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UK rattlecan options

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Downsman, Mar 24, 2019.


  1. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    Hi,

    I'm looking to refinish a new black bullet mustang, as I'm not keen on black (got it ridiculously cheap on sale).

    I've done a search for the best option for what type of spray paint to use, but seems most of the sprays people use in the US aren't available here.

    My plan is to lightly sand it to take the gloss off the body, then spray. I know there is the Nitro option, from Northwest Guitars, Rothko and Frost, or Manchester Guitar Tech. Those are between £15-£20 a can.

    But I'm confused about acrylic or enamel options, and whether I should consider those? For example, there's Rustoleum Mode, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rust-Oleum...+mode&qid=1553442464&s=kitchen&sr=1-5-catcorr, which looks like it would work? I like that pure aqua colour option.

    Ideally I'm looking for an option that dries/hardens quickly as I don't have a workshop so spraying/drying will be in the garden.

    Some advice from people here in the UK who have done this, and what products I should be considering, gratefully received.
     
  2. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Rattlecan paint doesn't dry as hard as paint designed to be sprayed from proper spraying equipment. Some people say that to indicate that you shouldn't use it, but sometimes you don't really have a choice. The equipment and space for a proper paint job is a huge consideration.

    You can definitely use a rattle can. Just know that it will be easier to scratch and dent than 2k/poly/nitro paint from a "real" spray gun.

    So, from a rattlecan, I would go with enamel. It tends to be a little harder wearing than acrylic. It also dries fast, which is nice.

    Side note: almost all sprayed paint, even lacquer, dries to within 95% dry within a few minutes. The difference in drying time is down to how long it takes for the rest of that solvent to evaporate. Nitro generally takes weeks, while rattlecan enamel is a day or two, but you can generally re-coat within 15 minutes or so.

    Of course, recoat instructions on the can should be followed.
     
    Downsman likes this.
  3. 5tring

    5tring

    Sep 16, 2018
    UK
    Caveat: I am decidedly average at painting

    I’ve had reasonable success with the rustoleum products available at the big orange diy shop. I use 2 coats of their ‘surface prep’, 2 or 3 coats of colour and then a couple of coats of ‘crystal clear’.

    I would like to do more coats of clear but I never seem to be able to get it to dry properly.
     
    Microbass and Axstar like this.
  4. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    Which Rustoleum product do you use for the colour? There some to be a few different ones. The Mode line is an enamel and I'm wondering if that one would need the 'crystal clear' at the end? Also, if starting from a finished guitar with no chips or scratches, rather than wood, do you think it needs a primer?
     
  5. 5tring

    5tring

    Sep 16, 2018
    UK
    Yes apologies didn’t spot that your bass is already painted. If you sand it to give a key you can spray colour straight onto that, although if you are going over black with a light colour a coat of primer might help to reduce the number of coats needed to hide the black.

    I use the enamel. I have no idea if clear coat is ‘required’ but it makes me a lot less nervous when giving it the rub down and polish to know there are a few coats to get through before I start taking colour off.
     
    Downsman likes this.
  6. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    Looking at the crystal clear line, there's a semi-gloss one, and I like the idea of a satin finish. My daughter has a pink squier bullet strat, which to me always looked cheap and plasticky. Then I took a sponge scourer to it, then 800-1500 sandpaper and it's now a smooth, satin finish. Looks seriously classy now.
     
  7. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    I've just ordered the Rustoleum primer, pure Aqua Mode, and semi gloss clear. I had an eBay voucher, and there was a buy 3 save £5 deal, so came to £10 in total. I'll post a pic when I'm done. Any tips for spraying enamel, in terms of time between coats, sanding etc?
     
    funkinbottom likes this.
  8. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    Rustoleum works great. I used Rustoleum for this project. It came out much to my liking. 20180829_153728.

    It has a few coats of color, and bout 4 coats of clear. I let the first coat dry over night. It was considerably warmer the next day, so two coats were applied, letting dry about three hours. I wet sand as needed between coats to get a smooth finish. For the clear, if memory serves me well, I did a couple coats a day letting each dry for a few hours, and again wet sand as needed. After final coat, light wet sand with 1000 grit, #4 rubbing compound, then Meguires polishing compound. Then I let it cure for about a week before reassembling.
     
    Downsman likes this.
  9. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
  10. 5tring

    5tring

    Sep 16, 2018
    UK
    I’ve tried different curing times between colour coats and always had fairly similar, reasonably decent results.
    i think this is what I need to do - I normally only leave half an hour between coats.
     
    funkinbottom likes this.
  11. 5tring

    5tring

    Sep 16, 2018
    UK
    Clear coats that is
     
  12. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    I've been reading up on spraying enamel while waiting for the paints to turn up, and saw some advice that talks about flashing off as the guide for when to do another coat with enamel. Looks like there's a fairly short window between waiting long enough for the solvents to flash off (around 10-15 minutes), but not long enough for it to dry, because then you would need to wait around 24-48 hours between colour coats to avoid problems. Not quite sure how this fits with the approach you describe here?
     
  13. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    To be honest, I'm not really sure. It's just the way I have always done it. I have had good results so far (4 basses). I do wet sand between each coat, including the first coat, so it needs to be dry for that.

    I get the part about allowing the solvents to flash off. Makes sense chemically speaking, but I don't get why you would need to wait 24-48 hours for another coat if you miss that window.

    I have another project bass I'm doing in a couple months. I think I will try this flashing method. Did they say how long of a drying time before wet sand? Let us know how it works out. Of course, post pics.
     
  14. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    Yeah, where it gets tricky is if you want to sand between coats. I'm going to see if I can get away without that, which seems unlikely for a first attempt at this. I didn't see anything about how long before you sand, but as you say it would probably be beyond the window as it needs to harden enough. Seems the main issue is that gasses can get trapped in the previous layers if you repaint too soon, but after it's already hardened on the surface. Which means it doesn't harden all the way through. I think. To be honest I didn't really understand it all as my last chemistry class was in 1978.
     
  15. silentmike

    silentmike

    May 20, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    I've used Manchester Guitar Tech nitro on my 78 Mustang. When I bought it, it was a horrible sprayed black over the original sunburst that I stripped and refinished in translucent white. I should have been more patient between coats and bought two cans of clear (I was aiming for a matte finish, but after a few years of playing my arm buffed it up pretty well!). It's been pretty flaky with mild buckle rash and nowhere near as tough as a good poly finish. To my ears it does sound a lot better than it did with the poly, but I don't know if that's just because it was a labour of love!
     
  16. dwizum

    dwizum

    Dec 21, 2018
    I'm surprised to see multiple recommendations for enamel, it seems like most "what kind of spray paint should I use?" threads on here push acrylic laquer as being "superior" with the reason being that it dries harder.
     

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