nitrocellulose paint ... how many coats ??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DaveDeVille, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    i purchased an unfinished '54 P-Bass body { alder }
    from Warmoth and have sprayed it with antique white from ReRanch .

    i've already sprayed three coats , and it looks terrific ...

    i guess my question is , about how many coats of paint do you usually use for your projects ?
  2. i'd say: untill it looks good
    i've repainted my guitaar and it took me 4 coats yellow and 2 coats black
  3. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    ... anyone else ??
  4. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    When Noll redid my Geddy Lee in LPB nitro, he did 10 coats
    and thin sanded each one.

    See you next year.
  5. Delta_Petra


    Feb 26, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I just repainted my jazz bass Daphne blue with reranch. Took it down to natural wood, applied some clear wood finish, then a single coat of spray poly. I then sprayed 3 layers with reranch white primer and then about 4.5 layers of reranch daphne blue. I sanded smooth and then touched up any areas. Lastly was a single layer of nitro clear coat.

    Personally I feel like it could have been more for a spectacular finish, but I want it to wear with age and use, so less layers for me.
  6. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    The number of coats all depends on how well the nitro went on in the first place. If 3 coats went on easily in a perfect temp/humidity, dust-free environment and won't require any wet sand or buff, I'd say 3 is enough and you are either the most skilled finisher in the world or the luckiest!


    If the coats were applied with a rattle can, I suspect that you will have to do a fair amount of sanding to level off the finish.

    If you have only applied 3 coats, be careful if you buff the finish. Being so thin, there will be a danger of buffing through the finish if you are too agressive.

    My last nitro finish went 7 coats . If it were me, I'd get a couple more coats of finish on the body and take the time to do a nice wet sand and hand buff.......With a little time and effort, your body will look better than a factory finish.
  7. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    Since you're doing Reranch products, seems to me you should get a lot more familiar with reranch 101

    If you're going the sraycan route you'll have to put a crapload of coats on it if you want it to last you a long time. I use a spraygun rig and when I shoot nitro I'll do a minimum of 8 double coats of lacquer. Bear in mind I spray the lacquer a whole lot thicker than a spraycan does.
  8. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    thanks !
    that's what i was looking for , some real world "rattle can" advice !!
    since i am doing this for the long haul , and not just for a relic type finish ,
    i've decided to shoot at least 7or 8 coats ... and just applied coat # 4 this morning .

    i'm applying 1 coat per day , and then doing some light wet sanding ...

    wet sanding with # 600 paper between coats , does seem to give a really nice , smooth finish .
    thanks again !!
    see my above response ... :D
  9. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    How many coats do you get per can?

    I'm happy for the 20 year old bass I plan to spray to still look 20 years old.
  10. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    after 4 coats, i've still got just enough to rattle around in the first can .
    so i guess 4 coats per can ...?

    i'm sure it probably depends on how thick you want to shoot each coat ...
  11. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
  12. This is all very helpful as I'm also refinishing a SX jazz in Olympic White Nitro!

    I'm going to use 4 coats on the body with one coat of Nitro Satin Clear, then about 2 coats on the headstock with a custom decal and 4-5 coats nitro satin clear

    This is a total noob question (im 16 and doing my first refinish), but what exactly is wet sanding?
  13. Wet sanding is where you liberally apply water to painted surface and sand with fine grain sand paper. The water gives lubrication between the surface and the sandpaper so it takes a small amount of finish off smoothly.
  14. ohhh gotcha
  15. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    sprayed 8 coats of Oly White { wet sanded between each coat }
    and finished with 2 coats of clear coat nitro sealer .

    here it is ... sorry for the flash.

    these last two shots are actually closer to the true finished color ...


    sorry for the crappy photo quality ...:ninja:
  16. That's super nice. Well done.

    I'm doing the same body style, except the Squier version in either Shell Pink or Re-ranch Coral. I hope mine turns out this nice. Thanks for all the advice in this thread. It will definitely help.
  17. First let me say nice job on the bass.

    Ok I'll admit it. I skimmed, so if I'm covering something that's already been mentioned, ignore me. I've done several guitars and basses. I used primarily reranch products and hang on the ranch forum alot. For color coats in general spray enough to cover the primer. It will vary depending on the color you are using and how opaque the paint is. I do not sand color coats unless a small dog or bird or something obvious gets caught in the finish. he reason is that nitro melts the previous coat that was applied, and in effect they blend into one coat. Follow that up with 2... YES 2 cans of clear nitro. The reason is because you will be removing quite a bit if you are wetsanding to a gloss finish. In the end if your prep work is good you will have a nice glass smooth shine.
  18. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    What if you want a kinda relic look? Two coats of color nitro and two coats of clear? Im not looking for a shiny new factory finish really. So just wet sand the first clear coat and buff the second coat? Total newbie at this ;)
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