1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

finishing - waterbase lacquer for opaque colors?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rodent, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I'm venturing into experimenting with spray finishes during my down time, and am curious what other builders/finishers are utilizing for their opaque lacquer work. specifically -

    * what waterbase lacquer are you using?

    * are you mixing your own colors or buying pre-mixed?

    * what are you using for the clear coats?

    * are you satisfied with how things buff out?

    right now I'm only starting to work with clear, and am working with KTM-9 due to its reputed ability for clarity (lack of blueish haze) and resemblance to solvent based Nitro.

    I've used re-ranch products in the past for my opaque colors, but I'm getting requests for an extended range of colors (not to mention that I shoot in my garage which has a gas furnace and water heater - not a place I can shoot solvent based finishes during the heating season :()

    I am liking the added range of what I'll be able to provide customers beyond oil finishes (in-house) or sending bodies out for finishing (without any kind of cost control)

    all the best,

  2. BarryS


    Oct 17, 2004
    I'm curious about this too. I think I must be in the minority but my tastes have turned toward vintage style basses and opaque finishes. Does anyone have anything to add to this? :help:
  3. I haven't used them myself, but in the airbrush world some folks use automotive waterbased acrylics from Createx. But I think you can thin them only so much (10-20% max?) before you run into adhesion issues.

    No matter what you choose, you'll need to do some experimenting to make sure your clear coat is compatible with the color coats, as none of these things has the chemical "bite back" that nitro has.

    Most guys I know are shooting solvent-based acrylics or enamels, House of Kolor seems to be another popular option. Solvent-based stuff cures harder and faster, and seems to have more depth than waterbased stuff (my own rattle-can experiments confirm this, though I've not tested KTM-9). But the VOCs will kill you for sure (one way or another) without proper ventilation; for most guys, this means shooting them outdoors when its warm enough, and moving the parts back into the garage to let hang.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.