Best way to paint a burst

IhaveGAS

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Hello all,

I am about 3/4 of the way through a LP build project. The back of the guitar has already been finished and now I must paint the front. I want to do a vintage burst or iced tea burst.

My question to you all is what is the best way to paint a burst? I have heard of and seen many different ways but I want to hear more opinions. I am currently using the Stewmac production spray gun. ( STEWMAC.COM : Spray Guns ) With this gun what would be the best way?

Below is a picture of the burst I am going for. Any help or direction you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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ace924

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2 two ways.

1) with a steady hand

or

2) cheat like i did and make a template. LOL
 

Sea Ranch

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Ha! Ace, that's funny, and true, too.

Here's an alternative: experiment with your gun long enough to be able to get the material and air flow settings right so that you shoot with the trigger fully squeezed (to establish a consistent spray) but yet have such low volume that you can literally hold it still on a spot and not see instant build-up. In other words, slow the whole spraying process down and you'll find you have all the control you need.

I use a cheap HVLP gun with a 1.4 tip, yet I can slow down the flow enough that I can confidently/comfortably spray bursts with great control.

In my experience, a shield doesn't yield nice fades, and they were never used by the factory (admittedly they're pros, but you can be, too, with a little practice). Just don't practice on your LP :fingersx:

Randy
 

IhaveGAS

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Ha! Ace, that's funny, and true, too.

Here's an alternative: experiment with your gun long enough to be able to get the material and air flow settings right so that you shoot with the trigger fully squeezed (to establish a consistent spray) but yet have such low volume that you can literally hold it still on a spot and not see instant build-up. In other words, slow the whole spraying process down and you'll find you have all the control you need.

I use a cheap HVLP gun with a 1.4 tip, yet I can slow down the flow enough that I can confidently/comfortably spray bursts with great control.

In my experience, a shield doesn't yield nice fades, and they were never used by the factory (admittedly they're pros, but you can be, too, with a little practice). Just don't practice on your LP :fingersx:

Randy

What PSI should I be spraying at? Thanks Randy!
 

Sea Ranch

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Now you're pushing at the limits of my technique :laugh2:

Truthfully, even tho I have an HVLP gun, with rather low psi ratings spelled out on it, when I'm bursting I always exceed these because the extra air pressure is what atomizes. You want REALLY good atomization of the material. If you see any spray dots AT ALL, you're not using enough pressure for the volume of material.

The key is to take the time to experiment. Once you've found something you think is half decent, DON'T stop there. Try out the full range of settings and combinations; then you'll know what your gun can do and what works best for each situation.

But for me, more air pressure is one key to the excellent atomization you need for the burst colour. The other key is to lower the material volume so you can work slowly and confidently.

HTHelps :fingersx:
 

Mr Bones

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It's a PITA IMO you are absolutely correct about the atomization, but it is a bit of a catch 22. The higher the pressure, the faster and more confidently you gotta move. Also a higher chance of getting runs. I love when I get a Good burst, but I hate doing it, because I end up redoing it more often Than not. I do them so rarely that I never get good at it.
 

Sea Ranch

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Would never want to argue about spray technique in a forum, as it's the kind of thing that doesn't translate well into words, but . . . :fingersx:

You might want to try cranking the "volume knob" way in: the knob that adjusts how far you can pull the trigger and thus how far open the needle goes. This reduces the volume of material flowing through the gun and determines whether you're going to get the runs you refer to, Bones.

The flow can also be regulated by "simply" not pulling the trigger too far each time you shoot, but the reality is that it's not that "simple". To be able to pull the trigger just a little, and do it the same amount every time you squeeze takes not only nerves of steel but lots of experience. Let the volume knob do the work for you (and take the sweat out of it all): just screw it all the way in till the trigger only allows air out the nozzle and not material, ie. the needle doesn't move. Then start backing out the knob slowly and experiment. There'll be just a tiny bit of paint coming out and presto: you're a master. Then you go from there, adjusting till you're happy with the flow.

Hope that clarifies my "system", and apologies to any who've not had this work for them or have found other ways . . . :)

Randy
 

Mr Bones

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Would never want to argue about spray technique in a forum, as it's the kind of thing that doesn't translate well into words, but . . . :fingersx:

You might want to try cranking the "volume knob" way in: the knob that adjusts how far you can pull the trigger and thus how far open the needle goes. This reduces the volume of material flowing through the gun and determines whether you're going to get the runs you refer to, Bones.

The flow can also be regulated by "simply" not pulling the trigger too far each time you shoot, but the reality is that it's not that "simple". To be able to pull the trigger just a little, and do it the same amount every time you squeeze takes not only nerves of steel but lots of experience. Let the volume knob do the work for you (and take the sweat out of it all): just screw it all the way in till the trigger only allows air out the nozzle and not material, ie. the needle doesn't move. Then start backing out the knob slowly and experiment. There'll be just a tiny bit of paint coming out and presto: you're a master. Then you go from there, adjusting till you're happy with the flow.

Hope that clarifies my "system", and apologies to any who've not had this work for them or have found other ways . . . :)

Randy

Agreed. However, I've found that if you don't get enough volume coming out, you get the same atomization problems. The color never flows.
 

Sea Ranch

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Right. I hear you. Not having sprayed since last summer (the official spraying season for me :), I can't go try out what you're talking about, but I accept your experience.

I only know that for me, learning to control the gun - instead of it controlling me - was a revelation and the key to good work.

I will admit that my system does mean really "dry" burst colours, though the upside is that any overspray onto unintended areas simply wipes off after a short drying period. When the clear goes on, everything is "wet" and glossy and it looks stunning (not my magical technique; rather, it's just a beautiful traditional process that we've all come to love looking at . . . :)

Here's a couple Warmoth bodies I shot last summer . . . regards,
Randy

ps. the guitar work on your website looks awesome!!
 

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IhaveGAS

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Wow you both have done some awesome burst work. Bones-the work on your site was great. Sweet bursts!

Well, I practiced for about an hour and finally got the courage to spray the burst freehand without any kind of template (I had tried that about a year ago on a strat build and it looked terrible!). And it...welll...came it awesome! Thanks so much for your help and advice. I ended up changing my mind last minute and did a vintage tobacco burst instead. Looks pretty darn good.

Tomorrow I will clear coat the crap out of it, spray a light amber tint on it to give the binding that nice aged look, and continue the clear coating.

Thanks again guys! Any other opinions about what I should do from here?
 

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