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Color Tone spray can quantity

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Bob J, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

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    Question: I am thinking of ordering spray cans of color tone lacquer (sonic blue) from Stew Mac (since I’m having trouble finding something similar locally), but I’m cheap and at 20 bucks a pop and shipping, I’d rather not buy more than I need. Would 1 can give me decent coverage on 1 telecaster body that has been sealed and pore filled and sealed again?
     
  2. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. I did sonic blue on a sealed Strat body and had plenty left over. I did enough blue to cover completely. Be liberal with the primer and the clear, but the color is just for color, for coverage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bob, back in my old hot rod days we used to say that most of a fine lacquer paint job ended up on the shop floor. That is the wonderful thing about lacquer, you can keep adding layers until you are satisfied with the coverage and the leveling, then buff it to your hearts content.

    I've never done a sonic blue finish, I have done several semi transparent colors. After doing whatever wood prep I typically apply two or three coats of sealer, then 6 or so of color, followed by 8 or 10 or 12 of clear. That is shooting with a gun so I can apply slightly thicker films that you will with a rattle can. Part of what is in your can is propellant - that adds nothing to the finish thickness.

    In their literature SM recommends 1 can of sealer, one of color and 4 to 6 of clear. I would plan on that.
     
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  4. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Six cans of clear!!?? Wow.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    To put it in perspective, I usually figure a quart of lacquer and a quart of reducer per finish. Acoustics get less, I want a thinner finish. I only put on a couple of coats of sealer so that can has lasted thru several guitars. I do a lot of level sanding.
     
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  6. Gris

    Gris Tele-Meister

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    I did Daphne, my Tele, with two cans. Was really like 1 & 1/3...
     
  7. Gris

    Gris Tele-Meister

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    F46F944B-1B9F-4783-8C05-4575DC4EA8A9.jpeg
     
  8. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

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    Great, thanks all for your helpful advice!
     
  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bob, if you are only finishing the body (not the neck) I would figure one can of sealer, one of color, two of clear. You'll know as you are putting the clear on if you have enough. One unfortunate thing with StewMac is their shipping policy - you can end up spending more to have one more can of clear shipped than the can in worth.

    Get some of their little rotating nozzles and clean them each time you use them with lacquer thinner. They give you a lot better control of your pattern. Since you are in PDX you will have to watch the weather carefully for good days to spray - over 60 F and under 60%. Wear a respirator, you know the lecture...
     
  10. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    I've found that between 3/4 of a can and 1 1/4 cans is usually about right with good prep. Get two and you'll be ok, barring major screw-ups.

    That's cans in general, not ColorTone specifically.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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  11. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Even if you still have paint in a can, you may want to ditch it if it gets weak.
     
  12. dan40

    dan40 Friend of Leo's

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    I used a little less than one can of the Stewmac Sonic Blue on a Strat body last year. Their cans spray very good even when the can begins to get low. Warming it up in the sun or a bowl of warm water seemed to help the can to spray better. Also be sure to watch out for paint buildup on the rim of the can during spraying. This can get blown off the can and create a sag or run on your body. Nothing worse than getting several nice level coats laid down and then end up with a run in your last coat.
     
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  13. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. Regarding sealer/primer, I was planning on sealing with de waxed shellac, filling the grain (not sure of method yet), and sealing again with shellac. Can I shoot color after this? Do I need additional primer? Freeman, if I warm the body and the finish, can I shoot outside on a cooler day as long as I bring it inside and let it dry in my warm dry utility room?
     
  14. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Behlens? I used a couple of cans on two Les Paul junior style guitars and got good opaque coverage including a couple screwups. One can should do one guitar.

    Haven't polished it up yet.

    IMG_20201124_174015.jpg
     
  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, if you are spraying the lacquer properly, and using a clear coat over it and a primer below.

    "Properly" means many dust coats, that you allow to dry adequately before locking them in with subsequent coats.

    Color Tone is one of the worst offenders in the "slow drying" category of nitrocellulose lacquers. It and Deft will never stop being slightly gummy if you do not apply them with the lightest possible dustings, and give them lots of dry time between applications, in the right sort of climate.
     
  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    My understanding is that Colortone has some naphtha in its solvent mix and as a result, dries more slowly than lacquers that don't. I have had very good results with Colortone by following the manufacturers instructions - three coats per day, then two weeks drying time before buffing. I'm in no hurry, I've usually invested several hundred hours and dollars to this point, why rush it.

    I simply follow the manufacturers instructions. In general if its below 60 F and/or above 60% RH I don't shoot. My only finish disaster was when I tried to push things - I ended up refinishing the guitar. I do shoot outside because I don't have a spray booth, I would not take a freshly sprayed guitar into my house or utility room. This stuff is toxic and stinks.
     
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  17. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

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    Ok, thanks. Looks like I wait for spring.
     
  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I sort of plan things that way. If it take two months to build a guitar and I start in january or february I'm usually ready to finish about the time things are warm enough. But I've also learned to be patient - maybe shoot a couple of coats of sealer to protect the wood and just wait for the snow to melt.
     
  19. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

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    Regarding primer, if I seal with shellac, grain fill, and reseal with more shellac, do I need a primer before the color? What kind of primer works best?
     
  20. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    Do you want a flat smooth "mirror like" surface when done? If you were to just use shellac as a sealer, then your final finish will continue to contour to the grain and require a LOT more clear coats to try and level. Instead, we usually build up a level coat but spraying on a sealer we can lay on thick and sanding back thin and flat...sanding sealer, vinyl sealer, or primer. Read up on "build coats".
     
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