nitro drying woes

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by gryffsmyth, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. gryffsmyth

    gryffsmyth TDPRI Member

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    Ok so I'm encountering the same problem on two different projects. Refinishing my Les Paul jr special and a friend's american standard tele. Stripped both to wood. Used a preval and mohawk finisher's choice (70/30 solvent mix) with transtint to get my colors. So far so good. Then, as soon as I do a coat of clear on top using mohawk finisher's choice in a rattle can (easier in my mind than building clear coats w the PITA preval), suddenly the lacquer isn't drying and remains tacky days later. Happened on the Les Paul and now again with the tele neck. Any ideas what could be causing this? I've sprayed the Les Paul with a few applications of blush reducer and that seems to help the tackiness but not fully. Not afraid to strip and start over but don't want to try again until I know what my problem is. Any ideas? Would love to hear some thoughts. I'm baffled. 2348D46F-3D1E-4D9A-866C-81606C0BDF99.jpeg E33EE819-DFFB-4D39-A60A-76D306D382CA.jpeg
     
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  2. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Only 2 things pop into my mind here. #1 is that some clears take forever & a day to cure. IMO, it's not a raw deal unless it is still tacky at the 14 day point. I allow my stuff to sit for 4 weeks to let clear cure before any further action. #2 is that maybe your process up to the point when you are spraying may have an incompatible ingredient. My best advice is a cliche: Patience is a virtue, especially where clear coats are involved. Maybe let it sit for a good while.
     
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  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^ +1

    Find something else to do for a month while it gasses off.
     
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  4. gryffsmyth

    gryffsmyth TDPRI Member

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    What worries me that it's #2 is that on the tele neck I did the first coat as a sort of sealer with the rattle can clear. That seemed to dry just fine. It's only after I lay down the rattle can on top of the preval laqcuer that the tackiness happens. I'll give it some more time. Maybe I just need to be careful to do extra light coats with the rattle can? it's a heavier flow than the preval...
     
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  5. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    I'd be tempted to let it sit for a week or more then change lacquer brands. I have had this with Deft in both quarts and spray cans. Sometimes it just doesn't want to harden. It is almost like there is too much plasticizer or something in that batch that prevents it from fully hardening. And keep in mind that the blush reducer softens and re wets the lacquer and slows the drying process. Only use it if necessary.
    The Min Wax spray lacquer is a decent product and readily available at most of the big box stores.That would be worth a try.

    Have you sprayed the mohawk lacquer by itself on some scrap to see how it dries?
    Have you tried your full process on scrap to see how it dries? Maybe there is a compatibility issue?
     
  6. gryffsmyth

    gryffsmyth TDPRI Member

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    So both the quart that I used to mix for color and the rattle can are mohawk brand finisher's choice lacquer. The quart lacquer, mixed with mohawk thinner and transtint, dries to the touch in like 20 mins when applied with the preval. I didn't try the process on scrap, but I did first apply the rattle can lacquer on the maple telecaster neck as a sealer coat, before applying the stuff I mixed myself for color. That first coat applied directly to wood dried fine in about an hour, oddly. The following coats with the preval also dried quickly. The tackiness only seems to happen when I apply the rattle can over the preval. Driving me nuts.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Welcome to lacquer. In my mind if it isn't pretty dry in an hour it will be an issue. It seems to be black magic. I've sprayed 3 coats in a couple hours with no issues. I've sprayed 2 coats in 2 days with issues. I've put on 7 coats identically only to have the very last coat get fisheyes for no reason; no weather change, nuttin. I've had a Brand new 2004 Gibson Jazzbox that was sticky and never changed. The Preval system always caused me issues... just didnt get the thinning right I guess. Best success has always been unthinned/ no additives.
     
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  8. gryffsmyth

    gryffsmyth TDPRI Member

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    :cry:
     
  9. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    A lot of finishes can go over lacquer. Auto primer was traditionally lacquer. Lacquer does not go over many other finishes. Maybe which coat is first doesn't make sense but that is how it is.

    I hope this is not your problem.
     
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  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ignore me, I'm a terrible finisher! You'll figure it out!
     
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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    We have one forumite who is very knowledgeable about lacquers. He said that certain brands, Colortone for one, have naphtha in their solvent mix purposely to slow drying time. I cannot verify this but I have used Colortone, Behlans, and Cardinal lacquers with their own thinners without issues. Note that StewMac recommends a 10 to 14 day drying time for their lacquers - I always wait at least that long before wet sanding and buffing.

    I would also make sure you are shooting in "reasonable" temperature and humidity conditions. The only time I had problems with lacquer blushing I knew I shouldn't be shooting, but I did anyway. I don't know what the weather has been like in Brooklyn but it might not be a good time for spraying lacquer.
     
  12. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd start over and use one product. Myself I would never attempt to paint a guitar with a preval. I used Mohawk rattle can lacquer on one guitar just to see how it worked worked OK great stuff. If you looking for a certain color some paint stores will mix a color and put it in rattle cans. (try auto paint supply)
     
  13. gryffsmyth

    gryffsmyth TDPRI Member

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    It's not been great conditions, but I've been waiting mostly for days with humidity below or around 60%.
    I thought I was using one product! They're both mohawk finisher's choice. Maybe there's an additive in the rattle can that's incompatible when sprayed on the stuff they sell by the quart...? Seems like a pretty big oversight but maybe it's uncommon for ppl to use both on one project. Gonna try getting on the phone w/ somebody at mohawk.
     
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  14. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    The same product in liquid form and in a spray can. What's the other variable? TransTint. You may have used too much. With Mixol, for example, anything over 10% results in a "Nev-R-Dri" finish. It genuinely never dries.
    Blush reducer/retarder will significantly increase dry time, but Mohawk Super Blush Retarder over Mohawk rattlecan Tone Finish clear lacquer should still take no more than a few hours (3-6) to be as dry as the lacquer alone is in twenty minutes. I haven't used Finisher's Choice; the spec sheet shows fewer nasty chemicals than the Tone Finish, but it still seems as though it should dry pretty fast.
     
  15. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    It's possible that a really wet coat would penetrate enough to help speed drying time, but it might not.
    You can try that, wait longer, or strip off what you've got. Or you could just spray lacquer thinner on it and see what that does.

    Oh, btw, the weather in Brooklyn lately? I recently had to wait over a week to get a day with humidity under 60 percent so that I could spray a neck I was working on. It's better now.

    OP, Abbott Paint & Varnish on Eagle Street in Greenpoint (four blocks from my apartment!) is a great resource for Mohawk products. If you want to give the Tone Finish Clear Gloss a try, it's about six bucks a can. I've used it to speed up the drying of other lacquers in the past, and it's worked every time. It won't leave witness lines.

    I'm actually contemplating a long bike ride at this very moment and could even swing by with a can, take a look at your guitar, and test it out on an inconspicuous area if you want.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I would give the projects tincture of time. I suspect the bottom coats didn't dry sufficiently before going to the rattle can, then this is slowing down the clear. Or, it could be a hundred other things. As others advised, give it a month to breathe and see what happens.
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    The one instrument that I had blushing with was probably 60% RH but fairly cool (60F). I tried some of the "blush remover" stuff (which really just kind of remelts the finish and lets the moisture excape - it didn't work. I put up with it for a couple of years, finally stripped and refinished it.
     
  18. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    The humidity situation a couple weeks ago was such that I was watching hour-to-hour levels on a fishing and marine navigation site thinking, "OK, great! I can start at two o'clock!"

    I did shoot a few short bursts when it was as high as 83% with no issues. I turned on the AC first and had some fans going.
     
  19. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes, thin coats are your friend!
     
  20. gryffsmyth

    gryffsmyth TDPRI Member

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    On the les paul, I did at least 4 coats with the tinted lacquer before applying the rattle can clear and all dried quickly. I used 10 or so drops of transtint in about 5 or 6oz of lacquer/thinner mix. Also, on the tele neck, I sprayed a coat of the rattle can on the bare maple and that dried fairly quickly (although not as fast as my own mix). The tackiness only showed up with the rattle can over the self-mixed lacquer.

    The les paul has actually had about 5 weeks since I shot the clear coat and is still a bit tacky on some days. I'll try hitting the les paul with straight thinner, then I'll try doing fresh coats. If that doesn't help I'll strip and start over with only the self-mixed lacquer.

    It's only been a few days for the tele neck, so I'll give that a bit of time but it seems like exactly the same issue. F*ck me!
     
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