the racing stripes. But not so heavy that it leaves a raised stripe.

    Then both need a clear top coat.

    It's not impossible, but does take some practice to get just right. Which is a great idea to begin with, take a small scrap and test to see how many coats you need to cover and get a finish you are happy with.

    Good luck! Either finish sounds awesome!

  3. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Almost impossible with lacquer. It *is* impossible to do with clean lines.

    The issue is this - lacquer melts into itself. It makes NO difference how dry/cured it is. A new coat will melt into the older ones creating a seamless system.

    Everywhere you mask the freshly-sprayed white will creep slightly underneath as it melts the color (or clear coat - sequence is irrelevant). There is no way to prevent this (FWIW I spent 35+ years in the business). I have seen a very few people get lucky, but the most common result is a ruined finish.

    OTOH you can do it with polyurethane - and some have done it with polyurethane stripes over a *complete* lacquer system (finished and polished). The polyurethane has to be applied flawlessly because you have NO chance of sanding it smooth without damaging the lacquer - it's virtually impossible to protect the slightly-lower edges of the lacquer (masking materials are too soft and easily damaged).

    If you attempt it apply the lacquer system on a few practice pieces and do several "practice stripes" with polyurethane until you have the technique down perfectly. Never apply anything to your guitar that you haven't already learned how to use.

    Many pro finishers don't like doing these - they're a real pain and it's difficult explaining the cost to guitar owners. Large factories shooting polyurethanes, polyesters, UV-cures and other modern finishes are better set up for it
    John Nicholas likes this.

  4. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Thank you both! What are we talking about when you say "ruined finish" - visibly blurry lines from a few inches away, visible from a few feet, or just a mess? Would you go so far as to say Candy Apple Red is easier than doing stripes?

    This is just for me and my personal satisfaction, so I might be ok if I end up with something not sellable level but still pretty cool.

  5. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    I agree with Silverface... using lacquer for the stripes will not work.

    Ruined in the sense that it will not look professional. Instead of having a clean crisp line, it will look "wavy" and blotchy...

    It can be done using the paint suggested by Silverface, although I'm not sure it's available in rattlecans. Hopefully someone can correct me if they are available.

    Yes the candy apple is the "easier" of the two finishes.

  6. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    You might be able to find a stripe decal online.. like this one I put on.....

    easier than taping/painting one on....

    Valstang strung up body.jpg

  7. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    AKA analysis paralysis.

  8. 61fury

    61fury Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 28, 2009
    knoxville, TN
    Buy white decal paper and make stripes out of it. Apply over the color coat. White decal paper is pretty thick so it would take a lot of lacquer to bury the stripes in the finish.

  9. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    I am very curious.
    I am not being a wise guy.
    How did GM do the '69 Camaro orange with white stripes or the orange with black stripes or the white with orange stripes?

    Those were all still lacquer.

    Acrylic lacquer, but still lacquer.

    I have an old automotive bodywork manual that shows just masking and shooting the stripes on an old Camaro using acrylic lacquer. There is no mention of bleed through. They lock it all in with clear, wet sand and get a dead flat mirror flat finish.

    Peterson's Basic Bodywork & Painting C 1981

  10. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Meister

    Oct 1, 2013
    Highland, IL
    This was done in Behlen's lacquer. I tinted the alder back but kept the spalted maple front natural. I used purple painters tape. The edge was perfect. There was no bleed through. I shot numerous coats of clear after the tint. It ended up dead flat and had no trace of bleed through.

    New Spalted Tele Photos 011.jpg
    eallen likes this.

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