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A few questions about painting

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Swever, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Swever


    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    Since I messed up with my first build and drilled a couple of holes wrong, I'm most likely going to paint it now. The body is aspen, it's a softwood, and it really is soft! Absorbs liquids like blotting paper too.

    Now the questions:

    1) Is sanding sealer really inevitable? Can't it be substituted with more coats of primer? If not, why?
    The problem is that I can't find any locally. It appears that there's even no translation of this in Finnish. I might be wrong, though.

    2) If I still need some sealer, what else could work as one? Shellac? I've got a can of Liberon Bistrot (Hardwearing) Varnish (polyurethane). Maybe it would work as a sealer under paint?

    3) I've read a couple of ebooks from http://www.paintyourownguitar.com/
    The method described there does not include any sanding between the layers of color and clear. Somewhere else I've read about methods when each layer is sanded before applying the next one. What's the difference? Which method is "better" and why?

    4) What kind of putty should I use? Is there any chance that a putty and primer (or sealer) would be incompatible?

    5) Are Alkyd paints any good? These seem to be easy to find here and the price is suitable too
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Most finishes can be thinned and used as an adequate sealer. But if the surface is highly grained, like oak and ash, you need a thick filler to fill the grain first. I don't know what aspen is like. But on most woods I don't use any special sanding sealer, just a thinned out varnish, the same as my top coats. Shellac make a good sealer and sands fairly well. Try to find a de-waxed shellac. Most paint will adhere well to shellac. I hate polyurethane. Nothing likes to stick to it very well once it's dry. I avoid it whenever I can.

    I sand between coats when necessary, but not always if I have a surface without runs or pools of dry finish. It depends. I would always sand my final coat of paint before starting the clear coats. I want the painted surface flawless and the clear coats will magnify any defects.

    There are lots of paints available. I've used alkyd paints a lot and get good results depending on the brand. Some are better paints than others. You might be better off using automotive touch up paint in aerosol cans. You'll have to find a clear coat that doesn't yellow with most colours of paints. Krylon acrylic aerosol gloss lacquer is good. It dries fast, hard and clear as water.
  3. Swever


    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    You once again help me a lot! Thank you very much. :)

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