simple over-paint job ... that simple?

meigo1234

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hey there,

I have a nice cheri/chevy strat from the early 90ies. it looks ugly, but plays and sounds fantastic. cort built top-end.

i would like to simply paint the front you see black. glossy. similar to the edges of the sunburst. to get rid of the violet and have a single-color black glossy guitar.

do you think that this could be done easily ... grinding the body ... adding black spray-lacquer, grinding again, adding another layer of paint. maybe repeat a third ... and get a shiny surface?

thanks for help and inputs, and own experiences.
all the best!
michael
 

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eallen

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It depends the quality of job you are after. If you want a quality gloss mirror glass finish you are going to need to put final clear coats on to level & buff. If you are just looking to spray paint your guitar & get whatever you get then yes, you can scuff the top down & paint it.

Be aware that you will likes see clear lines where the new and old meet unless you scuff the entire guitar and spray the whole thing.
 

Freeman Keller

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Meigo, to answer the question in your thread title, it is not simple if you want to do a good job. Doing a crappy job is quite simple - you can choose what ever you want.

First, gloss black is one of the hardest colors to get perfect. You talk about using spray lacquer but you don't know what the existing finish is (very good chance its not lacquer). Lacquer does have the advantage that it will melt into old lacquer but it will not with any of the modern poly finishes. I suggest testing the present finish to see what it is before going any farther.

If you don't recoat the entire guitar you will have some sort of transition where you masked the new finish. That will leave little ridge and even black on black the colors won't match. In order to achieve a high gloss you not only need a perfect black finish but you will add clear coats over the black, then do your "grind" (sand to 1500 or 2000 then buff).

While it is possible to get a pretty good finish with rattle cans frankly I rarely see it. I sounds like you haven't done this before, let me suggest doing a lot of practice on scrap until you get your technique perfected. Lacquer does have the advantage that if you get runs or orange peel or dry spots you can sand them back level and shoot some more. Its far better to lay down nice coats that don't need any work.

Of course you will need to completely disassemble the guitar - remove the neck and all the hardware before doing your refinish and then put it all back together.

So, yes, a simple overspray is possible. Is it really simple? No.
 

stratisfied

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Lacquer will adhere just fine as long and you provide some tooth for a mechanical bond. Mask off the neck and fingerboard edge only and sand with 800 grit paper on a sanding block until you have a uniformly dulled the existing finish. I take a little different aproach to this kind of thing and do not mask the "transition at the edge of the body contour. Sand this contour by hand just enough to "turn the corner from the top". Lay the guitar flat and spray from above across the body on one coat and then the length of the body on the next. Take care not to wrap too far around the sides, just let the paint drift over the edge. This will give you a soft edge rather than a tape line. Wet sand the black lacquer lightly with a block and 1200 grit paper and feather the edge of the body by hand, just lightly following the edge around with your paper. Tack and then spray with Mohawk Ultra Flow Lacquer applying multiple light coats. As the name suggests, this product has superior flow out that will blend nicely into the body contour. Follow up with a light 1600 wet sanding and hand buff. Applied properly, you won't see the transition from new to old finish.
 

Lowerleftcoast

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If the paints are not compatible, it will fail. Many automotive touch up paints tolerate several different kinds of paint as a substrate. Hopefully you will be lucky. Sometimes a primer can separate the original paint from the top coat to manage the incompatibility. Good luck.
 

Sea Devil

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Lowerleftcoast is absolutely right. Mohawk makes a clear called Ultra Bond (It is in fact a subcategory of Ultra Flow, which stratisfied mentions) that is compatible with a broad range of substrates that normally don't play well with lacquer, but it's a gamble to shoot most lacquer over another finish without even knowing what it is. If you put the Ultra Bond down first, it would be more likely to work.

I would have said that at the same time as my previous comment, but I didn't want to appear to be attacking stratisfied's whole post. I did just completely shoot down something he said in another thread, and I was wary of looking mean.
 
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meigo1234

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thanks for all your posts.

I guess it would be best to switch my plan to whole body finishing. sand the existing finish and start with PU spray paint. finish by finish, wet sand in between, ...
 

stratisfied

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If the paints are not compatible, it will fail. Many automotive touch up paints tolerate several different kinds of paint as a substrate. Hopefully you will be lucky. Sometimes a primer can separate the original paint from the top coat to manage the incompatibility. Good luck.

Lacguer on top of a factory finished, catalyzed polyurethane like that guitar is a no brainer. Different story of you are working on top of someone else's refinish and unsure of what was used, of course. The OP would have no problem with lacquer over his original finish. The key is to key the surface (sand it) for adhesion. No point in applying primer, the body already has a superior primer on it, the original finish.

Here is Mohawk lacquer-toner and Mohawk Ultra Flow lacquer applied directly over a factory polyurethane surface. I used a Scotchbrite to "key" the surface before coating.

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stratisfied

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I'll add (for Sea Devil's benefit) that I at times leave the neck bolted in place on a top only refinish and carefully mask the neck. If a guitar is well set up and plays brilliantly, I sometimes prefer not to "break the seal" so to speak. It makes no difference whatsoever in the quality of the refinishing job. You would do the same on any set neck guitar you are refinishing the body only, a bolt on neck is no different and actually easier as you are not masking a neck joint where a visible line will result and you have to wet sand the resulting masking line and blend with clear lacquer up the heel of the neck to hide it.
 

Sea Devil

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I've been known to leave the strings on when doing finish repairs and spot refins on a neck with a rosewood or ebony fretboard. I just fold a sheet of newspaper over them. I've also just taped over pickups and controls or enclosed them in plastic bags.
 

Beebe

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If your finish is resistant to alcohol, and you want something reversible,

spray 1.5lb cut of Platina Shellac with Preval Spray units.

Mix in a teaspoon of black artist grade fine pigment powder for black (pass mixture through a paint strainer),

and spray plain for the clear coats.

Clean the surface well with Naptha first,

then mist several thin coats of clear to protect the original finish,

then build up to an opaque black with several thin coats of black,

then top it off with several clear coats.

Use a soft 800 grit sanding sponge between coats just to remove the dust.

Don't sand after the last coat,

just start polishing it.

After polishing it (to a swirly imperfect shiny surface), mist a flash coat of clear diluted to 50% over the entire body.

This last step will give the whole thing a similar satin texture... And hide imperfections.
 




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