Rattle Can Nitro Dread

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by JuneauMike, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am planning on shooting nitro on a guitar body and neck this weekend and have some real misgivings about it. I am a hobbyist with limited paint experience and I live in a temperate rainforest and Autumn is here with rain and temperatures in the low to mid 50s. And true to form, that's the forecast for this weekend; rain and low to mid 50s.

    Yes, that is not ideal, but as I said I live in a temperate rain forest and at the height of summer we maybe have 2 days out of the year that are perfect conditions to paint, some years we don't even get that. The rest of the time we just have to soldier on. A paint gun/compressor and the ability to mix my own lacquer with thinners and retarders to factor for the weather would be better, but I don't have that and don't intend to go into the guitar painting business.

    I have a heated garage (somewhat) but it isn't well sealed from humidity, if that is even possible up here. I repurposed my wife's 6X8 greenhouse into a paint booth by wrapping it in plastic and parked it inside the garage. I've got a heat lamp inside the booth and I ran a shop vac in the lower corner of the booth to exhaust fumes as best I can. I am shooting Graacy's nitro Sonic Blue and Graacy's clear nitro over the body. Just shooting clear on the neck.

    The body has sealer and primer coats on it and has been level sanded down very nicely. I plan on wiping it down with mineral spirits before shooting the color coats. I've built a horizontal holder for the two parts so that I could actually shoot them in a flat position if I want and rotate the piece to get to other sides.

    Any advice, precautions, etc? I'm obviously worried about fish eye, orange peel and blushing, but understand that with this kind of paint system I pretty much have to make something out of whatever it gives me.
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Not sure I would use Mineral Spirits before nitro. Alcohol damp cloth lightly maybe. Mineral spirits or petro based may give you fish eyes.

    Nitro is a pain for sure. You can put on 5 great coats , go for "just one more" in the same place and conditions and "Bam" everything goes awry!
    Good luck.
    My advice is to keep the surface in a light reflection so you can really see what's happening on the surface. Nitro is thin it runs fast, I try to spray a flat surface let it set for 20-30?seconds then move on.
    Start spraying off the surface and move onto it.

    But I'm no expert, ...........and neither is Gibson from my experience!
     
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Unfortunately the combination of high humidity and low temperature is a recipe for blushing. You can eliminate fish eye if you haven't used anything with silicon or wax during any of the prep. Orange peel is a function of your spraying technique, if you get it then let it dry and sand it out.

    My thought would be to contact body shops and paint stores in Juneau and ask if anyone has a paint booth you could work in. If they paint cars or motorcycles or things like that they have to have control over temp and RH. It might be inconvenient but its better than dealing with the haze.
     
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  4. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    Put the cans in hot water before spraying to avoid spitting
    any blushing a hair dryer has worked for me but don't keep it in one spot keep it moving or the finish will blister
     
  5. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very glad someone from the UK chimed in here. I suspect you can identify with our snotty weather better than pretty much anyone. Thanks
     
  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Don't learn (whether techniques, or adapting to ambient conditions, or both) by trying to finish your guitar - learn by applying the entire system, from preparation to buffing, on scrap. Keep doing that until you get results that are acceptable to you.

    It makes no sense to learn/experiment on the actual guitar parts - unless you get REAL lucky it will cost you a lot more in money and time, as you try to fix problems or strip and start over.

    As far as the ambient conditions - if you won't spend the money on a $350-500 HVLP and the additives and solvents used to create a low temp/high humidity lacquer blend (talking to manufacturers' tech support departments to get help with materials and application) then you need to buy the heaters and dehumidifiers necessary to create acceptable conditions.

    And either way you STILL need to practice on scrap or you're wasting your time. Realistically, you should be able to get to the point where (after preparation) you can seal, stain or dye, grain fill (if necessary), seal again, apply color coats and/or toners, clear coats and go straight to buffing (with cloth wheels and hard stick buffing compounds) to bring out the gloss and remove any light orange peel - in 3 days.

    If it takes longer, or you end up with heavier orange peel and/or surface inconsistencies the require wet sanding - more practice on scrap is needed. Wet sanding shouldn't be needed - it's a repair procedure for inconsistent application, not a normal part of finishing (except for a few specialty applications).

    And if conventional lacquer is applied properly, in thin, transparent coats made up of 3 EXTREMELY thin passes each, each coat will dry in 30-60 minutes. Lacquer dries only by evaporation - there is no "cure" time - so if it takes longer to dry you're applying too thickly or using a "lacquer enamel" blend like Colortone or Deft, which take from several hours to a day or more for each coat to dry.

    If you are modifying materials and using spray equipment OR have created acceptable condition for stock lacquer application, 3 days - 4 maximum - is what it should take for a buffed out, finished product. If you can't hit that, keep practicing - the most common reason for finishing problems is impatience - i.e. wanting to get done and not being willing to put in the time to learn to do it properly.

    Lacquer finishing is NOT like "painting" - it's a more finely tuned process, hence the need for repeated practice on scrap wood. After 50 years of finish work I STILL do full practice applications if I'm using even ONE product I haven't used before!

    But finally - there are places on this planet where heat (or cooling)/dehumidification (for aerosol use) or spray equipment and modified materials are simply required. In that type of situation you need to bite one of the two bullets to be able to finish properly.

    If you won't do that accept the fact that you are unwilling to pay what it will take to do it and that you are not in a DIY situation. You'll need to buy finished bodies and necks.

    Some situations are just impractical cost-wise for "casual" aerosol lacquer finishing. You may WANT to do your own finish work, but it may not make sense financially. That's why you have to practice ON SCRAP - because if the results are consistently bad, you need to throw in the towel. Don't mess up your guitar just to find out you're wasting your time.
     
  7. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    @JuneauMike apologies if I missed it - are you spraying indoors without a mask? And relying on shop vac suction to get rid of fumes?

    I'd re-think the safety aspects bigtime. The ONE thing I see the experienced finishers on TDPRI ALL agreeing on is: don't breathe this stuff in!
     
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  8. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I use two small space heaters, the type that people use at their desks at work. They run around $20 each on Amazon. I hang the body or neck in between them and dry each layer that way, it also speeds up drying process.
     
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  9. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good God, no!!! I'm wearing an approved 3M paint mask and goggles. That's a non starter, especially in such a confined space.

    The shop vac is to try and minimize dust solids in the air. I notice that it clears the fog faster, but I'm not totally sold that its effective against dust. It may even make the dust worse just by keeping turbulence in the air, though I didn't experience dust during the primer phase. But we DIY to try new things and learn, right?
     
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  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got 2 heat lamps in the space and the temperature is hanging at about 71 right now. Best I can do, unfortuately. I'm hoping for just orange peel. That can be sanded flat and painted over. Blush is the thing that I don't have a solid fall back plan for.

    My first coat was very light, and not covering. Second coat will aim for solid coverage, then I'll have some idea how its going. Waiting really is the hardest part. Tom Petty is right again.
     
  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, you convinced me. Ran out this morning and picked up some Naptha while I was buying an extra heat lamp bulb. Well lit, used Naptha bout an hour before painting, then light wipe with a tack cloth.

    I also heated the paint can to about 100 F in a tea pot set to warm. Too early to declare success, but it makes good sense dealing with an evaporative finish.

    Curious, I've read about some people tackling blushing be lightly spritzing the finish with lacquer thinner and letting it just sit on the finish. That seems a bit caveman-like. Anyone ever tried it? I guess it makes some sense in that blushing is just moisture trapped inside the finish by too fast drying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    BTW , everybody, a vacuum may explode from flammable fumes! They are not sparkless motors. I have actually seen this happen with a big commercial shop vac. It blew the top of the vac about 20 feet into the air!
     
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  13. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool, looking forward to that! Its stretched outside the garage (don't want the motor noise blaring all day and the vent blows dust around the garage anyway) so the neighbors will get a kick out of it too.
     
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  14. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Go for 30!!
     
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  15. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    We have a deck over our garage and my wife is gardening up there. I'll let her know to alert me if she sees the shop vac pass by.

    Pics or it didn't happen, right? :)
     
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    You can go warmer than that on your spray can. Uncle Dan says you can get it pretty warm - before it explodes. He didn't say when that would happen. He also recommends spraying the guitar flat on a bench because the lacquer is less likely to run or sag.
     
  17. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Use a LOOOONNNNGGG extension cord!!!
     
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  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like a brewing, time-wasting disaster, reading the OP.

    Slow down. Learn your processes and materials first.

    Use Naptha, not mineral sprits, to clean before spraying (and to wet sand, if you have to).

    And your color coats should ideally be going over primer...which has gone over sealer...which has had grain filler applied before and/or after. Not wood–naphtha–color coats. Wood-filler-sealer (or wood-sealer-filler-clear), primer, color clear.
     
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  19. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm fine with 100-120 but uncomfortable going higher. Something about extreme temperature shifts from can to painted surface that doesn't sit well with me. But thanks. I've got a thermometer in the water so I won't sweat the temperature so much.

    Also, I've got a horizontal holder for the body. I shoot a flat surface, wait 30 seconds and turn it. About all I can do to help it along. Wish me luck.
     
  20. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    It may very well be.
     
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