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

Spray Painting your guitar?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by djt, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Arbiter

    Arbiter Banned

    Jan 24, 2012
    self-banned
    I saw your post on the low-VOC SW lacquer, sounds like good stuff so I'll give it a shot. Most of my experience was shooting the old McFadden lacquer back in the 90s, that stuff went on too thin (low-build) for my taste but gave such a sweet, sweet finish.

    I love finishing guitars. I've done somewhere around a couple thousand over my career and it never gets old, that smell of nitro lacquer when you open the spray booth.
     

  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Since you are in California, have you ever checked out Van-Dee? They are folks that make Fullerplast now, but they also list Fuller O'Brien High Bild Nitro lacquer on their website for pretty cheap.

    http://www.van-dee.com/penchrome.htm
     

  3. Arbiter

    Arbiter Banned

    Jan 24, 2012
    self-banned
    Why, no. I know of Fullerplast, everyone does, but didn't know they had a lacquer. Have to check that out!
     

  4. ScottieHotrod

    ScottieHotrod Tele-Holic

    738
    May 30, 2012
    London
    I recently refinished my squier. Just sanded the existing finish a little to rough it up and then simply sprayed a few coats onto it.

    It's not professional by any means but it was cheap, quick and easy.

    Looks fine to me.
    [​IMG]
     

  5. Arbiter

    Arbiter Banned

    Jan 24, 2012
    self-banned
    That, in a nutshell, was Fender's entire approach to everything at the inception. And, if I may say so, your guitar looks mighty fine to me.
     

  6. banjohabit

    banjohabit Tele-Holic

    963
    Mar 17, 2011
    virginia
    anybody ever tried varathane on a guitar ? i refinished a floor in my house with it, including over top of an eight-inch wide oil enamel border surround, and it turned out simply beautiful. and seemingly harder than the oak it covers. very tough.

    plan to try it on my upcoming micro-lam build unless any of ya'll can think of a reason i might want to reconsider.
     

  7. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

    Aug 20, 2011
    Canada
    I have used Varathane Spar Urethane water based finish on a cedar canoe and it does a beautiful job. I applied it with a cloth covered sponge and it required 10 coats to get a gloss surface. It is very durable and I plan on using it on a future guitar build.
     

  8. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2008
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    I used that on some maple flooring trim and it darkens up quite a bit over time. It's a really nice amber color that would look great on a neck.
     

  9. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2008
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    If you want something like McFaddens but with a higher build you should check out Mohawk Classic Instrument Lacquer. It's a great product and if you do a search you'll find that alot of builders use it and it's also what Reranch is using now. I've used it for several years and have gotten nothing but great results with it.

    http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/catalog_browse.asp?ictNbr=223
     

  10. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

    Aug 20, 2011
    Canada
    Are you sure it was the same product? Being a Spar varnish it has UV inhibitors and being water-borne it is milky in the can but spreads out perfectly clear. The finish on my canoe hasn't changed color since day one.
     

  11. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2008
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    Oops, it was Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane that I used, it's not water based.
     

  12. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

    Aug 20, 2011
    Canada
    That explains it.
     

  13. banjohabit

    banjohabit Tele-Holic

    963
    Mar 17, 2011
    virginia
    +1 the floor finish is still glass clear.
     

  14. QehQeh

    QehQeh TDPRI Member

    6
    Aug 3, 2012
    So Cal
    Hello, this is my first post – I was doing some research on guitar finishing and came upon this forum.
    Your problem is the Zinsser shellac. You can't use premixed shellac. Shellac has a very short shelf life and the stuff that Zinsser sells has additives to make it last longer and it never really cures. You have to mix your own shellac using fresh un-waxed shellac flakes and pure grain alcohol. You can use denatured alcohol sold at hardware stores but pure (drinkable) alcohol is best, as it doesn’t have the toxic additives that denatured alcohol has in it. If you can get 190 proof Everclear, that’s the stuff. Freshly mixed shellac dries as hard as lacquer and you can’t beat the clarity of it, and it's very easy to repair. That’s why it’s used to French Polish classical guitars. Do some research on the web, there’s plenty of info.
     

  15. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

    Aug 20, 2011
    Canada
    There are loads of people here that regularly use Zinsser Shellac without problems. However, many have reported problems with Deft not wanting to harden no matter what it is applied over.
     

  16. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2008
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    +1
     

  17. QehQeh

    QehQeh TDPRI Member

    6
    Aug 3, 2012
    So Cal
    Of course this is true. I shouldn't have stated that you "can't" use the stuff in the can. I'm just suggesting that the problem Arbiter is having is probably because his shellac is past it's shelf life. I will add though that, even though shellac is great to use as a sealer coat, and it's the finish of choice on fine classical instruments, shellac is not that great to use as an electric guitar finish. Some people's sweat (mine included) will turn it into a gummy mess and if you spill any type of alcoholic beverage on it, you're screwed. Check out this photo of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Notice the towel draped over the sitar, under his forearm. It's to keep his sweat from eating into the finish.
     

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  18. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Tele-Holic

    948
    Oct 13, 2009
    Johnson City, TN
    Agreed, but also be sure to note the date code on Zinsser shellacs. The shelf life is stated at three years, but as with all shellac the fresher the better.

    Made from flake is the best, but also has an even shorter shelf life. When in doubt pour out a quarter sized drop onto a glass or metal plate and give it a day to dry. For use as a top finish it should harden to the point where it breaks/chips off. If it bends/peels off it is no longer suitable for building thickness.

    But it is still usable as a sealer coat.

    One or two layers applied to bare wood are not going to build any appreciable thickness, so will not affect the softness of the final topcoat. Shellac's usefulness as a sealer is that it is comparatively moisture and oil resistant (keeps wood oils in, doesn't react to lacquer solvents), and it is sticky - it sticks to wood and most everything else used for finishing will stick to it.
     

  19. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Holic

    986
    Mar 3, 2011
    St Petersburg,FL
    These were all shot with Varathane spray cans. The Tele Partscaster was made in the early 90's with a Warmoth ash body and I just kept 'flooding' the cans on one at a time then sanded it all down level and re-shot it. Still looks good and it's tough as nails. The one box guitar has ReRanch Orange stained on (alcohol mix) the top and back, the neck is Stew Mac Vintage Amber and the sides are MinWax Whitewash Pickling Paint that was wiped on/off then all sprayed with satin Varathane. Took a couple of days to paint and 3 more to dry then it was assembled. The little green mandolin is a bunch of different acrylic brushed on paints from Michaels (.50-1.00 bottle) the neck is Stew Mac Vintage Amber and the whole shebang is shot over with...Varathane Satin. Three days to dry and it was alll assembled. As I'm in Southern FL and don't have a garage or anything I just walk out my door of my duplex...spray and bring it inside to set in the A/C. I almost always have that 'blush' that Ron referred to because of the humidity here but it has always gone away one it sets up inside with the A/C on. I've used a LOT of MinWax Lacquer shooting it the same way and had a lot of sucess with that too. The sanding sealer MinWax has works really well with Varathane...and although it says not to use it under lacquer...guilty as charged:rolleyes:stupid is as stupid does I suppose. I do tests on scrap before I take any plunges with things I'm not entirely familar with. I use a lot of MinWax products because they're cheap and readily available.
     

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  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Colt - If you find old stock of Krylon in the "straight top" cans it's the old acrylic lacquer. All newer stock in the slightly-peaked top cans is a quick-dry enamel. However, the primer I believe is a polyester and works fine under lacquer (for those who need an easily found aerosol or don't want to set up their spray rig for a small job). I no longer use it though, since I found a local source for Mohawk's aerosol lacquers - I keep their white primer, regular and heavy-bodied sanding sealer, and semi gloss and gloss clears on hand along with an assotment of semi-transparent toners. Their finish coat tips provide a very fine, misted spray film which reduces sanding time - if I have just a neck to knock out I find myself using aerosols quite often nowadays - I'll also use aerosol aging toners on bodies, but usually shoot the bulk of body coatings with bulk lacquer and my Titan HVLP.

    Having tried many different aerosols, I've found the Valspar and Rust-Oleum clear coats and gloss white/black to be good instrument finishes; the Duplo line works fine; Minwax is more expensive than most; Deft is unacceptable due to slow (and inconsistent) dry times; Behlen's is fine but is essentially Mohawk at a higher price; Mohawk is inexpensive and commercial/industrial paint stores who carry it often have an extensive selection of primers, sealers, fillers, tinted toners and white/clear finish coats in varying gloss ranges.

    For bulk lacquer I used to use Sherwin Williams until local stores stopped stocking it. Now I pretty much use Valspar lacquers and a few specialty coating on relic work.
     

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