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Please help with Duplicolor and Clear Coat advice!

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by TRexF16, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Hi Finishing Gurus,

    Please help a new builder. I am coming to the end of a so-far-sucessful first build (Thinline Palletcaster over on the Tele Home Depot). I haven't posted to the build thread for a while as I am just finishing now. I have primed with gray lacquer primer, sanded to 1000, and shot Duplicolor Toyota Red Pearl. It took about the whole 8 oz can to get what looked like decent coverage on the first try, and it ended up very rough in several areas. So I let it cure a week or so and sanded it down dead smooth to 1000 again. The Duplicolor was thick enough that I only sanded through to the primer coat on one or two sharp edges. Though I am in Tucson, it is our humid time of year (though still pretty dry) and I only spray early in the AM before it is too hot, if this matters. The second coat attempt also took the whole second can. It was much better, but I got a lot of "gobs" or splatter. Here's a couple pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    and
    [​IMG]
    it's not quite as ugly as it looks in the last pic, I got the light reflected worst case to show. First question, how to avoid the splatter with Duplicolor? I notice there is a fan-shaped spray pattern, and the cans come from the factory with the fan oriented vertically, so could I maybe be getting the tip of my finger in the fan spray and making this happen? Finger was getting paint on it so I think maybe that's it. I plan to orient the fan spray horizontally on my next (hopefully final) attempt at the color coat and maybe avoid this problem. I did pre-warm the cans in hot water.

    And also, the finish, while pretty smooth and kind of pearly in some areas, feels rough in others. You can kind of see it here:
    [​IMG]
    and
    [​IMG]
    and
    [​IMG]
    but, when I took it out in the daylight (overcast skies), it looks fairly even:
    [​IMG]
    The problem seems to be it takes too heavy of a coat to get it looking and feeling smooth and "pearly." Am I expecting too much from the color coat? Does the clear coat just make it all better once it's laid on thick enough?

    I plan to sand back once more and try again. I need ANY advice you guys can give me on how to shoot this Duplicolor well.

    If it turns out other than real smooth, does it matter and do I just lay on the clear coats? The Duplicolor website says to shoot the first clear coat only 25 minutes after the color. Do you all agree? how long between clear coats? How many coats per day miximum?

    I figure to use the Duplicolor clear coat. Figure there will be no compatibility issues! I am using Stew Mac clear on the neck and it is working GREAT, so I plan to shoot the final couple clear coats once I run out of the Duplicolor clear with Stew Mac. Will there be any compatibility problems? How do I make that work as well as possible, or do I avoid that idea?

    And finally, if I don't like the texture of the color after the next color coat attempt, can I sand it smooth before I shoot the clear? If so, how fine? I wonder if this will make the "pearl" effect not happen right? Again, ANYTHING y'all can teach me will help. I've read every thread on Duplicolor and still have these questions after trying on my own.

    Thanks in advance,
    Rex
     

  2. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Thanks Capn, I had read that one, and I will try to follow it better after my sand down. I reckon I'm a little "hard of listening." One thing is I am not using the metal specks, rather the pearl, which, though mildly metallic, has particles (if that's what they are) many many times smaller than those in the metal specks.

    Should I expect the finish to be rough until I start laying down the clear?
    Thanks,
    Rex
     

  3. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Jan 7, 2011
    Washington, USA
    I'm not a pro finisher, and I have limited experience with the Duplicolor stuff. I am re-finishing a strat with the Burnt Orange Metal specs. I noticed that it does not lay down flat. It definitely ended up with some pits just like what you have in a couple of your pics. It made me think that I had missed some spots while sanding, but I'm pretty sure that is not the case.

    Hopefully someone with more experience with this stuff will chime in. I was just going to spray lacquer til the dimples disappeared. Then, My wife opened the garage door which hit the hanger from which the body was hanging, and WHAM it dropped 8 feet to the concrete floor. I'm in the process of sanding and filling the dents with bondo. Hopefully in a week or so, I'll be back where you're at. You'll have it figured out by then and be able to tell me what to do:lol:

    Good luck.
     

  4. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2008
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    It looks like your spraying from too far away or not putting on enough paint and there's also alot of low spots. The primer coat should be perfect before you apply color and you shouldn't have to sand the color coat. Sand it smooth again and hold it up to the light at different angles to see any imperfections and fill as necessary. Stay away from the duplicolor clear, it never seems to fully harden.
     

  5. ricplayer

    ricplayer TDPRI Member

    71
    Jul 26, 2008
    Dundee
    When I sprayed my bass with a pearl paint I did not sand that down at all, I was told it would mess up the finish and to apply the clear coats before doing any sanding. I followed that advice and ended up with a flat finish that had no problems.
     

  6. rip_topaz

    rip_topaz Tele-Meister

    419
    Apr 18, 2011
    Willow Street, PA
    So what clear should be used with duplicolor? I'm very interested in this since I don't have the room for a spray booth.
     

  7. ponticat

    ponticat Tele-Meister

    211
    Jan 11, 2008
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Truth.
     

  8. ponticat

    ponticat Tele-Meister

    211
    Jan 11, 2008
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Minwax. Re-read my post, cited by the good CapnCrunch, in post #2 of this thread.
     

  9. ponticat

    ponticat Tele-Meister

    211
    Jan 11, 2008
    Alexandria, Virginia
    One more thing...Japanese car manufacturers seem to love the term "pearl." What they term "pearl" is really "metallic." I've owned a Toyota pickup (Red Pearl) and have a Honda Element (Nighthawk Black Pearl), both colors are metallic not pearlescent. Never sand metallic paint.
     

  10. rip_topaz

    rip_topaz Tele-Meister

    419
    Apr 18, 2011
    Willow Street, PA
    Awesome. Thanks. Don't know how I missed that.

    The Minwax lacquer, is that a spray lacquer? Do the coats burn into each other like nitro? Any pointers or warnings for us?
     

  11. ponticat

    ponticat Tele-Meister

    211
    Jan 11, 2008
    Alexandria, Virginia
    You're welcome.
    Answers:
    1.) Yes, aerosol can.
    2.) Yes.
    3.) Nothing more than I described in my original post.
     

  12. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    Wouldn't some light wet sanding clear up most of those issues? (assuming the paint is dry enough for that)
     

  13. rip_topaz

    rip_topaz Tele-Meister

    419
    Apr 18, 2011
    Willow Street, PA
    I'll definitely be trying the Minwax clear soon. Not impressed with how long the Deft took to cure. Looks nice but waiting a month or more ties up the shop. Only have so many safe places to hang guitars at my place.
    The last build I did I used Deft nitro, and it looks great.
    [​IMG]
    The long dry times I can live without. Minwax here I come.
     

  14. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Duplicolor Update, and great news!

    Well it sure looks that way. Saw a lot of input to never sand metallic finishes before clear-coating, but tonight as I was knocking back that ugly rough finish I had created, I was looking at it under the water of the wet sanding and thinking "that doesn't look too bad - just like it would with a clear coat." So figuring I had nothing to lose, I sanded it down to 2000 and buffed it with a paper towel. That's JUST a paper towel buff, no wax or compound or anything. Here's the before pic of the area of the horn I posted earlier:
    [​IMG]
    and here are some afters. First, inside in the artificial light:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It looked almost like a finished job, and the "pearl" looked fine, but I couldn't really photograph it well inside, so I took it out in the light of the sunset:
    [​IMG]
    All excited, I went ahead and did the whole guitar the same way. It's real pretty...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    BUT, the shiney finish revealed several small imperfections I hadn't known of, so I scuffed those up and dabbed on some Bondo glaze. I'll level it tomorrow before I shoot the final coat of paint, which I DO plan to sand back smooth before clear coating.
    [​IMG]

    I know the conventional wisdom is not to sand metallics before the final clear coat, but based on my now vast and extensive (LOL) experience, I can say with assurance that if it's Friday night in Tucson, Arizona you can sand down one week old Duplicolor Toyota Red Pearl and it will work just fine!

    Thanks for the help, I'll keep everyone posted on progress.
    Rex
     

  15. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2011
    Lowell, Mass
    Nice Job man. I learned alot.
     

  16. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire


    And so....there you go.
     

  17. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    This morning I laid on a couple very light coats per the instructions in the thread CapnCrunch posted further up the thread:
    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/finely-fi...ml#post2808718
    It looks real good. I got just a bit of splatter, but I think if I go with the same procedure again once more tomorrow, and I wipe the spray nozzle clean after every "spritz" I think it'll work fine. The metallic specks are quite sparkley and if I can pull this off I'll be able to lay on the clear with no sanding needed on the color.

    Thanks again to all for the advice,
    Rex
     

  18. ricach

    ricach Tele-Meister

    157
    Nov 30, 2007
    Midwest
    Looks like you got a handle on managing the temperment of the Duplicolor metallic - except for the annoying splatters. I'm with you on the idea of spraying the clear soon afterwards to help 'meld' the clear to the color. But I think after a decent thin clearcoat, I would let it gas out completely before finishing the clearcoats.

    At least that's my plan when I finally get around to the real job at hand.
     

  19. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

    Apr 23, 2009
    Monterey, CA

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