Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

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Enzo
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Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Enzo » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:46 am

Hi all. I recently acquired a 1963 jazzmaster that was all-original save for a thick and goopy amateur polyester refinish. Thankfully that’s since been removed and the body is now bare wood, and ready for its next finish. I was hoping to make the next finish as thin as possible for the most resonant and acoustically lively instrument possible as the stripped body now rings SO much better when tapped than it used to when it had the poly finish on it.

I wanted to paint it lake placid blue with a Reranch or Ohio Valley brand canned guitar lacquer. I’ve painted guitars solid colors without clear coats in the past, using nitro from these companies, then sanded and polished the finish and it turned out great. I’ve never done this with a metallic color though, and have always heard that people (and Fender) spray a clear coat over metallic nitro.

For those of you with experience, what are the pros and cons of not using a clear coat over a metallic nitro finish? Thanks!

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PixMix
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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by PixMix » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:19 am

Metallic finishes should not be sanded. If you do sand though, you'll loose the metallic effect of the surface which becomes dull and sort of messy looking. Also, because of the small metallic particles suspended in lacquer, metallic paints have a bit more coarse surface texture even when you spray thin and evenly.

If don't sand but also not clear coat, the finish will look matte and will be prone to collecting gunk and dust much more than a non-clear coated non-metallic (think 800 or 1000 grit sand paper). If a traditional look of a metallic color is what you're after, I would say a coat of clear is really necessary. If you're after a unique non-traditional look, than you can do what you with.

If I was in your position, I would do the following:

- Prep the body
- Spray the metallic paint as thin and even as possible
- Let dry for a day, don't sand
- Apply an several coats of clear (1 can)
- Sand the through 2200, and polish

You should run some tests on a piece of scrap wood of a similar surface quality to the body you want to (re)finish and see what you think. If you don't want to waste your expensive Reranch on tests, grab a can of Duplicolor can from a auto parts store (~$7) and a can of Minwax Lacquer in gloss (red label, ~$10) from Home Depot or Lowes if you're in US, they are acrylic lacquers but will behave the same as nitro lacquers and they even smell the same.

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Enzo
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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Enzo » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:35 am

Wow, thank you for that incredibly thorough response! I’m definitely looking to create a period-correct (at least in terms of appearance and feel) finish on this guitar, so it sounds like a clear coat is the way to go. Thank you for reminding me of the option of going with acrylic lacquer. I remember reading somewhere that Fender actually used acrylic lacquer instead of nitro for its metallic colors in the 60’s, so that route would actually be even better.

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by rexter » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:23 am

PixMIx said it all - you'll definitely want clearcoat over the metallics - and for a really, really good looking metallic finish getting the primer coat absolutely flat and smooth is a must.

I go a bit nuts sometimes, but I think of getting the primer layer as flat and perfect as I would like the final layers of clear to look after final sanding. WHen you have a thick enough primer layer (probably 2-3 heavy coats) sand it back with 600 or 800 grit until you see no low (shiny) spots at all. Sometimes I even take it to 1000. Reason is ANY imperfection the surface below the colour coat shows really obviously with metallics - so if you have a textured, uneven primer coat you will have a textured uneven finished product. You can't flat the metallic out like you can a solid colour coat before clear.

Also something I find that works is a relatively light first coat of metallic colour, then a heavier one - making sure that you overlap each pass well to avoid striping. Then follow up with "mist" or "drop" coats - which is shooting from a bit further away kind of floating the paint down or across the guitar in a wide fan. With a compressor or hvlp setup you normally back off the air pressure a little to do this and set the fan wide. With aerosols you can kind of 'dust' the finish over the body from a further away. This stage really helps even out the colur and avoid streaking / tiger-striping and really brings out the sparkle as the flakes will fall at different angles to reflect the light.

Dust on a light coat of clear soon after you do the last mist coat - i normally only wait 5-10 mins - before any other dust falls on there - as again, you don't want to touch that final coat even with a tack cloth. If you notice any dirt debris on the body you can get away with blowing it off with some compressed air or something but it's really best not to disturb the flakes.

Then you can hit it with heavier clear coats. Long time since I used aerosols but yeah 1-2 cans should do it for a nice thin finish.

Good luck - sounds like a great JM project is on the way!

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Enzo » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:36 am

Thank you, Rexter, for sharing your expertise with the forum! My friend and I are collaborating on getting this jazzmaster refinished and we’ve followed the advice detailed in these posts so far; just finished applying the 2.5th can of Lake Placid Blue, using the thinnest coats possible. It looks even, smooth, and, of course, sparkly and metallic. Now all it needs is the clear coat followed by sanding and polishing. So far, I couldn’t be more excited about the results.

Will one can of clear coat be enough?

What do you have you found to be the best method for sanding and polishing a clear coat?

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by rexter » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:28 am

Hey Enzo - great, no problem! Be sure to post pictures, I know most people here love a sparkly blue finish!

Sounds like it' going well so far. I suspect you may want two cans of clear coat when it comes down to it, but get the first one on there and see. Trying to remember the last time I used cans for a metallic, I think I used a couple. It's hard to spray a thick coat with aerosols without runs so you'll probably find you have to do quite a few lighter coats of the clear.

Certainly keep the first few light, then maybe you'll have the confidence to go a bit heavier. Always keep the can moving and depress the trigger while you're pointing off the edge of the body so you don't get a blast of lacquer build up at your start point.

And I used to always make the fatal mistake of trying to get every drop out of the can. When it's almost empty and starts to splutter it's time to quit.... Otherwise you'll just get splatters as the can dies...

Once you have a thick enough clear coat you need to wetsand it. I personally don't bother with the lower grits any more, find there's no need. I mostly just start at 1200 or 1500 with quality wet and dry paper like 3M. Always use a block - a small one if possible and sand in a circular motion on a small area at a time. It's got a good cut and doesn't clog up as quickly as cheap paper will. Polish out 1500 scratches with 2000 and 2500. Instead of using water around the holes on the body it's better to use mineral spirit or white spirit as it will stop the wood from swelling and the lacquer bulging and cracking. Don't let any clumps of lacquer build up on the paper (keep rinsing it in water or spirit and keep it damp) otherwise you will get deeper scratches - also keep on wiping the debris off the body. If you see shiny spots, sand them - they're thee low spots. When it's all dull and matte looking you're ready to buff...

Meguiars compound is good or similar cutting/polish. Lots of hard work by hand with a pad or lots of noisy work with a machine buffer!

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Enzo » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:21 am

Thanks again! What would be the best way to post pictures? I’ve taken a ton throughout the process, but I’m not too familiar with embedding images on online forums.

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rexter
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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by rexter » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:13 pm

Imgur is good - then just used the BBcode link option and paste it straight into a post here and it should show up - be cool to see some pictures for sure!

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Enzo » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:53 am

Good morning all. Here is how the jazzie body looks presently, with one clear coat:


Image

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by arkivel » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:00 pm

Enzo wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:46 am
I wanted to paint it lake placid blue with a Reranch or Ohio Valley brand canned guitar lacquer.
Does Ohio valley make LPB? Its not listed on their website. I'd love to find an alternative nitro spray can to reranch that looks like modern Fender LPB. Nothing against RR but it looks like it has a purple or red tint to it which I do not like.

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Enzo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:28 pm

arkivel wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:00 pm
Does Ohio valley make LPB? Its not listed on their website. I'd love to find an alternative nitro spray can to reranch that looks like modern Fender LPB. Nothing against RR but it looks like it has a purple or red tint to it which I do not like.
Great question. Ohio Valley does not make lake placid blue, and neither does reranch (even though they claim to). However, I do think Ohio Valley’s Pelham blue is actually closer to old school Fender lake placid blue than reranch’s so-called lake placid blue, ironically.

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Jbyrd78 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:39 pm

Lake Placid Blue DuPont 2876K ChromaBase. That is the paint code you need.

Find the nearest automotive paint shop that deals with DuPont ChromaBase, give them that paint code and tell them you want the ChromaBase packed into a 16oz aerosol can. I have been finishing and restoring guitars for 16 years. I like you, when I first got into finishing I used ReRanch products, and Duplicolor shake bombs. Then I found out the local paint store could package the original Fender Custom Colors into shake bombs for me and I never looked back! I have used LPB, Blue Ice, FRED, OLY WHITE, Ocean Turquoise, and Firemist Gold. I still use Duplicolor OLY white for my primer coats. The good thing about ChromaBase, is that it dries fast, hard, and thin. It can also be clear coated with Nitro. Another thing as well, do not sand any higher than 400 grit on the primer coat. When you go higher than that, your are sanding/ polishing the finish and it causes adhesion problems. It may not happen right away but months down the road, the paint will start lifting off the primer coat. If you have any questions, or would like to see my work, PM and I will do my best to help you out.

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by N0_Camping4U » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:55 am

Do you have any pics of your projects Jbyrd78? Would like to see the Ocean Turquoise for sure.
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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by Jbyrd78 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:34 pm

Sure do, what is the best way to post pics with an imbgg account, so that they actually show in the thread?

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Re: Metallic nitro spray can paint job with no clear coat?

Post by rexter » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:38 am

In imgur click on the BBC code copy box and just paste straight into the OSG page - no need to use the insert image button here.

Just did it with this one. It's getting meta :wacko:

Image

Need to see some pictures in this thread guys!

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