Water Based black lacquer finish
Hey folks, I'm always trying new finishing techniques for environmental reasons as well as ease of use.
So, I've been trying some water based (Target brand) water based lacquer. I tried wiping it on as well as brushing and spraying it. The spray technique has by far, been the best so far. My spraying techniques are not perfected, but I am getting close.
Here are a couple of pics of the most recent black lacquer P bass I'm re-building.
This bass is built on a Mighty Mite neck and an Allparts body. I purchased the body from Allparts as a "factory 2nd" the only issue with it was a small "knot" in the back. All of the hardware came from a "donor" bass. Since I was going to go with an opaque color, it knot in the body didn't matter to me. However, warning, these bodies come with very rough milling marks and are not sanded in the least bit. The neck was finished using the same technique as the body only without the color coats.
Here is the finishing schedule I used;
I am very pleased at the results. I washed up all my equipment with warm soapy water and here's the best part. I live in a dry climate, so the entire process to finish this body was completed in less than 2 days. Including wet sanding. Wet sanding tip - use mineral spirits to "wet" sand water based products.
To keep things simple, I used the same product (EM600) for wash coats, color coats and top coats. She polished up to a high gloss using minimal effort.
Black was probably not my best choice for my first opaque finish, as it shows every little swirl mark and tiny scratch. I must admit I am pretty satisfied with the results though.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions.
I've been using the Target water-based finishes on all my basses for about a year now. Overall, I'm very happy with it, although there's some learning curve needed.
I suggest that you try your next one with the EM9000 Super Clear Polyurethane. I worked with the EM6000 for a while, and I found that it was too soft. It was difficult to get it up to a nice shine. It always had little micro-scratches, no matter how I sanded and buffed it. And you're right, gloss black is one of the hardest finishes to do well, because everything shows.
The EM9000 dries rock-hard very quickly, and easily buffs up to a high gloss. Although they sell the EM9000 as a clear topcoat, I've found that it works great for everything: base coats, color coats, and top coats. I'll spray 8 clear top coats in an afternoon and sand and buff them the next day.
For wet sanding the Target finishes, I use Mineral Oil (from the Pharmacy) rather than Mineral Spirits. But with the EM9000, I do most of the sanding dry. The Abralon abrasives are amazing on these finishes. Usually Abralon from 800 to 3000 dry is all that's needed before buffing.
I do my buffing with the Menzerna coarse and fine paste compounds (also available from Stew-Mac) and very soft cotton wheels. The final touch is Johnson's Paste Wax.
Very nice work.
I also am using water based products for my finishes. I do not have a spray gun yet as I have a very small shop and would have to do some modifications to be able to spray finishes. After messing about with water based finishes, I too am finding that wipe on, brush on methods are not cutting the mustard. If I move to a spray gun I will have to install a vent fan so that the over spray gets sucked out of my shop. I have enough dust around as it is.
I use a General Finishes brand product called Enduro Clear. I believe it is an acrylic urethane product. In the picture I show a can with a satin sheen but I use gloss.
I add a cross linker to it to make it a little harder for durability and so that I can use my buffer to bring up a gloss sheen easier.
I am finding that I need to wait even longer than two weeks to let the finish cure before wet sanding and buffing.
Also, do you use Titebond glue? I have for years but I notice that the glue lines have some shrink back going on. I am now trying Titebond II as it is more water resistant as that is the only thing I can think of that is causing the finish to shrink into the joints.
have not used Target brand finishes as I can get the General Finishes stuff locally. I may have to get some to try.
Thanks for the replies gents. Bruce, is the 9000 WB Poly? Or Lacquer? Does it cross link well? The 6000 cross links well and is ez to fix if you burn or sand through. Drake, the sprayer works great! Water wash up and I use a cheep sprayer from Harber freight. I do what Mark also stated. I do about 6-8 top coats and sand/buff next day. The water cleanup and fast dry/cure time makes it especially great to work with.
Wow, this is very cool!
I'm nearing the paint phase of my first build. I was going to do a MinWax wipe on poly due to space and lack of sprayer.
I used this Behlens instrument nitro spray can on a neck a while back, and the fumes were getting into my house' yikes!
This water based Target Laquer may sway me into getting a sprayer.. My environment here in FL is humid, so I wouldn't start fantasizing about a 2 day finish, but this does look promising :)
Thanks for posting your thread!
You're welcome. Good luck. I recommend trying it on something cheep first. Getting a good "wet" coat without runs is difficult. Too wet and you get runs. Not wet enough and you get a ton of fish eyes. If that happens, sand after the first 4coats. That will help.
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