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To Clear Coat or Not To Clear Coat

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by paulblackford, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

    132
    Jun 17, 2009
    Cincinnati
    I'm painting a guitar with ReRanch Coral (which is designed to look like Fiesta red that has faded), and I was wondering whether or not I should clear coat afterward, or simply buff the coral to a shine. I realize it's a matter of taste, but I'd like to hear some different views. I've seen a couple of early Fenders, from the original runs of the surf colors, and it seemed like they might not have been clear coated originally. Does anybody know for sure if that's the case? I would also like it to relic, naturally over time, in a similar manner. Advantages to clear coat? Disadvantages? Opinions?

    Thanks
    PW
     
  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ

    From a home builder stance.

    Advantages of clear coat

    1. Cheaper than color coat
    2. Creates an added buffer to prevent sanding through when polishing

    *3. Also adds depth to the finish
    *4. Added protection

    On a solid color, especially using nitro lacquer, You don't really need a clear coat. Just apply enough color coat, allow to dry, and buff. If you have good spray technique, I think this is the way to go. If you get a lot of orange peel, it would be a lot safer to use a clear coat.

    When you apply a transparent or semiopaque finish, the color coat is super thin, and dang near impossible to polish without rubbing through the finish.
     
  3. MichaelAa

    MichaelAa Tele-Holic

    873
    Jun 9, 2012
    Norway
    Some good reading on this topic:

    http://home.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html

    Btw, it`s the clear coat that fades and yellows over time. For example, that`s why some old olympic whites are still white, but some are really yellow.
     
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  5. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

    132
    Jun 17, 2009
    Cincinnati
    Thanks for the insight guys. Michael, that article was a very interesting read, as well. Lots to consider.
     
  6. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 22, 2013
    Michigan
    This is not entirely accurate. This was the case with older paints. Nowadays, you can get UV resistant paint and clear coats. Look at the Ibanez JEM7VWH. It uses a uv resistant white AND uv resistant clear coat they call "ultra white". This is why the 94 models look as fresh as a 2010. UV protectants add negligible cost to over all paint job.

    IF you're spraying from a rattle can, you can STILL find UV clearcoats! Amazon is your friend here. Expect to pay 20 bucks a can for it though (at least 2 cans for a paint job imo)



    FINALLY speaking, you want a "relic" job, well, putting 10 coats of clear isn't the way to do that. Do a couple coats of nitro, and leave it alone imo.
     
  7. MichaelAa

    MichaelAa Tele-Holic

    873
    Jun 9, 2012
    Norway
    yeah, you`re right bob1234. I was mainly thinking of the old nitro finishes :)
     
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