Nitrocellulose question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Marcus Willett, Jul 6, 2019.


  1. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    First of all, not sure if this is the best forum for this question, but it seemed somewhat appropriate.

    How can I remove a nitro coating over a water slide decal without damaging the decal, and follow up...assuming I can do that, can I then coat it with poly or some other harder finish?

    To answer what is probably going through some minds: this is NOT a fake Fender decal or any other manufacturer, in fact it’s not on a headstock at all.

    TIA
     
  2. KenB

    KenB

    Jul 15, 2008
    Yellow Springs, OH
    You can’t. Both the nitro finish and the plastic decal are organic polymers, so anything that could dissolve or soften one would damage the other. Mechanical removal of the top layer (scraping or sanding) would be impossible.
    I think any possible solution would require a new or reproduction decal!
     
  3. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I suspected that was the case, although mechanical removal is definitely possible...it’s why I want the nitro off. It’s flaked off in chunks without the decal coming off already. Just seems like it would be a huge pain to remove.

    However I do have one more decal. If were to remove it all and start over, is there something tougher I could use over the new decal?
     
  4. If you already have a second decal you don’t have much to lose. You could try carefully sanding down to the decal. It will be pretty delicate but could work.

    There’s lots of choices for a refinish. What’s the project? Any of the spray or wipe on polys should work well. Look over in the water based finish thread. The new Varathane finish is working well and a couple of guys seem to have had success wiping that on also.

    If it’s not an instrument choice of finish could be affected by materials and final use.
     
  5. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Is there some reason that you want to remove the nitro? As the others have said, I doubt that you'd be able to remove the nitro without destroying the decal.

    If you want to put on a heavier protective coating, most of the water-base polyurethane finishes can be put on over nitro lacquer. Minwax Oil-Enhanced Water-Base Polyurethane and Varathane Ultimate Water-Base Polyurethane are both good choices. Either could be brushed or sprayed on over the nitro. It's not the greatest bond, but it's good enough, as long as you clean the nitro thoroughly. A very light wipe with lacquer thinner.
     
  6. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Well ironically, the reason I want to remove the nitro is because the thing people say can't happen already has. The i nitro has checked, flaked, and pieces of it have come off already without damaging the decal, so clearly it is possible. I'd like to get it off entirely, and get a harder finish.

    The item in question is a pedal that was modified, and I custom made a waterslide decal to put on it, metal casing. Some good ideas tho if I go the (likely) route of just starting over.
     
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Well, in that case, try chipping it off. Slowly, gently, push off any of the nitro that's loose. Then lightly wipe it with alcohol and coat it with polyurethane.
     
  8. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Yeah that was my original option and I'll probably try it since I have nothing to lose. I just wanted to see if there was an option between that and stripping it entirely.
     
  9. The fact that you are working on a metal surface makes what you are applying lacquer or poly over very important. Are you painting over enamel paint or powder coat already on the pedal? Or is it bare metal?
    If you can find out as much as possible about what finishes you are dealing with you will have better results.
     
  10. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    These are all things I would expect from a nitro finish over time.

    If it happened quickly then I would suspect poor surface prep.
     
  11. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    The metal casing was painted (not powder coated) with enamel, I suspect. The guy who put the decal and laquer on did the painting as well.

    I'm not opposed to starting the whole thing over, I just wanted to know if I start with bare metal, what are my best options to get a tough finish. It would need to be painted white for contrast purposes, and the decal is a waterslide. Other than those 2 limiting factors, all other options are on the table.
     
  12. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    OK so I've redone the decal, so now the original question has changed a bit:

    What's the toughest coating I can apply over a waterslide decal? Paint under is enamel.
     
  13. Epoxy or 2k clear
     
  14. 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.

     
    Jun 17, 2021

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