Mixing opaque lacquer colors

failsafe306

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I would like to mix up some opaque black nitro lacquer. From what i can gather from reading online, the black TransTint that I have probably would not make a solid black color when mixed with clear lacquer.

So I got to thinking... I do have some white pigment from $tewMac. Could I make a solid opaque black from mixing the white pigment into my clear lacquer, then tint it with the black TransTint? Or do I just need to order black pigment?
 

cmjohnson

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Nah, there's a better way to do it.

Take your lacquer to your local automotive body and paint supply shop and have them tint it black. They'll have the right tints to do the job right. Yes, it'll be compatible. The tints and toners they use are pretty much universal to all paint chemistries.
 

failsafe306

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Nah, there's a better way to do it.

Take your lacquer to your local automotive body and paint supply shop and have them tint it black. They'll have the right tints to do the job right. Yes, it'll be compatible. The tints and toners they use are pretty much universal to all paint chemistries.
Good idea, I may try that in the future if there is a real specific color I’m going for. For now though, I’d kinda like to DIY-it. So would my idea in the OP work, or should I go to the paint store and purchase some black tint?
 

ARandall

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I've just used the transtint type approach for every single black I've mixed. Works fine, you just add the concentrate until a couple of coats/passes gives you full colour.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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Good idea, I may try that in the future if there is a real specific color I’m going for. For now though, I’d kinda like to DIY-it. So would my idea in the OP work, or should I go to the paint store and purchase some black tint?
dont commit all of your lacquer before you do a test to see if they are in fact compatable. while i'm sure cmj is quite right in that 'most'' are compatable, i had an experience trying that once and the tint didn't mix at all. it was like oil and water. I can also confirm the trans tint deal in clear. I did that on one and the reddish tone of spanish cedar lent the shade to a very deep purple. It looked great actually and everybody loved it, as you could only tell it had the purple hue in the sun or very bright lights, and the rest of the time it had a 'soft' black appearance. so, no, it won't be pure black
 

fatdaddypreacher

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I've just used the transtint type approach for every single black I've mixed. Works fine, you just add the concentrate until a couple of coats/passes gives you full colour.
just saw this after i wrote my reply....how did you keep it from that deep purple when well lit? i used several coats myself....just curious
 

cmjohnson

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The different is "pigment" vs. "dye". Dyes allow for transparency, while pigments are by their nature opaque even in very small quantities. To get a real opaque color you need to use a pigment, not a dye.
 

failsafe306

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The different is "pigment" vs. "dye". Dyes allow for transparency, while pigments are by their nature opaque even in very small quantities. To get a real opaque color you need to use a pigment, not a dye.
I understand. So if I’m reading you right, you’re saying that even if I make an opaque white base using my white pigment, I still won’t be able to get a true, deep black simply by adding black dye? I would just go out and start experimenting, but I don’t want to waste expensive materials.
 

cmjohnson

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You can't start with a white base and get a true black since the white base is itself pigmented, so you'll end up mixing a white pigment and a black pigment so that'll give you some shade of grey.

You need a clear base and binder. The black pigment gets mixed into that.

Have your local auto paint supply shop do a test sample for you. More than likely it'll be fine.

Another option is, since automotive acrylic urethane basecoats are almost always lacquer compatible once cured, you could just use that automotive basecoat and overspray it with lacquer. I have done that multiple times with complete success.
 

Roxy13

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I hope it's ok if I join the discussion. I also want to do an opaque finish except I want to do white. I did see white lacquer on the Mohawk site. This will be going over mahogany as it's an SG Custom type guitar. Would I just put down as many layers of white as needed or should I also do some kind of base coat first?
 

failsafe306

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Well, the first auto body supply said they didn’t have anything compatible with lacquer. I did however pick up some vinyl tape that I needed. The search goes on!
 

failsafe306

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I’m now 0-3. Three different auto paint suppliers looked at me like I had two heads when I asked about something to mix into nitro lacquer.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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I’m now 0-3. Three different auto paint suppliers looked at me like I had two heads when I asked about something to mix into nitro lacquer.
we only have one major auto paint supplier here, but several years ago when i made my attempt, i was told that the industry as a whole is moving away from lacquer, as the govt is making it harder and harder with the restrictions put on it, combined with the newer, better finishes available....i'm sure it's even moreso nowadays.
 

cmjohnson

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Trust me on this: Most any basecoat that is compatible with acrylic urethane clearcoats is compatible with lacquer sprayed on top of it. The auto paint store may not really be aware of this because lacquers are old school and not carried much if at all anymore by those stores.

I've literally never had a problem shooting either acrylic or nitro lacquer over a basecoat made for acrylic urethane topcoats.

I wouldn't be telling you to do this if I had not had routine successes doing it.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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Trust me on this: Most any basecoat that is compatible with acrylic urethane clearcoats is compatible with lacquer sprayed on top of it. The auto paint store may not really be aware of this because lacquers are old school and not carried much if at all anymore by those stores.

I've literally never had a problem shooting either acrylic or nitro lacquer over a basecoat made for acrylic urethane topcoats.

I wouldn't be telling you to do this if I had not had routine successes doing it.
if you are responding to failsafe's post no 13, i took it to meant the paint shop didn't have any pigments compatable with lacquer. i didn't take it that he was disputing laying lacquer over those other bases, but i may be wrong.
 


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