Sanding sealer and grain filler questions.

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by The Hammer, May 9, 2021.

  1. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tele-Meister

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    I've got an unfinished mahogany Tele Deluxe body on the way from Warmoth (6 weeks went by faster than I thought lol) which means it's time to start ordering finishing supplies.

    My question is can I use Duplicolor primer as a sealer and then grain fill with drywall putty? I will be using Duplicolor Perfect Match for the color and topping it with SprayMax 2K.
     
  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    What exactly are you looking for in your finish? Do you want opaque color, transparent color, the natural color of mahogany? High gloss, semi gloss, satin finish? Do you have scraps of the same wood to experiment with?
     
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  3. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Meister

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    I used oil base filler, sanded but when I sprayed with plastic home depot varathane the filler swelled up and I had resand.
    I know -crude.
     
  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tele-Meister

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    @Freeman Keller I’m wanting an opaque high gloss finish and unfortunately I don’t have any scraps.
     
  5. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    I've heard of flooring guys using drywall mud to fill grain. Cheap and dries fast, it does shrink a lot though (done too much dry wall in my earlier days) so you'll probably need two passes. The only question is will the Spraymax take to it?
     
  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    The way I do mahogany is a two-step process: fill using a vinyl-based grain filler and allow to dry. Sand smooth to 220.

    Follow with several coats of shellac, with dry time between. Sand smooth to 220.

    Now you're ready for primer and paint.
     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thought it might be something like that and I don't do opaque finishes so I can't be of any help. I can't help but asking why you want to hide a lovely piece of mahogany under an opaque finish, save it and get something cheap and not pretty to paint.
     
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  8. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tele-Meister

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    @Freeman Keller I’ve been wanting to build a light blue metallic Tele Deluxe for a couple of years now. I wanted a mahogany body because of the warmth it adds to the tone. I’ve run into a problem though, my body just came in today and it’s too damn pretty to paint an opaque color. Now I’m not sure what I’m going to do.
     
  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    First, put me in the camp that doesn't believe the electric guitar tonewood argument. If you do, fine.

    Second, I use mahogany for almost all of my solid and semi solid body guitars and all of my necks. I also build a few acoustics and have used mahogany for a few of them.

    I finish in nitro, mahogany will take some stains fairly well (trending to browns and reds). It doesn't have the showy grain of some other exotic wood but I think it finishes nicely. I also use a finishing resin called Zpoxy as my pore filller and grain enhancer - I have experimented with other products and in my opinion it wins.

    There are several mahogany guitars in here that might give some ideas

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/zpoxy-for-pore-fill-and-grain-enhancement.940522/
     
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  10. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tele-Meister

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    I’m going to spray the body with some Mohawk vinyl sealer for now until I figure out exactly what I’m going to do.
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you are thinking about any stains you might want to reconsider. There are two philosophies about stains - one says apply them to bare wood then seal, the other says to seal first. I have experimented with both and prefer the former.
     
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  12. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tele-Meister

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    I’m going to go ahead and paint it. I’ve had my heart set on this for a couple of years now. It’s also a perfect excuse to build another guitar and stain it ;)
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Dr Chim Richalds

    Dr Chim Richalds TDPRI Member

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    I highly recommend using AQUACOAT as your grain filler. I tried drywall compound and it does not work nearly as well. Aquacoat is far easier to work with and works better in my opinion. It's cheap and you can get it delivered from Amazon.
     
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  14. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tele-Meister

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    I was looking at that this morning but haven’t had a chance to do any research. Good to know it works well.
     
  15. Dr Chim Richalds

    Dr Chim Richalds TDPRI Member

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    Yeah man, I went from:

    StewMac powdered grain filler (don't bother... powdered grain filler in theory doesn't even make sense... it 'speckles' the grain where the little powdered grains get into it); to

    Drywall compound (better, but still wouldn't fill the open grain of ash as well as I wanted, even after multiple applications. Plus this will color your grain white instead of leaving it in its natural state); to

    Aquacoat (works best, works fastest, dries crystal clear)
     
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  16. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Drywall compound is riskier because of the shrink-back is unpredictable. Pore-o-pac i've never been able to get it right (usually results in sanding back too much). Timbermate seems to behave a lot like drywall mud but it's a product made for the purpose of grain filling so I would prefer that over drywall mud. But AquaCoat seems to behave best and actually covers the divots faster. Also Aquacoat seems to be already the right consistency to smear it around with a paper towel to apply it, whereas Timbermate and drywall compound need to be thinned to whatever exactly is the best thick cream consistency.
     
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  17. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't use drywall compound. Yikes. It will dry out and chip.

    Sound like you're going solid color... you can use a "high build" primer. Just be sure to sand back to where it's only filling grain. It's too soft for general priming under top coat IME.

    Another painter's choice is "spot putty". It's paint in a thick format. Apply after a coat of primer and light sanding, using a razor blade. You just want to fill the grain. Sand again, prime, go from there for more touchup or into finish paints depending on the imperfections left.
     
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  18. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    Not meaning to be contrary but I build a lot with mahogany, cherry. Eamnut, maple... Your wood choice will have little predictable effect on your tone. Just a great marketing ploy used to charge more in electrics.

    That said, grain fill it with Zpoxy. It will show you how pretty yout mahogany is. If you still have your heart set on painting it after you can proceed with your primer, color, and clear coats.

    Eric
     
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  19. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tele-Meister

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    The reason I was thinking about using drywall mud is because of this thread. https://www.tdpri.com/threads/yet-another-grain-fill-thread.313712/#post-3936209

    I’ve been doing a LOT of research on grain fillers and so far this is what I’ve found:

    For just about any product/technique out there for filling grain/pores there are an equal number of people either singing it’s praise or saying how much they loathe it. Overall I’m still not 100% sure what to use but at this point I’m ready to just try something and if it doesn’t work then I’ve learned something first hand.
     
  20. fleezinator

    fleezinator Tele-Meister

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    I'd have some reservations about using Aqua Coat. After a few weeks it shrunk under the paint and left this. Not the end of the world for me, but definitely not a factory mirror surface. YMMV.
    [​IMG]
     
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