Trying Acrylic Lacquer

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by brandonwhite, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. brandonwhite

    brandonwhite Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    148
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I'm looking at trying acrylic lacquer instead of nitro.

    I've heard it has the same look and feel, but is more durable.
    Kind of a good happy medium between nitro and poly.
    Is this true?

    Also, is this a good one to try?
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002YOPOG/?tag=tdpri-20

    Any other recommendations?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,084
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    england
    Tried it....once...didn't like it !
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  3. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,662
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    I used this stuff as a clear gloss on the advice of a paint expert and it worked really well. Pretty easy to apply and dried very hard. Should be able to find it at any decent paint shop.

    The only downside is that once you trigger the catalizer inside you have a limited period of time to use it. So no matter how much you need, you end up killing an entire can.

    max.jpg
     
    old wrench, brandonwhite and RodeoTex like this.
  4. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    1,162
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I highly doubt an acrylic lacquer is going to be more durable than nitro unless it is post-catalyzed. And as Mike notes, once you catalyze it, you have a limited pot life. Also, acrylics tend to have a clear/white cast to them (non-yellowing they advertise) so make sure you've got any amber tinting you desire already on the wood before you finish. I'd research the sanding/buffing out of any finish your considering using ahead of time (you might have to go with auto buffing sauce).
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  5. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,084
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    england
    The acrylic I used took an eternity to dry...over three months if I remember....and even then it wasn't rock hard
     
    brandonwhite and Ghostdriver like this.
  6. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,662
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    What brand did you use?
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,342
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    I would call your description, "Same look and feel, but more durable" a combination of inaccurate and overly general.

    Different
    look and feel. More durable in some ways, but not in others.

    Compared to nitrocellulose, it's softer and more elastic once dry. That means it doesn't have quite as much initial gloss as nitro, and it doesn't hold its gloss as well over time. It rubs off more easily and impresses more easily.

    However, it is still glossy enough, at least initially, and due to better elasticity, it resists checking a lot better than nitro. And it also doesn't yellow nearly as much.

    Look at a non-garaged circa 1960 Olympic White GM car with original paint some time, e.g. a Cadillac. That was a single stage acrylic lacquer. It always looks like hell. No gloss left, rubbed through on high spots. Or look at old VWs from the '60s. They were often single stage acrylics. Finding one with shiny original finish is near impossible. Sometimes you can buff them back to a nice gloss, but they are usually fully matte (often with rub-through) or somewhere in between shiny and matte.

    It does perform better with a clear coat, even an acrylic clear coat. But you still have the same issues that stem from more softness. It's not as resistant to abrasion wear. It loses gloss like a mofo, and rubs through more readily.

    "Back in the day," acrylic lacquer was used for the color coats of all of Fender's metallics except for Sherwood Green, and it was also used for Olympic white. HOWEVER, this was all with nitro clear on top. There were exceptions, e.g. occasionally Fender was known to pick up some acrylic clear when needed...but acrylic color/nitro clear was the norm. And of course we all know that some Oly White Fenders were not clear coated (especially early ones). Remember that DuPont intended Oly White to be a single stage color, so that's how Fender sprayed it originally. But its gloss performance just wasn't there for an item that gets handled daily, so Fender soon started clear coating it with nitro (unless they were in a rush). These colors were formulated to be acrylic lacquers from the start, so paint companies never even received nitro recipes for them from DuPont.

    So, this is not to say that acrylic is a bad thing through and through. Just know what you're in for. For a "relic" it's actually a really good choice for getting rapid dulling and rub-through. Just spray single stage acrylic, and your guitar will break in 3X as fast. And it's also a good choice for vintage accuracy (with nitro clear over it). But it's not a good choice for rapid yellowing or checking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  8. tweeet

    tweeet Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,084
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Location:
    england
    honestly can't remember...but thought I'd try it as at the time was buying cans of nitro....at £17 a piece...in the end as I was finishing more and more I bought a compressor, gun, 5L tins of lacquer and thinner....that lasted me yonks. No substitute for nitro !

    This was 12 years ago !
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  9. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,721
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    england
    Any clear coat used on a car will work the stuff has to be durable i have used UPOL many times it cures very fast and very hard 500ml can is enough to cover a body sanding between coats will give you a high gloss finish
    avoid any of the really cheap acrylic stuff used for arts and crafts it never cures
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,662
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    Doesn't acrylic melt into the previous layer like nitro does?
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  11. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    189
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Location:
    England
    what this guy says, never dried
     
    tweeet and brandonwhite like this.
  12. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    9,775
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Lawndale CA
    There's no noticeable difference in durability, and you can alternate coats of nitro and acrylic; they blend into each other just they blend into themselves.

    Some "nitro" lacquers have small amounts of acrylic resin added for improved flexibility due to temperature changes and significantly increased impact resistance. Others are blends of the two; in a few cases "nitro" is actually acrylic. You have to check the MSDS - if nitrocellulose resin (or cellulose nitrate) is not on the list of hazardous ingredients it's not "nitro" at all.

    Nitrocellulose resin is classified as a hazardous ingredient and is required to be listed on the MSDS - although there are a few cases where a "proprietary resin system" is listed. As long as it has a CAS number emergency personnel can look up in the CAS index it's fine - the ingredients are not meant for users, only the precautionary, personal protection, cleanup/disposal and related info are user-focused.

    And acrylic resin is not a hazardous ingredient - it doesn't have to be listed at all!

    That last part is what makes it so difficult to determine what you actually have - although if mineral spirits (or petroleum distillates, or naphtha) and/or "alkyd resin" are listed you have a blend of some sort of lacquer and oil based enamel (i.e.gloss trim paint or similar -a "lacquer enamel". Color tone ans Deft fall in this category, with lower durability and much longer dry times.

    Respectfully, this is not correct. An acrylic lacquer might be more or less durable than a specific nitrocellulose lacquer - or be essentially the same. It depends entirely on the specific resins used in the formulations, certain pigments (some affect durability) surfactants (flow additives) and so on.

    This is where the realms of the coatings chemist and that of bean counters/marketeers clash. The chemist wants to make the best product; the accountants and marketing people want to lower costs resulting in lower quality.

    Acrylic lacquers - as an example, Duplicolor, which many of the aerosol users on this forum are familiar with - dries in about an hour if applied properly and can be immediately buffed with cloth wheels and stick-type buffing compounds.

    I discourage the use of paste or liquid auto buffing compounds and orbital "polishing wheels". Both are intended for polishing weathered auto finishes - not buffing freshly applied lacquer of any type; and almost all of them contain silicones and/or waxes, the last thing you want on your newly-finished guitar. They leave contaminants on the surface and attract others.The only exception is pure clay. With a vertical wheel, not an orbital machine, which often causes swirl marks; it's also far harder to control pressure, resulting in inconsistencies and burn marks wwhen used with buffing compounds.
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  13. mojavedesert

    mojavedesert Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    152
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Location:
    California
    I tried that acrylic lacquer stuff at auto zone. I put in the sun, which is what I do to cure anything I paint and to get it hard enough to where you can polish it. The acrylic stuff bubbled up like it had the herps. I heated it with a heat gun to take it off and it came off like broken, limp wrapping paper. I would never waste my money on that stuff. I hate it, the worst ever. California has stupid laws to make the manufacturing sector fail. Yet they burn mountains of fossil fuels to power the internet boom, corporate payola wins again.
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  14. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,664
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    Dark side of the moon
    Acrylic lacquer...
    [​IMG]
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  15. brandonwhite

    brandonwhite Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    148
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Thanks, y'all.

    Having read this thread, I think I might actually stick with nitro on my next build.
     
  16. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,807
    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Location:
    SE PA near New Hope PA
    That depends upon the specific product formulation. Target Coatings EM6000 and EM7000HB do burn in.
     
    brandonwhite and JuneauMike like this.
  17. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,662
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    Keep doing research and learning about it. Look at what the woodworking and fine furniture builders say about it, read about other guitar paint jobs. Don't feel dissuaded or bullied into abandoning a course of action or steer clear of something new just because you don't have much experience in it. Acrylic would be a great finish, and when you really get into it you will probably find that its a whole lot more simple then is being portrayed in forums such as this. I think I did an acrylic finish on an instrument before and it was really easy and was tough enough that it sanded to a very nice flat finish. At the end of the day, it's just paint.
     
    8trackmind and brandonwhite like this.
  18. brandonwhite

    brandonwhite Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    148
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    That's sound advice. I think I'm gonna stick with what I know on this build, since I'm putting so much into it.
    ...Then maybe try acrylic on one of my more experimental projects.
     
    JuneauMike likes this.
  19. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,529
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    That SprayMax 2K Gloss is a totally different animal from lacquer.

    It's a true catalyzed two-component finish.

    It really is a super-duper finish though; tough as nails :).

    I've been able to stretch out the pot life of a catalyzed can to about 24 hours by storing the un-used portion of the can in the refrigerator over-night. It was one of those unexpected and unplanned experiments that just happened to work ;).
     
    brandonwhite likes this.
  20. SC Relics Guitars

    SC Relics Guitars TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    16
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Location:
    Castledawson
    2k acrylic High gloss clear on metal flake. Worked rather well!

    F7D257AF-4616-479A-B37E-42F1CF305BBB.jpeg
     
    brandonwhite, GFrank and Jim_in_PA like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.