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

Satin/Matt lacquer hypothetics

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Mat UK, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    A simple question that's been playing on my mind, as I'm planning on finishing a guitar or two in satin.

    I have two (hypothetical) guitars both with an opaque black base layer and both are finished with 6 coats of clear lacquer, no levelling or buffing required

    The difference between the two is:

    - Guitar A has 5 coats of gloss clear lacquer + 1 final coat of satin clear lacquer

    - Guitar B has 6 coats of satin clear lacquer

    They're both satin, but what would the visual difference be between the full satin coats and the gloss/satin coats... if any?

    Thanks!
     

  2. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Hypothetically, none. Assuming the coats are all of the same thickness, and as you say, shot perfectly so no leveling or other manipulation is necessary.

    This is my guess, based on logic, and the fact that if you take a glossy guitar and degloss it mechanically, you cannot tell it was once glossy. Maybe. Hell, I don't know. Why are you asking this? Just decide on gloss or satin, and shoot the thing!! :confused::confused::p
     
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  3. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    It depends completely on the product and the best thing to do is ask the manufacturer With some the only difference is in reflectivity of the final coat because of exposed flattening agents. Where they are buried in the film they should not make a difference - usually. But there are some that use flattening agents that change the way light works throughout the entire film - those will not so much change the gloss externally as affect the depth of the system and the way light penetrates and bounces off the wood (or color).

    Most fall in the first group. But not all. It has to do with the actual product formulation and there are virtually thousands of different approaches.
     
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  4. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    Oh, mainly because gloss cans are cheaper than satin (on the whole) - I'm aiming for a deep satin finish and didn't know if spraying all satin would achieve that over gloss/satin combo... only one way to find out! And that's assuming I can even shoot flat!
     

  5. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    Hmmm ok, I assume the cheaper category of rattle can finishes will generally fall in the first group - which is what I'm aiming to get.

    This also begs the question. To achieve a uniform sprayed satin finish does it rely on the ability to spray the final coat smooth and flat? I assume wetsanding/buffing will change the texture and ruin the sprayed satin? In which case would you flat sand your second to last coat and then spray your final satin coat and hope for the best?!

    Cheers for the replys chaps!
     

  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Mostly - but it's important to have ALL coats smooth and flat so the final coats don't have to be applied too thickly.

    Even with aerosols, if they are applied correctly wet sanding is rarely necessary. You should be able to go straight to a cloth-wheel buffer with solid-stick buffing compounds. At worst there might be some spot wet sanding *if* there are tiny runs, and possibly (in few cases) wet sanding the whole thing starting with paper no coarser than 1000.

    But if it takes more serious sanding than that there are applications errors that should have been solved during practice piece finishing. Never should happen on the actual instrument.
     
    Mat UK likes this.

  7. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    This is what I don't get. Surely buffing would mean the satin finish is glossed and polished up - so less satiny; and spot sanding is introducing a scratch pattern that won't match the untouched satin finish?...
     

  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    This is where stick-type buffing compounds come in, plus specific grits of powdered abrasives. When they're used properly a smooth but satin finish results. The expose the flattening agents but don't knock the tops flat like a gloss polishing compound does. They also introduce microscopic scratches that contribute to light refraction.

    There are also "satin rub" liquids that create thew same type of "invisible" scratch pattern. Do some Google searching and you'll find all sorts of finishing materials rarely mentioned in guitar finishing forums. They make many jobs *far* easier to complete and can help provide much more professional results.

    These are products that cabinet and furniture lacquer finishers (except for the high-production guys using cheap bulk waterbase and catalyzed products) use every day and stuff I used in training.Two of the most common - but 1little-known in amateur guitar finishing - are the stick polishes (which you can buy at Harbor Freight!) and rottenstone. There are not instructions included with them so quite a bit of reading is essential (and video watching, hopefully) - I use the sticks on every job and rottenstone about half the time.

    I normally use 2 or 3 of the sticks (they are different "grits") and generally take a guitar from 4 or 5 days drying...or less...to "done" in less than 15 minutes. If it needs to take longer I should have fixed *something* days ago!
     
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  9. warrent

    warrent Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    281
    Sep 15, 2009
    toronto
    This may help you:
    http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/rubbing-great-finish-satin-gloss/

    they note:
    Flatting agent consists of tiny particles embedded in the finish, and they actually make the coating slightly cloudy. Look into a can of satin finish and a can of gloss and the difference in clarity will be immediately obvious. Apply enough coats of satin finish you will see a slight loss of clarity in the build. For that reason, it is often wiser to build up a thick finishes in gloss, which has better clarity. You can then switch to satin for the last couple of coats, if that’s the sheen you prefer, or simply rub the gloss down to satin.
     
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  10. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    CR0 2DP

    Wow, ok, very useful tips - just shows how much I need to learn! I enjoy a bit of research (75% of this guitar building lark seems to be taken up with research). Once the time arrives and after some test pieces, i'll post back here with some progress. Thanks for you help Silverface
     

  11. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    Great - thanks for the link. That's good to know - and that's the cheaper route too ;-)
     

  12. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Just for....clarification...( I couldn't help myself! :lol:) those flatting agents become somewhat more transparent when the film dries. And there are numerous types of flatting agents, from pigments to "drying oils" (resins). They work differently and provide similar results but with varying degrees of clarity.

    In the finished product, however, I know of nobody who can tell one from the other side-by-side unless one of the "cloudier" satin coatings is applied far too thickly and over a dark, solid color - deep blues, browns...and especially black. I try to steer inexperienced finishers away from black completely unless it's dead flat. It's a single most unforgiving color and shows every variation and defect in the substrate - and itself.
     
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  13. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    Yes Warrent points to the conventional wisdom of building with gloss and topping it off with satin. However the particular manufacturer of the finish system might recommend otherwise - for instance Target Coatings recommends using only gloss or satin (although you can mix them before spraying to adjust the sheen).
     
    Mat UK likes this.

  14. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    Ha, well it's a good thing I am not going for a black finish... oh, wait, yes I am! Although the plan is to stain and dye the poplar body black and then clear coat it...

    Whatever finish I end up settling on (I keep seesawing from nitro cellulose to acrylic...) I will be sure to enquire with the manufacturer as to the best combination of lacquers.
     

  15. abrianb

    abrianb Tele-Meister

    227
    Mar 5, 2014
    Indiana
    If you put satin on top of gloss you will have to be careful to not sand through to gloss when leveling. Edges will be much thinner, easier to sand to gloss. Some folks shoot gloss only, then sand to satin. This finish will wear to gloss.
    There are lots of things to consider when finishing.
     
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  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    You'll have a different but very similar problem - it's *still* black, and although there may be clear on top the end result is that black will still show every surface and finish defect. It's a very touch color to do well.
     
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  17. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    Hmmm. Sounds like a challenge!
     

  18. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Bwahahaha - you got it! :lol:

    Not really - just a caution to do everything with more care - and test test test until you can *nail* the entire process. It was more a caution than a challenge - I have gotten an inordinately high number of messages, emails and phone calls over the years that (after the introduction) start with "hey, is there...errr, can it be more difficult....ummm - I think I *@#@%%'d up a black finish!......"

    :eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
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  19. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    I'll heed your caution - and practise I shall.

    Adding to the challenge - we're just heading into our nice humid winters in the UK. What max humidity and lowest temp would you think I can get away with shooting in? Or should I harvest my necks/bodies for the other side of winter/spring...
     

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