Need suggestions for finish repair on nitro copper lacquer

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
IMG_1545 (1).jpeg


Hello folks, was just about finished with this guitar and was test driving it when I accidentally whacked the headstock into my vocal microphone. This copper color paint is impossible to find. I do not have any nitro lacquer in this color. I tried to repair it with some enamel model paint that was an exact color match however it just rubbed right off again. The guitar is a relic but a light relic, I have finish crazing but I don't really want large dings like this. Hoping to find some way to tone it down a bit if not make it perfect. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions? The guy who painted this for me was able to get the paint somewhere but I have no idea where he got it. I've searched all over the Internet but only found copper color in Europe, nobody in the US seems to have it. So far all I've managed to do is make it worse :(
If anyone has any ideas of some thing that I could touch it up with that would stick to the nitro, or someplace to get this color of nitro lacquer I would be very grateful.
Thank you
 

Freeman Keller

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
9,645
Age
77
Location
Washington
It looks like a commercially made neck (from the decal). Contact the manufacturer and ask for a small bottle of touch up paint. IF they can't deliver ask for the formula of the paint and get your local auto paint store to mix if for you.

Of course my opinion of relics is that is what they look like when they get banged around a bit
 

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Thank you for taking the time to reply. This is a series of guitars that I am hand building, I am the manufacturer. I used a vendor for paint, however not able to get in touch with him. I requested information as to where he sourced the copper paint but he is incommunicado.
 

jvin248

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Posts
11,397
Location
Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
.

Scrape some of the finish off the inside of the pickup cavities, mix it with a little CA adhesive, apply on the worn spots. Sand after dry and apply more CA adhesive (alone) as a clear coat.

Look up 'drop fill' youtube videos.

.
 

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Holy cow that is a great idea! Yes I have seen some of the StewMac videos about drop fills. I have tried it multiple times, the CA glue can be pretty hard to control, but worth a try :)
 

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Maybe I could use lacquer retarder to dissolve some of the scrapings and then be able to apply it with a brush and use a lacquer topcoat instead of CA glue. Anyone have an opinion what would work better? I find the CA glue pretty tough to control and sometimes I get it all over places that it shouldn't go.
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
13,904
Location
Beast of Bourbon
I find the CA glue pretty tough to control and sometimes I get it all over places that it shouldn't go.

Never ever ever apply CA directly from the bottle. Place a few drops onto a beer bottle cap or other very small cup and use a toothpick to move it from the bottle cap to the workpiece. Mask off or cover everything you don't want CA on. If you get CA on anything, it won't simply wipe off. Also, never ever apply CA directly from the bottle (if you missed it the first time).

When matching any metallic finish to make a spot repair, it is virtually impossible to do an undetectable repair because of how the flakes lay out in the liquid finish as it cures. Even if you have the exact color, it will look like a repair.

If that were on my bench, I'd take the guitar to a cosmetics shop and match a bottle of fingernail lacquer to it, and do thin drop fills.
 

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Thank you Peegoo for a good suggestion. Scraping the old finish does not seem like it will work because there is a white primer coat which comes up along with the copper. Nail polish seems like a good next idea to look into.
 

dogmeat

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Posts
3,747
Age
71
Location
Alaska
I will add: do a gold pinstripe to cover the damage. One Shot sign paint is the stuff. you can even clear coat over it if you want
 

Beebe

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Posts
951
Location
Atlanta
Copper color Mica pigment powder in shellac.

Start with adding a teaspoon of pigment to an ounce of shellac.

The first one that popped up in a search was this little bag for $2.99.


Edit: you can use a Preval spray unit because of what @Peegoo said about the metallic flake. Use about a 1.5# cut of shellac. It looks like the damage is all on that top surface. If so you can mask the rest and spray a light coat over the whole surface. Do this after drop filling, brushing on the color, and leveling.
 
Last edited:

Silverface

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Posts
10,199
Age
70
Location
Lawndale CA
There are several types of copper and other metallic "Sharpies", artist colors and lacquer touch up pens.

Start by looking for Mohawk lacquer pens on their website. Also look on Amazon.

Then go to an art supply store. Also hit the auto supply stores and look at their aerosol lacquers.

I tried to repair it with some enamel model paint that was an exact color match however it just rubbed right off again.
Did you sand the area and prime it first? You can't expect enamels to stick directly.

And I don't understand - there are not THAT many makers of metallic lacquers (and I'd bet it's either acrylic lacquer or a nitro acrylic blend and not "nitro"). You could apply either nitro or acrylic and it would melt in fine.
 

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
I was hoping to keep the repair just to the damaged area and not have to paint a whole surface. However lots of good suggestions here and maybe one of them will work… Thanks to everyone
 

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Well this was a major fail, now I need to get the neck repainted. Does anyone know anyone who does that? My old guy seems to be out of business.
 

stratisfied

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Posts
1,773
Age
69
Location
Midwest
Guess I'm late to the party but I don't understand how model paint (enamel or lacquer) would rub right off unless you didn't clean the surface and it had polish or something on it.

There are hundreds of dozens of shades of copper metallic Duplicolor touch up or spray lacquer at your local autoparts store or nail polish at Ulta cosmetics to choose from which are both acrylic lacquer.

How bad did your attempt to touchup turn out? You could sand the entire edge of the headstock masking the back edge of the headstock and soft-mask the front to allow sprayed lacquer to wrap the edge slightly and just buff by hand to get a blend.
 

V Silly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Posts
379
Location
Santa Barbara CA
I tried shellac mixed with mica powder. Seemed like it was going to work for a minute although the color match was not so great even though I mixed several different powders try to get a closer match. I decided to clearcoat over it. I had masked everything off but for some reason my masking leaked and dissolved the paint around the logo decal, removing part of the decal. At this point I tried removing the decal so I could reapply a new decal, and managed to make a complete mess of everything. So this is a big fail. I am not very experienced with paint which is why I had been paying someone else to do it for me. My next move is either to get someone else to repaint it or try it myself. I have a lead on a source for copper nitro paint. Nitorlack will be distributed by Allparts in the US in about six weeks. A bit discouraging because the guitar was completely finished before this happened, oh well!
 

stratisfied

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Posts
1,773
Age
69
Location
Midwest
Yeah, mixing non-dissolving pigments like mica powders in lacquer is a recipe for disaster. There’s nothing to guarantee good dispersion and they are prone to settle out unless you have a lot of practice. Much better to tint copper metallic lacquer to suit.. I like my airbrush for this type of repair. I don’t even have to mask when using it and build up the depth of color with multiple coats and just creep up on the color match with each successive coat.

At this point, I would suggest you consider a black headstock face, overlapping the top edge slightly to hide the damage.
 

hopdybob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 28, 2008
Posts
2,537
Location
netherlands
I tried shellac mixed with mica powder. Seemed like it was going to work for a minute although the color match was not so great even though I mixed several different powders try to get a closer match. I decided to clearcoat over it. I had masked everything off but for some reason my masking leaked and dissolved the paint around the logo decal, removing part of the decal. At this point I tried removing the decal so I could reapply a new decal, and managed to make a complete mess of everything. So this is a big fail. I am not very experienced with paint which is why I had been paying someone else to do it for me. My next move is either to get someone else to repaint it or try it myself. I have a lead on a source for copper nitro paint. Nitorlack will be distributed by Allparts in the US in about six weeks. A bit discouraging because the guitar was completely finished before this happened, oh well!
to bad that the repair did not work for you.
if you are planing to produce more instruments, it would be handy to dig in to all the finish ins and outs en get your own route in how and with what you are going to do it making sure you use stuff that is widely available.
 




New Posts

Top