Newbie with questions: Painting with nitro rattle can

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by juliakal, Oct 18, 2020 at 6:17 PM.

Am I screwed?

  1. Yes

    33.3%
  2. No

    66.7%
  1. juliakal

    juliakal TDPRI Member

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    Hey guys! I started my first ever project this past week; painting a telecaster body with a nitro rattle can from Gracey’s. I noticed I got this rough, powdery texture each time I painted... I found out it was because the solvents in the lacquer were drying too quickly due to (https://manchesterguitartech.co.uk/nitrocellulose-lacquer/lacquer-faqs/#rough) 1) spraying too far away 2) spraying in direct sun 3) warming the lacquer. Problem is that I’ve gone through almost the whole can...

    I have a few questions now....
    Will sanding fix this? How should I sand (wet? dry? grit?)? Do I have to start over? When can I go to the clear coat?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    You are not screwed, you need to sand the surface so it is flat and apply more coats. With rattle cans it can take between 12 and 20 coats to get a good level finish. StewMac recommends one can of sealer and 3 to 4 cans of lacquer for an average solid body electric body.

    When I am shooting lacquer I apply three coats a day, sanding each day (so every three coats). I sand with 320 or 400 dry, blow or vacuum the guitar before the next session. When I have enough coats and I'm happy with the leveling I shoot one last wet coat (I'm using a gun) and then "color sand" starting at 800 or maybe 1000 wet and going to 2000, followed by buffing. I am trying to get a smooth, glossy but not too thick finish.
     
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  3. juliakal

    juliakal TDPRI Member

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    Thank you!!!
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    One of the reasons it takes so much lacquer to finish a guitar is that you keep sanding a lot of it off to get it level. Back in my old street rod days we used to say that most of a lacquer paint job ended up on the shop floor.
     
  5. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Very true - learning that the hard way... I thought three coats, light sanding, done. LOL! how naïve I was!
     
  6. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    So... in my experience, what I do is I put the can o laq in a bowl of hot water from the tap for about 15-20 mins just before I shoot. It helps the laq flow better when its warm. I also check the weather conditions vs. the conditions in the shop because humidity, cold, hot, etc. can have drastic affects on laq. If all is good in the env, I put on a thick 1st coat and let it self level. I let it stand and cure for several days before I wet sand, and then apply lighter coats thereafter. Any cracks or oddities etc. will be removed at this stage. The final thing I do is I use 100% pure silk (think: silk shirt that you can get at a second hand shop) and buff the entire surface. When done, my finishes turn out glass smooth usually. Any blemishes I find after that is simply a repeat with 3-4K grit wet, silk, etc. as necessary. Bottom line - you're not screwed and it's repairable ;)
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    mkdaws32 likes this.
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