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Questions about lacquer, Satin vs. Gloss

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by SixgunElectric, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. SixgunElectric

    SixgunElectric TDPRI Member

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    Hello all!
    I have a question or two in regards to nitro lacquer...
    I've been using the Watco gloss for a while and have been very happy with it thus far.
    Anyway, Watco offers it in three styles:
    -Gloss
    -Semi-Gloss
    -Satin

    I know the difference in the look, but what actually makes them different...different ingredients, or?

    Also, are the formulas interchangeable at all?
    Eh, what i mean is...
    If I'm accustomed to using the Gloss formula, but needed to substitute either the Satin or Semi-Gloss, could i still achieve the desired, (full gloss), end result?
    I would tend to think not, but someone recently told me you could get away with using Semi-Gloss or whatevs, as long as the *final* coat was Gloss it would not matter.
    Eh, now this just....didn't seem right to me
    So...what's the scoop?
    Thanx y'all!
     
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes, you can spray gloss over semi and the whole thing will be gloss.
     
  3. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    Satin lacquer has "flatteners" added, solid particulates designed to give the finish a random texture that is poorer are reflecting light. These solids make it unsuitable (though probably not impossible) to polish to a high gloss. Like metal flake, you can spray more layers of gloss over satin to eventually be able to work with, but why add the unnecessary effort?
     
  4. SixgunElectric

    SixgunElectric TDPRI Member

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    Yeah?
    What exactly makes it "semi" in the first place?
    I mean, what's the difference in the formulas?
     
  5. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    ^^^ I have no idea of the chemistry, only experience in doing it
     
  6. J.E.M.

    J.E.M. Tele-Meister

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    talcum powder is what's used in flattening paste to drop the sheen level.
     
  7. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wyatt alread answered this. The flatteners are an additive that scatters light so you get a softer sheen. Conventional wisdom would require that you build with a gloss and then top off with the satin, but modern coatings don't require that. Just be aware that if you try to buff out a satin lacquer to get a gloss (oh, lets say the back of the neck and headstock overlay on almost any factory Martin or Taylor, and you wanted to use Micromesh to brighten them up, or a floorstanding buffer to bring up the back and sides of a satin-finished 300 series Taylor so it looks more like an 800.. cause I totally never tried that...) you may find that the satin lacquer does buff out to a shine on the surface but retains some cloudiness from the embedded flatteners scattering the light.
     
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