Primer/Painting Question

dinkyguitar

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Hi All,

I have an Alder body I'd like to paint a mid-night blue and I'm planning to use nitro lacquer and tint it to the desired blue.

Do I need to use primer, and if so can I use regular automotive type primer? Or can I just start spraying with my tinted nitro lacquer on bare wood and polish that without spraying additional clear coats?

The reason I'm asking is because a few years ago I built and finished a Les Paul and at that time, I think I started off with clear nitro on the bare wood (after grain filling) then 3 coats of black tinted nitro, then 10-13 coats of clear nitro.

BackReflection.jpg


I like the results and it was the first time using a spray gun but it took a few days because I could only spray 3-4 coats per day.

A few years later I painted another guitar using duplicolor spray can and the clear NEVER hardened. I can press my finger nail in it right now and it will leave a make. I can lay the guitar down on my excercise mat and it will leave prints in the paint.

I tried researching what happened, and I "think" I laid too much paint each time I sprayed without having enough time for the paint to dry.

Anyway, I'm trying to avoid this, so I'm switching back to tinting nitro and using my spray gun again.

But my main question is, should I use primer and what kind when spraying with nitro lacquer.

dinky,
 

Freddy G

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well yes....duplicolor was the problem.

Clear nitro lacquer is a great initial sealer. Thin the first couple of coats so it penetrates
 

CB91710

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I've had nothing but problems with rattle can clear... and I'm sure much of the problem is violating the recoat times.
First clear coat, looks great.
2nd coat, "within 1 hour or after 48" and the whole damned thing wrinkled like the paint was incompatible.
Only way I've been successful is to allow EVERY freaking coat to dry for a week before moving on to the next.
 

Freddy G

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I've had nothing but problems with rattle can clear... and I'm sure much of the problem is violating the recoat times.
First clear coat, looks great.
2nd coat, "within 1 hour or after 48" and the whole damned thing wrinkled like the paint was incompatible.
Only way I've been successful is to allow EVERY freaking coat to dry for a week before moving on to the next.
what rattle can clear?
 

LtDave32

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I thought duplicolor was better paint.

What we're describing here with the never hardening sounds like Deft clear.

That stuff is the worst. Never hardens.
 

CB91710

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what rattle can clear?
It's been a long time and I can't be sure.
Came from a big-box, all the same brand.

I've had similar wrinkling issues with white Rust-Oleum shooting electrical boxes, having a 2nd coat shot after 20 minutes wrinkle badly.

I've had pretty good luck with Krylon on misc projects.
 

dinkyguitar

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Thanks everyone...

So I'll thin the nitro a little and spray on my first coats as a sealer then sand off the rough spots.

Most likely I'll be using the Mohawk Nitro which you can spray without thinning.....if I thin it, how much should it be thinned?

Also, how long do you guys usually wait after sanding to apply the color coats?
 
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Freddy G

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thin the first couple of coats (1 coat is 3 passes-15 minutes apart) about 50/50. Don't pound it on, spray lightly...first coats run and drip more easily. It will look like there's almost no build, and that's fine because there really isn't much build. I sinks in to the wood, that's the whole idea. After that, spray full strength to get build.

You can shoot color coats immediately after sanding. But the real question should be "how long should you wait before sanding your final build coat" ....for alder I'd say a couple of days.
 

dinkyguitar

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Thanks Freddy,

On that guitar I posted above, I think I waited about 30 days before sanding...once the weather is "better" I'll plan to paint...right now it's like rain every other day...

Thanks again everyone.
 

Freddy G

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Thanks Freddy,

On that guitar I posted above, I think I waited about 30 days before sanding...once the weather is "better" I'll plan to paint...right now it's like rain every other day...

Thanks again everyone.
Without a doubt the longer you wait the better. I just spewed out a minimum time of 2 days because alder is pretty homogeneous. You won't get "witness" pores like you will with ash or mahogany for example.
 

vaguely

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both stewmac and reranch have excellent, thoughtful tutorials on finishing. I have used their info and aerosol products with solid results. I have also gun-sprayed the mohawk lacquer. the costs are high with these vendors and products but the research has been done and I think they've done a great job of assisting their clients in getting it right the first time. one things I would say is that if you want that mirror smooth finish, you really might want to lay the best possible foundation you can before applying all the clear and color coats. build everything up nice with grain filler and sanding sealer first. look at this way: if you wind up sanding those materials down in a way that is unattractive, it doesn't matter. all that matters is flatness. if it's flat and level, when you start adding opaque primer and then color and then clear, you won't be in need of any deep sanding, since you'll just be tuning up the topcoats for level and polish. make sense? good luck! one more thing: if perfection is what you'e after, follow the dry times closely and be patient. if you rush it, you'll get something soft or something that shrinks, or both.
 

zdoggie

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anytme your painting or refinishing a project materials compatibility is key you'll save money and your nerves in the long run
zdog
 

dinkyguitar

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That's exactly why I want to stick with the same product and not mix different paints...for compatibility.

What is the consensus for the guitar cavities? To tape off or not to tape off?

I painted everything when I sprayed my Les Paul.....but on this guitar I want to use conductive paint for the pickup and control cavities and I'm not sure this paint will properly stick over the lacquer.

I always used copper tape but wanted to try something different....not sure if the conductive paint is a better idea but...I prefer not to see the copper tape in the pickup cavities, and if I spray it black will it stick to the copper tape?
 

LtDave32

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What is the consensus for the guitar cavities? To tape off or not to tape off?
A sound hole or "F" hole, you tape off. No paint nor clear. Leave it bare wood.

Control cavities or other that's covered with a plate, -okay to spray.
 


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