Can anybody recommend a cheap clear gloss lacquer?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by paulblackford, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    340
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    I've only had experience with Stewmac lacquer, and that was over a decade ago. Now I have to clear coat 2 necks, and 3 bodies. For the amount of aerosol lacquer that I'll need, the Stewmac product is just too expensive. Does anybody have experience with cheaper spray can lacquer that turned out well. I'm wondering if the el cheapo Rustoleum lacquer is any good. Thoughts? Thanks.

    Stewmac seems to be getting a little out of hand with their prices. I just looked up a micro mesh sanding kit on their site, and they wanted $25 for the kit, and that did not include the additional cost of shipping. The same damned kit, on Amazon, with Micro Mesh themselves as the seller, was only $16. When does a store charge $9 more than ordering direct from the manufacturer. That seems ridiculous.
     
  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Holic

    Age:
    27
    Posts:
    716
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I don’t think it’s a necessarily a nitro but I’ve had good results with minwax lacquer and was actually just looking at a headstock repair thread where the op used minwax and got decent results.

    Also I’ve never used it on a Guitar but deft lacquer is pretty decent quality, but I only have experience using it on cabinets and furniture
     
  3. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,900
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Location:
    Coolum Beach,Australia
    The last few clear coats I did was with rustoleum clear acrylic cans from the local hardware store/auto store...

    worked well.... I'd use it again...:)

    clear rustoleum.jpg clear coat 2.jpg
     
    Skydog1010 and paulblackford like this.
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Holic

    Age:
    27
    Posts:
    716
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I’m kind of curious about Australia’s environmental laws ?
    Is acrylic the only lacquer you can get or did you give it a try for a different reason?
    Is it easy to get regular nitro lacquer in AU
    I know a lot of the commonwealth nations have fairly strict laws regarding lacquer
     
  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,900
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Location:
    Coolum Beach,Australia
    yeah, they have tough laws for commercial spraying... I never see anything other that acrylics or enamels in spray cans... and they won't sell spray cans to kids....for graffiti reasons....
     
    Skydog1010 and Fretting out like this.
  6. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,900
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Location:
    Coolum Beach,Australia
    I've never even tried to find nitro/cellulose lacquer.... not interested either...:rolleyes:
     
    Skydog1010, jvin248 and Fretting out like this.
  7. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    340
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Well, it looks like (from what I've been reading elsewhere) that it isn't a good idea to spray acrylic laquer over nitrocellulose lacquer. It looks like at least one of the bodies, which I'm using Reranch coral on is going to require a nitro clear. The other parts may be able to be clear coated with acrylic lacquer, but I'm kind of stuck on the one body. The Deft nitro seems to cost just about what the Stewmac costs. I guess Nitrocellulose lacquer is just expensive, regardless of brand. That sucks.
     
    Skydog1010 likes this.
  8. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Location:
    PNW
    Mowhawk, Stew-Mac, Re-Ranch, Deft, and Minwax are all priced comparatively. I've been very pleased using Mowhawk and Stew-Mac and I have a couple of gallons of lacquer and a great spray rig out in the shop but for small things like a neck or touchup those rattle cans are fast and easy. Acrylic isn't lacquer.
     
    Skydog1010, SacDAve and Fretting out like this.
  9. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,580
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Lakes
    To be honest just get Mowhawk's string instrument lacquer. This is sometimes still sold under the Behlen's name. It's on average only 2 dollar's more than Watco's lacquer which is the cheapest rattle can lacquer that I've used. STAY AWAY FROM DEFT! IT NEVER HARDENS! Much like anything, you get what you pay for.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    Skydog1010 likes this.
  10. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    908
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location:
    North Carolina

    BINGO
     
  11. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    615
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    You can find Miniwax lacquer at most Lowes stores. I've finished several guitars with it.

    You can find Watco lacquer at Walmart.

    I used to use Deft lacquer but found it to require exceptionally long curing time.

    Good luck!
    Rick
     
  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    1,787
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    I guess that when I've put four or five or more hundreds of dollars into wood and a few hundred hours of time into turning it into a guitar saving a few bucks on finishing materials isn't something I ever think about. I want the best products I can get and StewMac's rattle cans have worked well for me. I mostly finish with a gun but I keep a can around for quickies.
     
    Jim_in_PA likes this.
  13. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    340
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    There are poor people that try to put together guitars, too. Not thinking about costs is not an option. I'm glad to know you're doing well.
     
    Festus_Hagen likes this.
  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    1,787
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    If you buy StewMac's lacquer get a few of their aftermarket nozzles too. Makes rattle cans a whole lot better.
     
  15. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    850
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    I've had real good results with Mohawk rattle can lacquer and there vinyl sealer too.

    For convenience, I order it from Klingspor Woodworking Shop.

    It's $7 bucks a can. The last time I bought it I ordered 5 or 6 cans and the shipping was $10 bucks. It goes on real nice, and looks great :).

    This is the stuff I've used:

    https://www.woodworkingshop.com/product/m1020410/

    They sell all kinds of finishing supplies, too.





    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    Stewmac's Colortone and Deft are very slow drying due to the naphtha content. Hours per coat as opposed to 30-60 minutes for most lacquers.

    I'd stick with Mohawk, Valspar, Behlens or Rust-Oleum clear. In aerosol form I prefer Mohawk or Valspar as you get a higher fill content of solids (what actually ends up on the surface) in the can.

    But don't think "cheap" - there are some really cheap, lousy materials with crappy tips out there for a few buck a can. If you do complete application of the entire system on scrap first - to refine your technique and learn how to solve problems - which is something you should do any time you use a brand/product you've never used before - you'll still only use 2-3 cans of clear, total. Any more than that and you are spraying FAR too heavily. Regardless, you're talking about a difference of $6-7 on the entire project!

    What is your cost concern?
     
    archetype likes this.
  17. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    That's not a problem at all. They are completely compatible. The solvents are generally the same, cause the coats to melt into each other - and the two resin systems are full compatible and intermix with no problem. There are several products that are blends of nitrocellulose and acrylic resins, so obviously there'w no compatibility problem.

    When an applicator has had a problem with compatibility it usually results from overly heavy application of the acrylic in an attempt to get done. Instead of continuing the "3 light passes per coat" application they start trying to lay on full coverage coats of acrylic, with wrinkling, blistering and/or solvent entrapment under the top film.

    It's very common, and simply results from impatience. The same problems would show up if nitrocellulose was applied over acrylic lacquer and the application became hurried.
     
    archetype likes this.
  18. Orpingtons

    Orpingtons Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    196
    Joined:
    May 17, 2019
    Location:
    U.S.
    Stuff from Stewmac is good quality but their prices are out of this world. I mean come on...

    Walmart sells a lacquer, clear gloss, for something like $3.75, I tried it a long time ago and got real good results. It says "lacquer" in big letters right on the can, can't miss it. LOL
     
  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    1,787
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    I finished the first couple of guitars (acoustics) with StewMac rattle cans. Finishes came out quite good and have lasted (guitars are 15 years old now). However when it was obvious that I was going to be doing a few more I bought a small compressor at a yard sale (fifty bucks) and a small gun, regulator, filter and hose for another fifty. I've finished 20 guitars with it, that brings the cost down to five bucks a guitar.

    For lacquer I buy Behlen or Cardinal or Seagrave or SM by the quart for 30 to 40 dollars. LMII pays the shipping. One quart will finish one guitar - two if I really stretched it but I don't. I've been using the same can of vinyl sealer for the past several guitars and it will do several more. Lacquer reducer runs 15 bucks a quart, I've been using the same Zpoxy for the last five or so guitar. All together I figure 50 to 100 for finishing supplies for an average guitar.

    The main reason for buying the gun and compressor, however, was that it just lays down the finish better and opens ups the door to colors....
     
  20. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,298
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Location:
    Richmond Va
    Mohawks finishers choice aerosol lacquer has done very well for me on the last few projects. At only $6-7 a can it is a great value and some of the best aerosol lacquer that I have used.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.