Need help with lacquer clear coat

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by 1954 Esquire, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. 1954 Esquire

    1954 Esquire TDPRI Member

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    I am doing a Tele build and have run into a problem with the finishing. I used Minwax Lacquer clear coat and after water sanding and using a silicone free polishing compound I am not happy with the results. At this point I need to prep to apply more of the same brand of clear coat. What is the best way to do this, wipe it down with naphtha and than sand to rough up the finish. Have read a couple different articles on this and I concerned about getting it right and not ending up with a huge mess.
     
  2. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Can you post some pics so that everyone has an idea of the final results? It may have been that your clear coat was not thick enough before you started wet sanding. How many coats/cans did you use?
     
  3. 1954 Esquire

    1954 Esquire TDPRI Member

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    Can post some pictures a little later. I had 9 coats of clear on it before I started wet sanding.
     
  4. RottenTheCat

    RottenTheCat Tele-Meister

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    If the "clear coat" was Minwax lacquer, sanding should be minimal, as the new finish will melt into the new - the beauty of lacquer.

    You need to rid yourself of all silicone. That stuff is a disaster for lacquer. Naphtha , naphtha, and naphtha, the sand to level the old finish out some, then more naphtha. Then more lacquer.

    I generally shoot enough coats to get a nice build up... I dunno, six or seven light coats, maybe more in some instances. Let it go on. Every few coats you can do an easy and imperfect leveling - ONLY - if its really dry. If it aint.... you'll end up with craters.

    What is ESSENTIAL to remember with lacquer, is that IT SHRINKS as it dries. Even though its dry to touch, its still wet, full of solvents. And those need to gas off a few weeks before final leveling and buffing.

    I hear folks going to 400, 800, 1200, 2000 paper. To me its BS.

    I use 400 paper, wet at first to level, then dry. After that, Mother's chrome and mag wheel polish to get it mirror bright. Always works.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    More or less what Cat says - as long as there is no wax, silicon, oil or other contaminates you should be able to break the surface with 320 (dry) just like you should have been doing every 3 or so coats before. If the lacquer is contaminated then you will probably get fish eyes in your next coats - you need to get it totally clean. Naphtha (white gas, coleman fuel) is the recommended solvent. Then sand to 320.

    Solvent lacquers do melt into previous coats (water born or cross linking finishes do not and frequently give witness lines when you sand thru coats). I typically shoot 15 or more full strength coats out of a gun, if I were using rattle cans I would shoot more because of the lower percentage of solids. I happen to be one of the folks who waits 20 or so days, stars wet sanding at 800 and go up thru the grits to 2000 wet, then polish with medium and fine Mequiars (with no wax or silicon). To me its not BS
     
  6. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I once solved a silicone contamination issue with ammonia.

    Work in a well-ventilated area. Employ personal protective devices.
     
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  7. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I read the OP right it was already silicone free, so that wasn't the problem, not really sure what the problem was that needs to be addressed.
     
  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    With 9 coats of clear you should have had a smooth, glassy surface ready for buffing. Wet sanding is done only to repair an orange peel finish or on with inconsistencies that can't be solved by flowing a final clear coat. This is where pictures are essential to determine what you're working with.

    Did you do a full practice application on scrap - the whole system, not just the clear - and buff it out prior to working on the real thing? That's always advised if you have little or no experience, or are using even one product in the system for the first time. That's how you learn how the products interact and how to fine-tune your technique.

    Minwax is a fast dry lacquer - 30 - 60 minutes per coat assuming they were properly applied. The best way is 3 VERY thin passes per coat. Lacquer coats don't fully cover or melt/flow into each other (and start to smooth out) until the 4th or 5th coat. But Minwax, like other conventional lacquers, dries fast and ONLY by evaporation (unlike slow drying Colortone and Deft, which can take days between coats, and plural component lacquers, which need to chemically cure).

    Conventional lacquers have NO cure time and can be buffed the day after final application (or wet sanded if the application wasn't smooth enough for buffing).

    Wet sanding, if required, shouldn't take anything rougher than 1500 and require more than 20-30 minutes total time, or the application really should have been more refined.

    Right now, though, all we know is that you don't like the results - not what the results *are*. so please post some pictures and we can try to help from more knowledgable perspectives. All suggestions right now are nothing more than guesses.

    Good luck!
     
  9. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Wipe it down with naptha and spray more. Lacquer melts in to previous layers.

    As already mentioned, what is it you don't like about it? That could determine your course of action. Pics are always a plus.

    Eric
     
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