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Old 09-21-2012, 07:46 AM   #1
Beezerk
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Protecting a custom paint job?

My mate has finally finished painting my guitar, it's been "resting" for a couple of weeks now to make sure it's properly cured.
I want to put some kind of clear lacquer over it to stop it getting damaged, is this a good idea?
He said he used acrylic paints btw.
I've been searching the net but I've only found how to lacquer over stained guitars so far.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:07 AM   #2
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Yeah, definitely clear coat. You can use an acrylic clear coat, nitro should also be compatable.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:09 AM   #3
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Thanks mate, just worried about choosing the wrong lacquer and end up damaging the paint.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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You probably should have cleared it when the paint was still tacky. now a clear coat probably wont stick and it will peel.

do NOT use lacquer on it if it was painted with acrylic paint. It will eat right through it.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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Crikey, my mate said to leave it a month or so before I lacquer it to let the paint dry properly.
What would you recommend then, do I have an option?
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorerbuilder
You probably should have cleared it when the paint was still tacky. now a clear coat probably wont stick and it will peel.

do NOT use lacquer on it if it was painted with acrylic paint. It will eat right through it.


+1. Lacquer will melt the paint underneath it, and all your colours will just bleed into each other, like when you put red underpants in with your whites in the laundry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezerk
Crikey, my mate said to leave it a month or so before I lacquer it to let the paint dry properly.
What would you recommend then, do I have an option?


Well as long as the paint finish is not too thin, you could have a go at keying down the finish with a bit of fine sandpaper or steel wool, so it will stick.
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Last edited by eddiehimself : 09-21-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:26 PM   #7
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It takes a nitro top coat to fully cure in about a month. Paint usually dries overnight.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:47 AM   #8
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Discussed it with my mate last night, he seemed to think adding a clear primer (like what you would put over artwork to protect it) before a lacquer would work.
Any opinions on this?
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:58 AM   #9
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I wouldn't risk it. You'll need to use acrylic clear.

The general rule is to use the same chemical type for the paint AND clear. The solvents in nitro laquer are too "hot" and will melt the acrylic paints. I would also stay away from waterbased acrylic clears. It's just my experience that they don't spray on nice and even like laquer does. Its like spraying water onto glass, it beads up, comes out terrible without alot of final finish work.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:17 AM   #10
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Thanks mate, I think a trip to my local arts and craft shop is in order lol.

There seems to be lots of contradicting advice on the internet, some say use acrylic lacquer/varnish, some don't.
A polyurethane varnish has also been mentioned, I imagine something like this...

http://www.diy.com/nav/decor/paint/...3?skuId=9261812

Would it be neutral enough to work?
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:39 AM   #11
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I wouldn't use poly either. Your acrylic paints cure by evaporations, meaning the solvents in them need to evaporate away into the air for it to fully cure. Laquer is the same way. If you can smell it, the solvents are STILL evaporating/curing, regardless of what the can says, even if it's been weeks. It took like 5 months before I could no longer smell the laquer on my refinish.

Poly cures by oxidation. Exposure to oxygen causes it to crystalize. Therefor it will "seal" the acrylic paint and prevent any further curing. Sure maybe your paints are 95% cured, but putting anything but acrylic over the top will not allow the solvents to permeate through and evaporate. It may work, it may not, who can say for sure. I don't think poly will melt the paint. Again it doesn't have harsh evaporating solvents (in general). Thats why poly usually doesn't smell as bad as other clears. It won't get you high. Haha. Researching finishing techniques is a PITA, you're right. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what to use on my refinish. Acrylic is your best bet IMO.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:30 AM   #12
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*scratches head*

Many thanks for the input, it's very much appreciated.
I will post pics when it's done lol.
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