How much to DIY?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by newyorkiddo, Jan 28, 2014.


  1. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

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    So, I have this very lovely jazz body sitting around that is unfinished and basically brand new. So I think to myself, "instead of paying someone to paint this for me, why don't I just do it myself?" I mean, it'll help me learn something new! The only thing that is keeping me from starting is my budget. So, do any of you have an idea of the total cost for paint and sealer and other things needed?
    BTW id like to paint it sunflower yellow. Haha.
     
  2. Andy D

    Andy D

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    Well, I definitely dig the yellow! It's an under appreciated color. The paint shouldn't be too much, but I have no idea what sealer costs.
     
  3. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

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    Haha, I agree! There need to be more yellow basses.
     
  4. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    Paint cost will vary a lot depending on what kind you choose to use. I'm assuming you don't have a compressor and spray gun, so you'll be talking rattle can. With a filling primer, top color, and clear, you probably just need one can of each. A nice automotive Urethane will probably cost you around $12 - $15 a can, with the primer somewhat less. Eastwood and Colorite are good sources for automotive finishes. No clear makes touchup easier, but clear makes the finish tougher and more resistant to damage. Nitro is also popular, but I don't know prices. Nitro is the product used on the classic instruments of the 50's and 60's. It gives a thinner finish that many prefer the look and feel of, but it isn't nearly as tough.

    All you need other than that is sandpaper, tack cloth, one roll of masking tape, and maybe a sanding block. One other issue is that a professional will have access to a clean room for painting, while you may have to sand out dust spots and buff them, which means getting a couple grades of buffing compound.

    Good paint ups the cost about $20 overall. You could get Duplicolor at a local automotive store and save that $20 or so, but I consider the better paint well worth the higher performance.

    So, if you have absolutely none of this stuff, you're looking at the better part of $100, and a lot of effort. For me, the payoff of holding and playing an instrument that is the result of your own handwork is WAY worth it, but everyone has to decide that for themselves.
     
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  6. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

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    Alright, thanks! I'll go check out my local Home Depot first thing in the morning and see what I can pick up. I'm really hoping my first time goes great.
     
  7. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    Home Depot will have some of the stuff, but finer grit wet-dry paper, buffing compound, and automotive paints are all auto parts store stuff. The Eastwood and Colorite suggestion are both online suppliers.
     
  8. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

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    Cost will depend on type of wood. Your open grain thirsty woods like ash will need a filler or a ton of paint. Your close grained stuff will be fine with a nice primer and color coat.

    If you are not familiar with paint, avoid lacquer like the plague. Trust me, it's A) not cheap and B) not beginner friendly.

    For simplicity and to increase the odds of a good outcome, I'd find out what kind of wood you are dealing with and if it needs a sealer, take care of that, then go to your friendly neighborhood AllMart and pick up a can of Krylon enamel primer and a can of Krylon enamel color. While you are there, pick up a finishing multi pack of sandpaper and a couple of tack cloths. You can use a LIGHTLY dampened rag for tacking off, but a tack cloth will make the job go faster.

    Knock down the sealer if you used it, then, tack it off and shoot your first coat of primer. Make the first coat thin, let it get tacky, then put a thicker coat on top. Let that dry completely then put another good coat of primer on it. Once that all dries real good, knock it down and look for low spots and rough spots. Tack it off and put on another heavy coat of primer and sand it down, again looking for sand throughs and rough spots. The idea is to wind up with a nice uniform smooth and level base to put your color on. 99% of the good looks in a paint job is the prep so don't skip and don't quit if it's taking a while to get it just right.

    Once you are happy with the primer coat, tack it off and shoot your first color coat. Again, first coat should be thin. I try to do it thin enough I could read a newspaper through it, but that can be tough with a rattlecan without winding up with a ton of overspray. Either way make it as thin as you can and still get decent coverage. While you want to build up heavy coats of primer, the key to good color is lots of thin coats. Let it dry well between and let it cure well after you get enough to fully conceal the primer. At that point inspect the thing in really good light and look for any imperfections. If you find any sand the whole thing, but just enough to remove the trash or whatever. Don't worry about sand throughs on the first go around, but avoid them if possible.

    Once you are happy with the finish, let it cure for a while then come back with some fine finishing paper and wet sand it until it's slick, then buff it out.

    If you needed filler, you could use it to build up your base instead of primer, but a good primer base will give the paint something to grab when it's applied.
     
  9. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

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    Wow that's very informative. The body I'm working on is made of alder. What are you referring to when you say, "knock it down". I will probably try this tonight with the help of a friend. Thanks a lot!
     
  10. bluebird28

    bluebird28

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    Knock It Down means to sand it with finer and finer sandpaper or emerycloth in the 600 and finer 800 grits.
     
  11. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

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  12. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD Supporting Member

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    ReRanch.com is a guitar paint supplier. Their Nitro Cellulose lacquer products are top quality. Their website has great tutorials on how to do it right. I recommend you start there. To save a little money, you can get Acryllic lacquer auto paints at auto supply stores. The secret to a good finish is all in the preparation before painting. Supplies will run about $100.00 and the finish and curing time could be 3-4 weeks.
    Rocky
     
  13. SurferJoe46

    SurferJoe46

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    BTW - don't even think of using and HF sandpaper (I don 't have to tell you what the HF stands for - right?).

    Their sandpaper is some of the worst I've ever seen as it has occasional pebbles and rocks in it and clogs almost instantly.

    There was a quire of that junk in the garage when I moved into this house and I figgered - 'What the hey!".

    Bad -- BAD idea!

    I tend to use automotive and aircraft paints pretty much any more, not the rattlers, as I like the ability to get a lot of good colors, and most of all the extremely good durability from catalyzed paints. But they are spendy - $100-300/gallon with hardeners, and associated primers and sealers.

    The fact that they aren't originally intended for application over wood requires some very decent prep-time. I like to use (firstly) sandable then non-sandable primers in platinum grey - think: "hot rod primer".

    I also buy the rolls of paper designed for DA sanders with self-adhesive backing as they fit good on 3M rubber sanding blocks and the pad of a DA too. 3M makes the best professional finish materials and tools as far as I am concerned.

    Oh yeah - buy a long board too. And Bondo or it's equiv.

    You can sink as much or as little as you want into paint, paper, etc., but it will show in the near future if it comes out decently at all.
     
  14. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

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    Is the sealing the same as prepping the wood?
     
  15. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD Supporting Member

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    Prepping the wood could involve several steps, sealing is just one of the steps.Prepping the wood would cover everything up to the time you start your color coats.
    Rocky
     
  16. johnson79

    johnson79

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    Reranch.com. Lots of tips and products
     
  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

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    Since your body is alder, sand it smooth then start your primer application and you will be fine.
     
  18. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

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    Ah, thanks a lot fhm555!
     
  19. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    All his advice was good, but this is the most important of all.
     
  20. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    Right. Sanding the wood, sealing, filling low spots, filling pores (different product than filling low spots), sanding the filler, priming, sanding between sealers and primer and between primer and color, ALL of that is part of "prepping the wood."

    Then you shoot your color.

    The hardest product to find is the filler for open pore wood (like Ash, Mahogany, or Oak). At the hardware store, they will have all sorts of wood "filler," but they hardly ever have the stuff for filling pores (which is a very different and very thin product). Pore filler is usually only found online or in places that carry supplies for fine woodworking. I usually get mine at Woodcraft.

    They look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  21. MVE

    MVE

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