Paint and precat lacquer question

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by Nateswoodworks, May 20, 2016.

  1. Nateswoodworks

    Nateswoodworks New Member

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    On the guitar we are building for my son we are using a precat lacquer as a topcoat, the center of the top will be dyed blue figured maple fading out to a painted black. My question is what type of paint to use? Will I be safe using an enamel auto finish or would something else be better? I want to spray it through my hvlp. Thank you for any insight!
    God bless!
    Nate
     
  2. Michael_P

    Michael_P Member

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    for one thing, I'm pretty sure lacquer will eat right into and destroy enamel...you need to use compatible products...

    have you considered doing a fade into transparent black? sunburst style...

    I would probably avoid a pre-cat lacquer and instead use an instrument lacquer which is made for thicker buildups...instrument lacquers have plasticizers and this allows for the product to give some in a dent situation...

    while I've heard plenty of people argue over the use of a vinyl sealer, I suggest its use before the top coats...best to use a sealer/top coat from the same manufacturer to guarantee compatibility...any supplier worth their salt will direct you to the correct products...

    you most likely have a Mohawk dealer in your area and they make instrument lacquers...or use a Behlen product (made by Mohawk) from Woodcraft
     
  3. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    What's strange that I know from my times in the autobody profession is that acrylic enamel could be used over lacquer, but lacquer could not be applied over enamel.
    It would just bubble up..
    And just for others HPLV = High Pressure Low Volume
     
  4. Michael_P

    Michael_P Member

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    as has been noted at the other forum, there are compatibility issues with your plan...

    the nice thing about lacquer is that it burns into the previous coats, and for all intensive purposes creates a solid layer of product when done...I know this because I once tried using halogen lights to help the curing process...fell asleep, awoke 4 hours later and the finish had bubbled up and got destroyed...I ended up using the same halogens to heat the stuff up again and was able to peel back 15 coats of PPG DCA468 all the way to the wood in a single piece (if you will)...

    automotive history: they used to use lacquer...and obviously they added pigments (both solid and metalic)...I don't see any reason why said pigments can be added to instrument lacquer to achieve the effect you desire...the hard part is doing the fade to (sunburst) effect...

    as a detail effect I would use tints for the top (being that it is figured) and do the back and sides black if no grain is desired...

    skip a luthier supply house, find a Mohawk dealer and have them add the pigments...

    and yeah, you're best waiting 30 days after the final coats to do the buffing/polishing...my rule of thumb is 5 coats a day maximum, with 3 days between those coats to allow for some solvent evaporation...you push it if you ignore that schedule...the price is little teeny bubbles created in previous layers from solvent reaction...be sparse with use of retarders as that can vastly slow the curing process...the secret to a good lacquer finish is a good reducer (thinner)...a cr@p thinner (like from Hell Depot) will be a negative...spend the $ for quality...

    in the end, it's not how many coats you apply, but how thick is the build after you wet sand and polish that matters...and you are doing an electric so it's now that greatly important as opposed to an acoustic where thickness of finish affects how the guitar vibrates and creates sound
     

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