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Spray Paint Help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Angel LaHash, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    First off, Im British. So what is Cheap as chips in the US might not be in the UK

    I suck at Spray Painting, Ive got used to the Varnish (now the UK and US terms are different, still not 100% myself but as I'm reading cross overs US/UK its complex) well I got a nice gloss coat on the guitar then i go to spray paint it.

    I keep getting 'Sand Dune' effects so im guess im going too close.

    CHEAP way to set up and Spray paint, ie dose it need to hang, how do you get it so no dribbles etc..

    IM asking because I'm not sure, and im not that keen on people just teling me take it to a Professional, if you want to keep yourself in a job maybe forums aint for you. I would like to Learn, but i cant spend much on it as dont have a job at the moment, so Time but not £££ also dont know how many times I'm going to be doing this... How many have brought tools £££ and think ill use that and get my moneys worth and only use it the once.. LOADS by the Look of EBay 'Used Once'
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    The secret to spraying paint, is to get enough paint on so the finish lays down nicely, without runs. I would rather have a run or sag than, orange peel, which you get from to thin of a coat.

    The advice I can give you is to hold your fan pattern at 90 degrees from the body, and parallel to the body, at about 6" away. Use fluid constant motions, never release the trigger when your spray pattern is still on what you are painting.

    The truth is, your first job is probably not going to come out so great. Spraying finish is one of those things that takes experience, and they only way to gain experience is to do it.
  3. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    Thanks Hopkins
    Ive just watched a YouTube Video, and the girl on that used about 3x400ml of Acrilic Spray paint. And she, by the sounds of it, got the same problems.

    I was going to just PAINT it, But i would like to point out i was using Enamel
  4. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    As with most manual skills, practice is helpful - The way to know how much is too much/too little/just right is to have done enough each way to know when you're doing "just right." You can practice on the bass and sand out the screw-ups each time, or practice on cardboard/scrap wood, etc.

    Ah yes, youtube instructional videos - strangely enough, many are made by people with no idea of what they are doing...I have no idea why that is, but it is...

    As implied by Hopkins, point the can to one side of the bass, start spraying, and keep spraying until off the other side of the bass, with a smooth sweeping motion. You want a wet surface, but no more than that. Hanging is generally good, or you can support some other way so long as it does not block paint access. A clean/dry/warm/dust & bug free place to paint is good, though many folks get by with painting outside.

    Probably the largest common error with spray paint is not letting it dry adequately before handling it - this is compounded if it's damp & cold so it's not drying well. But dry to the touch and ready to handle are far different places, in my experience.

    Read the can - follow the instructions about recoat times for multiple coats (some types don't like to bond if left too long between coats) but extend the final drying time by a good long while before handling - ie, if it says you can handle/use it in 2 hours, or 4 hours, or 24 hours, make it 3 days to a week or more and you will save a lot of grief.

    You may also want to consider using a primer coat (ie, an actual can of primer) and sanding that to get a smoother finish - it also gives you more experience spraying before you put on your topcoat. Multiple attemps at topcoat are somewhat similar if you sand out the defects each time. Don't rush to sanding out the defects - the drying time comments particularly apply if you are sanding, so expect this to take a while if you are going to do it well.
  5. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    (you can see the Problem by the LEFT side of the P-Bass Pickups)

    The Silver, Red & Black are a Quick Drying Enamel from the same maker of Paint.
    the Swirling Effect i Enamel i believe from another maker.. i did want to seal it but i keep .. Killing the Swirl i have to seal the Swirl to keep it but you can Wash it off so its hard to Lock in..
    Or i get the Effect like on the 3rd picture some were on the guitar
  6. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    how do you mean "Wet Surface". one of my problems is understanding Limits i guess. Once was on a Dig and was told to move the losse dirt, sadly i got deeper than any one else.

    I think that is my Biggest ERRORS to tell the truth . and i have come back after a day and touched it and get of my fingure prints in it :crying:

    Time, one thing im rubbish about but i need to let things be for and do it right.

    I did use a primer one time, and after day (this was quick drying stuff) after a day i run my thum over it and it peeled off, spose to be for Indoors and outdoors, wasnt happy as i brought two tins (paint on)

    Take my Time, READ how to do it (ALL, no skimming like Dyslexics do)
  7. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Judging from the third picture you posted it looks a bit like the paint have "boiled". This is usually caused by incompatible paint. (Although I have seen this happen when spraying two coats from the same can as well...)

    Anyway, I must say that you really didn't start with the easiest of jobs. Swirls are difficult to get right. (Apparently. I have never tried it personally) Are you absolutely sure that the paint is completely dry before applying varnish (clear coat)? Swirling can potentially leave thick coats of paint at some places. And you could even trap water in the paint. (Depending on method used.)

    To get the varnish nice and smooth you need to either sand down the base to be flat enough to be covered by a thin coat of varnish, or you need to build up enough layers of varnish to "bury" all the high points on the color coat. The key to a good finish is more in the work done after spraying than the actual spraying. (Within reason...) Do a search for guides on how to wet sand paint.

    As for drying time, be prepared to wait several weeks for the paint to dry before you start sanding anything. Try pushing a fingernail or a pick into the paint with light pressure, then hold it there for a few seconds. Then try moving the fingernail/pick sideways. If it "sticks" the paint is soft and need more time to dry. If the fingernail/pick just slide off, then you can start sanding. Do this in an invisible area like a pickup cavity!
  8. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    If you are fighting reading, put text into a computer that's able to read it to you, and listen to it instead. I think most can these days - on Macs, "TextEdit" always has speech enabled. Oddly enough, few other Mac programs seem to offer it, though the support is there. Windows evidently has it since XP or so, though I had to search to find that out as it's the usual clear as mud implementation, IMHO. Linux has something as well...

    Wet surface - one light spray from far away will put on a bunch of little dots of finish. If you stop there you get "orange peel" (the little dots dry and can still be felt as little bumps - also seen reflected.) More will eventually wet over and form a continuous film. More than that starts to run.

    Since you are clearcoating over another paint job, go grab a can of the cheapest clear spray you can find, and paint up scraps of wood with the underpaint you have on the basses. Then practice painting them (which is why you can use the cheap stuff.)

    You have certainly taken the hard way - getting a good clearcoat over an artistic paintjob is much harder than getting a solid-color spray-paint job to look good. It may also require a clearcoat that is compatible with the paint under it - when your primer peeled right off, what was under it? I'm betting not bare wood. Paint compatibility is a deep subject, though there are certain things that often (not always) work as cheats, such as "workable fixative" (any art supply store.)

    You may need to paint up more test pieces and try "not the cheapest you can find" clearcoats to find one that is compatible with your underpaints - you might also be able to make use of the knowledge of someone in the paint or art supply business to look at what you used for underpaint and suggest a compatible topcoat - sometimes the paint manufacturer will help, and they really know their stuff, and what else works with their stuff.