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Painting over a new Sunburst body using a spray can.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by lovethegrowl, Feb 3, 2014.


  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    In a previous thread I inquired about removing sunburst paint from a nice alder body, so I could stain it walnut. Got lots of good advise, & given what a difficult project this could be, I have to reconsider my option.

    I wanted the bass to be stained medium walnut, with a black pick guard & maple neck, just like my old '74 Fender Precision. However, this SX fretless Jazz bass' neck is a darker, glossy golden maple. Burgundy paint would go well with the black & golden maple.

    I do not have an air gun. This project would have to be strictly a Home Depot spray paint out of the can thing. People tell me that even auto body repairmen equipped with spray guns, get their refined results by sanding & buffing. I do have a vague recollection of sanding sprayed on polyurethane (@ the advise of a paint store owner) & it seemed the sanding made the clear coat a cloudy white, rather than refining & evening the shine.

    So I need advise about the following:

    1) Painting over polyurethane. Guess it should be "ruffed up" before painted. To what extent?

    2) Spraying out of the can. How many coats? What kind of sanding between coats?

    3) Spraying polyurethane over the paint. How many coats? What about sanding.

    Frankly the paint job doesn't have to be super glossy, or factory quality refined. Just good.
     
  2. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    Something popped into my head that I forgot. Auto body repairmen use rubbing or buffing compounds on the paint. I'm not sure about the clear coat. I am starting to think they don't sand or buff the polyurethane at all.

    Again I doubt that you can get a finished refined clear coat by sanding polyurethane-not quite like lacquer-but I'm not sure.
     
  3. Major Softie

    Major Softie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    Unless you are trying to create a satin finish, sanding is always either followed by another coat, or buffing out with compound. Some paints are designed to be buffed to a gloss, while some are only buffed back to a gloss if you have to sand an imperfection.
     
  4. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    Yeah, again this creates more problems in that I can never get an even texture spraying out of a can. I guess using buffing compounds will be a necessity too. Ultimately, the clear coat will be more important & perhaps more problematic. I'm not gonna get a smooth, even, glossy coat straight out of the can. If polyurethane can't be sanded, buffed, whatever, then this project will have to be scrapped. The paint guy @ the hardware store always says that you can sand your way to a nice glossy finish, but I don't see it.
     
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  6. Projectile

    Projectile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    I've wet sanded poly and buffed it to a high gloss before. It's possible, but it's a pain in the ass.
     
  7. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Portland oregon
    So wait you wait to spray a stain over poly? Id suggest getting a heat gun and removing the paint and then staining.
     
  8. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    I have given up on stain because removing the paint is too hard & time consuming. I was going to spray Burgundy paint over the poly, yes, definitely.

    Wet sanding poly might be a pain in the ass. But removing poly, paint, then fullerplast is much worse, don't you think.
     
  9. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    When buffing poly do you use a compound?
     
  10. CustomTech

    CustomTech

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    im posting this after reading your last thread and this one. you can take this with a grain of salt, or not. sounds like you have little to no experience doing this, so here goes.

    if you think removing the finish is too hard, wait till you try and get a good finish with little to no experience doing finishes. you are better off sending it out to someone who knows what they are doing and save yourself the headaches when you open the can of worms. if you dont mind being frustrated and look at it as a learning experience, then have at it, but dont expect stellar results first time around.....it takes a long time to learn how to get good finishes. ive been doing this 35 years and i still have screw ups and hate hate hate wet sanding and polishing the finishes.......if i could find someone who could do the stuff i want, at a reasonable price, id send my own stuff out instead of shooting it myself just to get rid of the headache......

    add: also, if youre doing a solid color, never open the can of worms by removing a finish to bare wood. you already have a solid flat surface. all you need to do is scuff and shoot, just make sure your finish you are spraying over the old one is compatible......
     
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Its no more difficult than any other type of finish.
     
  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Scuff the original finish with a sanding block and 400 grit. That will give the original finish enough tooth for the new finish to mechanically bond to, but will not leave scratches deep enough to show through the new finish. After finishing clean the surface with a grease and wax remover before spraying anything.

    This all depends on what kind of finish you are using. But a good rule of thumb is to spray enough color coats to get complete coverage, and enough clear to where you can sand it level without sanding into the color. As for sanding between coats. I usually knock the orange peel down after each coat.

    Same answer as #2

    IMHO the best you can hope for from a rattle can poly finish is just a decent job. They will simply never get as hard as a catalyzed finish sprayed through proper spray equipment. The quality is compromised to get them to spray out of a can. Nitro (like Reranch) can give a good quality finish from a rattle can, but that's about it.
     
  13. mimaz

    mimaz Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Wheeling WV
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Regardless of your experience (or lack thereof), that's the one problem with just about any spray can finish that will perhaps be the most troublesome, both while sanding/buffing and with respect to the quality of the "finished" product.
     
  14. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    Any thing's better than Sunburst! Eeew!
     
  15. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    Yes, a "decent" burgundy finish is better than a shiny refined sunburst. Keep in mind that much of the front of the body will be covered with a black pick guard & black electronics plate. I do find that the smaller the area being painted, the less obvious the imperfections.

    In terms of buffing the polyurethane, are there specific rubbing compounds to use? I've yet to get a brand name compound to use with the paint or poly.
     
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Meguiars Light Cut Cleaner works well. You can use a hand drill and wool pad to polish out the finish. You should sand to at least 2000 before buffing.
     
  17. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    OK, is that compound for both the paint & poly?
     
  18. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    ....and frankly a satin, or semi gloss is OK too. Doesn't have to be super shiny. That I can play by ear.
     
  19. Pocket4

    Pocket4 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If understand your objective, don't you intend that the wood grain features show through a walnut stain? In my opinion, especially for starting out with finishing projects, you stand a really good chance of a pleasing result if you buy a new alder body and have at it. All the effort to prep the sunburst body, and the results you'll get will probably disappoint.

    What do others recommend? Prep with a 400 grit sanding, wash with alcohol, try Minwax wipe-on walnut stain to taste, spray can poly clear gloss, get a set of wet sanding sheets that cover the range from 600 to at least 1500 grit and then of course some machine polish to rub and buff to gloss. Not sure if a sanding/sealer spray for several coats to level the surface before all this is the best move.
     
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Well, it will work for any hard shell finish, be it poly, nitro, epoxy, or even CA glue.
     
  21. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    No! I started this thread because painting over the old poly seemed easier than removing the paint. This threads about spray painting Burgundy out of a rattle can
     

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