Alternative finishings...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by nerkoids, Aug 25, 2018.


  1. Varathane - sure, it's good stuff, but only for non-painted bodies

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Varathane - sure, it's good stuff for both painted and non-painted stuff

    4 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Varathane - yeech, stay away!

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Varathane or Minwax - meh, carrots

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  5. Minwax - sure, it's good stuff, but only for non-painted bodies

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Minwax - sure, it's good stuff for both painted and non-painted stuff

    3 vote(s)
    27.3%
  7. Minwax - gak, stay away!

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  8. Carrots

    5 vote(s)
    45.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. nerkoids

    nerkoids

    Jan 3, 2014
    Montreal
    All right. Recently went to my local Canadian Tire and came across these two products. Both seem to be water-borne 3x type thick polyurethane durable enough for floors... so they should be pretty good for guitar bodies and necks?

    Water-borne poly, really thick, self-levelling, doesn't yellow (going by what they're saying on the can and bottle) I opened up the cap of the Minwax one, and it smelled a lot like the water-based Miniwax I used for my last P-bass build, and that stuff turned out great.

    So my question is this, fine luthiers and craftspeople - have any of you tangoed with this stuff, and if you did, how were the results? If you did use this stuff, or know of this stuff, and knowing they are both polyurethane - would you recommend either of them on natural/stained and/or painted parts?

    These are going for 29-32 dollars each for roughly 1 L, which I think is a pretty good value if you're going to be doing a series of guitars (or if you have some furniture that needs some glossing up)
    IMG_20180825_113824.jpg

    IMG_20180825_114010.jpg
     
  2. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    After reading that thread above - FYI the paint desk at Canadian Tire can bring in nearly any Minwax, Varathane or Rustoleum product. :D
     
  3. FWIW, I've been using the Pro Finish floor finisher discussed there with good success. There are a few other options as well.
     
  4. nerkoids

    nerkoids

    Jan 3, 2014
    Montreal
    Can this stuff be rubbed on?
     

  5. What is “this stuff?” If there is a picture or link, I’m not seeing it.
     
  6. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I would stick with the regular formula, not the triple thick floor stuff.
     
  7. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    There is a whole thread on Waterbase Finishes devoted to this, but I'll give you my shorthand. I used the Varathane Heavy Use Formula Gloss:
    Rust-Oleum 200261H 1/2-Pint Satin Interior Waterborne Diamond Polyurethane
    It's also available in spray cans, but getting harder to find as they have newer fomulas.

    I tinted the Varathane jet black using the Stewmac Colortone Pigment for Waterbase:
    ColorTone Liquid Pigment for Waterbase Lacquer | stewmac.com
    It's the only pigment I found that mixed perfectly with Varathane and produced a Jet Black, opaque finish in a reasonable number of coats.

    I sprayed it on with one of these:
    HVLP Spray Gun Kit
    Not the best tool for the job, but it worked. I had a lot of trouble figuring out the right combination of mix, speed, distance, etc, and no real braintrust to draw from. If I do this again, I'll probably get a small compressor and decent HVLP gun.

    You can see the whole interminable blow-by-blow build process here, skip to the last 10 pages or so to see the paint process:
    The Hossenfeffer Bass Build

    Here it is after the buffing process just finished. By no means perfect, but for my first paint job, good enough.


    A lot of Luthiers are using Pro Finisher and Minwax Modified Oil finishes with great success. The finish on my bass is harder and more scratch resistant than traditional Nitro, but less resistant than Poly. The lack of poisonous fumes was well worth the compromise. Its NOT like spraying nitro or enamel, so if you are comfortable with that, and have the protective gear, go for it, but if you are starting from scratch, go waterbase, a total no-brainer. The whole industry is heading that way, and the technology has advanced enough I see no good reason to use VOC based finishes any more. We all have to breathe the same air, might as well reduce the clouds of evil vapor.
     
  8. nerkoids

    nerkoids

    Jan 3, 2014
    Montreal
  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
  10. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    ^^^^^What she said, it's surprising how thick you have to lay it on to avoid "burning through" while you are level wetsanding. One little overzealous pass and its toast. WB finishes like Varathane don't burn in to previous coats like nitro, though supposedly some of the newer WB formulations do. That's one big downside of WB so far. One coat would probably work if all you are shooting for is glossy orangepeel, not the desired end result for most.
     
    nerkoids likes this.
  11. nerkoids

    nerkoids

    Jan 3, 2014
    Montreal
    Oh, it's not about doing it in one coat. I figured since it's 3X it would be less prone to running and dripping, better self-leveling and doing each coat in less passes. A can of this stuff is only 1-2 CND more than their regular WB poly.
     
    mapleglo likes this.
  12. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Try it out and let us know! The holy grail of finishing has always been getting compressor and gun level finish out of a rattle can, but I’ve yet to see it in reality. If you don’t mind a little more work wetsanding, maybe a rattle can is fine, the technology keeps getting better.
     
    nerkoids likes this.
  13. nerkoids

    nerkoids

    Jan 3, 2014
    Montreal
    Well, I don't have a garage or workshop - I'm an apartment dweller - so no-odour poly finishings appeals to my sense of wanting to respect the people I live with and my neighbours :D. As for the color coats, I've been watching some youtube videos of a guy who painted his guitars with the acrylic paint one finds at Wal-Mart and Michael's and he got some really great results. He used tru-oil for his finishing (not interested in that stuff, to be honest)
     
  14. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I have an unheated garage, but I built a plastic spray booth and managed to paint guitars in it using a small space heater, a box fan, and some air filters. You can build a mini spray booth of sorts using a bathroom exhaust fan, some plastic sheet, dryer vent, and a couple HVAC filters. There are a bunch of examples on YouTube, so it’s fully do-able, even in an apartment. Using WB finish eliminates most of the toxicity and all the flammability, so no explosion proof fans required, and very little smell. You can vent right out the window.

    Pretty crude, but you get the idea.
     
    nerkoids and franksidebottom like this.
  15. nerkoids

    nerkoids

    Jan 3, 2014
    Montreal
    Well, I finally tried this stuff:
    334445-va-triple-thick-gloss-en-jpg.jpg

    And it's actually quite good. It didn't take 20 coats. It took only 3. Despite it being water-borne, it does gas off for the better part of 48 hours. But when it does, it's pretty glossy and rock-hard.

    When sprayed on, it does act a lot like lacquer, it self-levels and it de-bubbles itself fairly well. Like most polys it does orange-peel when you try to dry it too quickly, though, but wow oh wow, it's got a great shine already to it.
     
    kodiakblair, Gilmourisgod and Beej like this.
  16. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Got any photos?
     
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 19, 2022

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