Painted finish alternative to spray cans - for the home!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by yoshi, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    What's an option for painting an axe in a flat (apartment for the other-side-of-the-pond dwellers) that doesn't require too much gear or won't demolish your living space? Is there any brush-on option? Would you be able to get a good, consistant finish with brush paint and sanding then a light spray on - or even better, wipe-on - varnish?
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Wipe on / wipe off finishes exist and work just fine. They won't look like lacquer or poly, but then, that's the point. Example: Tru-oil gunstock finish - a mix of oils and shellac that makes a nice finish, feels good to the hands.
    Duder likes this.
  3. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Sorry, I mean specifically paint finishes. It's for a guitar I'm making my brother, 3 piece poplar. I want to do it solid black (no sign of the grain underneath) with a varnish/laquer on top.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Grain sealer then paint, basically. Not sure what paint to use to brush, but it's probably out there.
  5. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    I've used those 4 inch and 6 iinch white foam rollers with polyurethane and it levels out good, rolled 2 ways- 90 degrees. After a few coats, a leveling sanding, and it's ready for final coat , then finish sanding/ polishing.
  6. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Tinted shellac is your best bet. It can be tricky to get consistency with you rub it on, but it can be done. My best result has been with a preval and shellac in a carboard box as a sheild.
  7. I converted the shower/bathtub in the guest bathroom in our apartment into a spray booth with the help of 3x thin clear plastic painting tarps and a roll of masking tape. Total cost was less than $10 and I was able to do all of the spraying I needed without making a mess. Tearing it down for actual guest use took less than five minutes, too.
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Have you been following our thread about the water-based Target and Varathane finishes? You can mix up black Varathane and brush it on. Then brush on some coats of clear. You can do the whole gloss black finish with brushing, sanding and buffing with an electric power drill.

    Also, I've recently found that the Varathane sprays just fine from a small airbrush. I use a Paasche airbrush for touchups and tight areas. It would be a little slow, but you could certainly spray a whole instrument with an airbrush. And there's so little overspray involved that you wouldn't really need any booth or special ventilation. No odor or flammability issues.
  9. 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 25, 2021

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