Achieving a Candy Apple finish (repair)

GlasgowIbanezBass

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I wanted to post this as I found the suggestion for my repair on this forum, from a post in 2015 so.its locked, and it has so far worked a treat!

I have a rather nasty chip/dent in the finish of my Ibanez Candy Apple bass. The chip.goes all the way down to the wood.

Someone suggested nail polish (which come in gels as well as thinner) which is of course a polyester/acrylate based product! And nail products come with brushes too! Sorted, no worrying about how to apply the stuff! (Although they can be on the thick side so you might want to procure an additional thinner brush or two, or another way to apply such as a cotton bud cuetip or some other lint free applicator).

Candy Apple is one of those awkward finishes because of the metallic flecks, so it's not just a case of colour matching the red, you also need to add in a gold.

I found these nail products produced the PERFECT match (I sourced them from TJ Hughes, between 89p and 2.99 per jar) and combined with a suitable super glue (and/or a clear nail acetate gel of the same consistency as the locetite or gorrila super glue gels)

Nail Products to create Candy Apple:
1. Rimmel London 60secs super shine colour "craycray", code 820, £1.50 per bottle. This is the gold base coat that adds the shiny flecks into the red, producing the Candy apple finish.

2. Max Factor X, glossfinity, colour Red Passion, code 110, £2.29 a bottle (the red colour is almost bang on right, but when applied with the gold, to produce the Candy apple, it turns just a shade too light on its own)...

3. Max Factor Gel, colour Radiant Ruby, code TBC (50?), £2.99 a bottle (the red colour is just a tiny shade darker than the red required, but when applied on top of the above, whilst still tacky so as to mix in, produces a 99% colour match!) Since this is a gel, it's thicker than the above two colours, and helps to bulk out my deep crack too.

4. (Optional) Laval crystal finish Clear nail polish, 0.89 a bottle. Any clear acrylic varnish is going to do the trick, so I picked up the cheaper bottle. This Laval is a cheap and cheerful ethyl acetate nitrocellulose product. Thins out that gel super glue and runs nicely into the cracks. Dries 100% clear. I've found this useful when applying the Ruby gel, which is obviously thicker than the other two colours - not a bad thing for me as.this chip is very deep, but I want the colour to.run into the cracks and the gel was too thick. You can layer this up once you've got your base colours down pat.

That's the colour sorted, and one potential lacquering soloution - What else? You're probably not really going to need the clear varnish and a clear glue (see below) but I decided that more was the right way to go, especially as I'm not sure how delicate this solution is going to be - how hard will my finish be with nail varnish alone? Will it cure hard enough to sustain another impact? Whilst we KNOW that super glue does cure hard enough, otherwise the youtubers wouldn't be using it.... So, best be sure and add in those glues...

Other products that may be required when repairing spots, chips and dents (according to various YouTubers - look them up, most useful)

5. Clear acrylic/polyester/acrylate - super glue! You need some sort of bulk for filling the deep cracks, and not to mention giving that classic lacquer finish, and I would suggest the range of the standard super glues and epoxies of your choice, or as recommended by the youtube guide (I hope) you're following.

I'm using a gorrilla super glue gel and a locetite extreme glue (trimethoxysilyl propyl ethylenediamine).

6. Distilled alcohol/Methylated spirits - for wiping down your surfaces so as to be nice and clean before and between costs. Very useful for wiping up the inevitable drops you accidentally make somewhere away from the damaged area - believe me, you WILL do it once! With the spirits to hand, dip a cotton bud and wipe - mess be gone! Also useful in thinning out the acrylic gel of choice when it's too thick to go into a crack and your thin stuff is too thin. I found it useful when I'd already mixed and matched the right colour, so didn't want to have to do another batch just so I could have a runny version of same.

7. Cotton buds, lint free cloths - no explanation needed. Applying, wiping, buffing, etc. The bulk of your applying can be done with the brushes that come with the nail products! So not much is required when it comes to tissues. More for wiping than applying in this case.

I shall attach some pictures as I go on with this repair, as you can see from the pictures I've taken so far, the gold lightens the red passion just a hue too light, and combining the slightly darker Ruby brings the colour just right.

I found that red passion or Ruby red on their own just weren't enough of a match when the gold is added in, but combining the three has impressed me! I was hoping for the best, really, with this repair, but now I can see once I've scrapped sanded and buffed, this being an almost perfect repair.

Please don't just apply this straight to your guitar though, please test your colours on a spare piece of wood first! And a flash DEFINATELY helps when taking pictures - as you can see, without a flash, my first attempt at a base coat looks spot on. But its not...

[Edit: added some formatting to make the list of nail products more readable]
 

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GlasgowIbanezBass

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So far, the pictures show:
1. the original damage,
2. Gold & red passion only (no flash)
3. Gold & red passion (with flash - a shade too light!)

Once my addition of the ruby to the mix has dried (colour will change when cured, so I'm waiting for it to dry before posting) I'll post another photo.

Then onto layering up the clear gel/super glue with more colour as I go, and then as per lovely youtube, scrape the surface with a razor blade gently back n forth, then going through the grits from 400, 600, 800, 1200, 2000, buffing, possibly going for 4000 and 8000 micro cloths depending how I feel its worth it or not.

Wish me luck!
 

GlasgowIbanezBass

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Just wanted to add that (edit, since this is a Fender forum!), from what Ive read about Fender CAR (vs the Ibanez CAR) is that depending on the year, you may need a silver base for the metalic instead of the goldish colour I have used. In the same Rimmel range I looked at today for my chosen "craycray 820" goldish metalic, they had a silver and a bronze too - just do your research on your model and year, you shouldn't go far wrong. I've seen spreadsheets that the purists produce detailing everything on every make and model produced by manufacturer X, Y and Z, from colour, to factory fitted hardware, pickups, country of manufacture, etc. Google is your friend.

As other threads have said, the trick is getting the base right and then you can layer up with clear until you're above the guitar's finish, then it's all in the scapel blade & working through the sandpaper grits. Luckily this is something I have experience in, years of working the wood turning lathe and achieving mirror finishes in glossy craft products (although I must add, clearly not on guitars, until now 🙈😊 - but the experience transfers, albeit without the help of a machine thats makes the sanding so much easier)
 

GlasgowIbanezBass

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Final update for today before I go to bed - with the addition of the Radiant ruby, I'm totally happy with the colour match. I may have to experiment tomorrow with a little more gold. Since the crack/chip is so deep, there's plenty room to add another layer. Now I'm happy with the colour mix, once I'm happy it's matched the "metalic-ness" as well, I can let it cure and build up layers of clear until we totally fill the crevice.

I'll post again once the crack is filled, then show some select progress working through the grains. Once I've got through to 800, you should be in a position to say, yep, this is (going to be) almost perfect, or, nah, it looks like a touch up, you should have kept the ding 😂
 

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Sea Devil

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Your description sounds great and gave me great confidence in you, but so far the photos look horrendous. However, I will withhold judgment until it's finished.
I suspect that the clear will have sharply-defined shadows and won't look that different from what you have now. I would build the bulk first and then apply the color closer to, but still below, the rest of the surface. It's not too late to reapply color using the same recipe after you've filled in the voids. The color match is actually pretty good.
 
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stratisfied

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Yikes. In candy colors, the gold or silver is not dissolved in the red. The red is translucent and is sprayed over the gold or silver basecoat.

Repairing a chip in a candy color is an exercise in futility. Let's say you color the chip in first with silver or gold basecoat just like your body. Then you can drop fill with translucent red for a color match and then do a CA drop fill over it to level. The problem with that is if any of the silver or gold overfills the chip, you get a ring around the chip. If you overfill the red, a red ring results that is abrupt and darker than the surrounding area because the layer of red is thicker, making it darker. Any attempt to sand it back will leave a ring around the repair.

On a large chip like that it is best to fill it level with spot putty, clear seal it and overspray with a close-match red metallic and then blend the spot with Mohawk Ultra Flo Clear Lacquer to level it. The Ultra Flo works well on poly and flows out so thin there is no ring like you would get with normal lacquer when you wet sand and buff. The best you can hope for is an approximate match, however.

Here's a CIJ Fender Jaguar that had a dime sized chip right on the corner of the body at the control plate that I touched up this way. You can see it is just a shade off of a perfect match but is otherwise undetectable as a repair. As always, I use an airbrush for touchups.The trick is to carry the color out past the repair to blend it. In this case, the repair appeara as a shadow from the tone knob to trick the eye.


IMG_0258-2.jpg


IMG_0258.JPG
 
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GlasgowIbanezBass

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Thanks for the hints guys - I was thinking along the lines of bulking first but wanted to get the colour match totally right, and once I'd done a test piece, given that I had so much depth, I thought I could build up with layers of colour until I was completely happy and then stick bulk on, and once its higher up, another layer of colour and then clear all the way...

i guess that my idea of one of the nail varnishes being a thicker lacquer was supposed to go someway toward that, but its not thick enough.

I've taken onboard the suggestion of using gel to build up some bulk first.

Experience on the lathe tells me that there's nothing sandpaper can't fix, even if you have to go back down the grit and start again. Steady wins the race.
 

Beebe

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What they said.

And I would consider chiseling out the damaged area to make a uniform rectangle or other attractive patch shape.

The remaining sections of finish within the damage-perimeter probably took a blow when the damage occured and may be compromised.
 

Old Verle Miller

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As Beebe said, this looks like a patch project, not a fill exercise, particularly since candyapple finishes involve very tricky depth/thickness issues.

In any patch project I wind up with several test finishes on pieces of wood that I'm going to make the final bare patch from. You carefully record every process detail for each of them and then after they've had a day or two to set, select which one is the closest to the finish on the body.

With the patch approach you also have the distinct advantage of being able to take off a fixed area of finish around the round or rectangular patch cutout area. That also gives you space to tend to the bare-wood joint until it's almost undetectable. Then you can blend the finish into the entire area.

And as stratisfied suggested, airbrushing will probably give you the best results.

YMMV!
 




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