Clear coats! Edit: Done!

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Zork
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Clear coats! Edit: Done!

Post by Zork » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:11 am

So I'm refinishing my Squier VI with rattle cans. I'm using acrylic laquer (Mercedes 881 Thistle Green Metallic) and am now in the process of clear coating.

So far I did:

- 5 light coats of color
- 2 thick coats of color
- let it cure for a week
- 2 light coats of color
- 2 thick coats of color
- let it cure for a week
- 3 light coats of clear
- 2 wet coats of clear
- let it cure for a week
- sand it very lightly with 600 grid
- 3 light coats of clear
- 2 wet coats of clear

I got some light runs, one mosquito, one sand through when I tried to get rid of a run and a bit of dust in the laquer. It's far from perfect but for my first refinish and working outdoors I'm happy. It actually looks pretty good.

Now, I've got some orange peel but I'm not sure how bad it is, really. I think I'll need some wetsanding but I'm wondering:
1.: Will I need more clear?
2.: Can I skip sanding and just buff it all out (by hand)? Edit: no. :whistle:

Here are some pics:

Image
(Color coats only)

Image
(After clear)

Image
:fp:

Image
(Orange peel)

Thanks for your attention and advice.
Last edited by Zork on Mon May 13, 2019 10:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Spotcheck Billy
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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Spotcheck Billy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:58 am

You may want to read through this thread on another builder's site: https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/final ... ng.330929/

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Zork
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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Zork » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:28 pm

Yep, thank you, that was a good read. But one step further than I am right now and they used a buffing machine eventually. So, I'm still on the fence: more clear or not more clear? Usually I read "when you think you have enough clear, spray more clear" but then again... :wacko:

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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by HNB » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:49 am

I spray clear from cans and normally do two cans for a solid color and sometimes three cans for a metallic since the flecks don't lay as flat as a solid color. :)
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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Futuron » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:20 pm

It depends on how flat you want it, because the more you sand it, the more you need on there in the first place. If you want a factory-looking gloss finish then pile on the coats, but if you just want the colour to not easily come off and don't mind that it's visibly not-smooth then maybe you have enough? You don't need to sand it if you are keeping it and you don't mind it being bumpy. But I think if you buff/polish it without it being flat it'll show.

My approach is to clear coat until I think it looks sufficiently enough, then do the same amount again. Then hopefully I don't sand through! (Always near the edges :fp: )
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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Steadyriot. » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:41 pm

You want a nice layer on there if you want to wet-sand and polish.
If you just want shiny as it is now; it's good to go.

A buffer is a big expense and not needed but it helps once you get the skill of buffing down.
An affordable alternative that a lot of guys use is a buffer for an electric drill:
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Zork
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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Zork » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:08 pm

I sprayed more clear yesterday but I screwed it up. I sprayed the clear coats not with the guitar hanging but I had it lying on a table. I put it with the back on two skateboard wheels, sprayed the front and then flipped it over so it stood on the paintstick and two screws to spray the back.
Like this:

Image

Somehow the laquer I had sprayed last week hadn't dried enough and the skateboard wheels left two circular marks pressed in the laquer on the back. :fp:

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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Zork » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:08 am

Okay, so I did some research. It appears I did the coats last week too thick and didn't give it enough time to dry/harden. Now I also read that sometimes this will never harden enough to wet sand and polish and I will have to start all over again. Now the question is: Did I really mess this up or is there a chance it will dry enough if I just give it enough time?
Here's again what I did so far:

- 5 light coats of color
- 2 thick coats of color

- let it dry for a week

- 2 light coats of color
- 2 thick coats of color

- let it dry for a week

- 3 light coats of clear
- 2 wet coats of clear

- let it dry for a week (weather was warm and dry, the body dries in a wooden garden cottage)

- sand it very lightly with 600 grid (at this point, the clear was hard enough that my fingernail didn't leave a mark)
- 3 light coats of clear
- 2 wet coats of clear

- let it dry for a week (weather was cold and rainy)

- 3 light coats of clear (this was when the skateboard wheels left the marks yesterday)

The wet coats were done just to the amount were it looked completely wet after the second of the wet coats. What do the experienced say: was this too much?

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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:51 am

Are you using rattle cans or a spray gun rig?

If rattle cans, my rule of thumb is "two full cans of clear."

As you learned on your sand-through above-- stay away from the edges.

"The edges take care of themselves." They really do. Almost all sand-throughs happen on edges and corners. Leave a bit of a safety margin there, and never run your sandpaper over an edge or corner. When you do the final buff, it will all work itself out.

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Zork
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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Zork » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:09 am

Success! It's not ready to sand but after a week with warm and sunny weather it is considerably hardened and I'm sure it will be ok. Phew! :whistle:

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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Zork » Sun May 12, 2019 10:50 pm

Quick question: I wetsanded with 2000, 3000 and 5000 grit. It looks already awesome but I got some circular sanding marks left. Does it make sense to go up to 7000 or should I just give it some more passes with 5000 or call it a day and start buffing it out?

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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Futuron » Mon May 13, 2019 1:27 am

I would've stopped sanding after 3000, as personal preference. Wow, you can get 7000?!? The more you sand the more chance of going through. About those circles, what grit did you start sanding? The finer you start (and the bigger the gap between grits) the more likely you'll have high/low smooth sections. Or are they just the 5000 marks.
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Re: Clear coats! How much is enough?

Post by Zork » Mon May 13, 2019 1:06 pm

Yes, it was just a matter of very few very soft rounds with 5000 grit and it was already as good as it can get. I also buffed it a bit but it wasn't really necessary as the 5000 grit was already more than fine enough. Will upload some pics later.

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Re: Clear coats! Edit: Done!

Post by Zork » Mon May 13, 2019 10:54 pm

So, here it is finally. It's not the greatest job in the world but for my first try I'm happy and it's much better than I expected. Next time I need to seal the screwholes before I do the wetsanding... :fp:

Image

Thank you all for advice and good vibes!

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Re: Clear coats! Edit: Done!

Post by Zork » Mon May 13, 2019 10:55 pm

Excuse the shitty pic. Glamour shots after final assembly. 8)

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