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Discussion Starter #1
I am building a couple telecasters and thought i would finish one in black...what would you do to finish a guitar in black to prepare it before i spray it.
The body is made out of ash..I also bought a couple cans of Black Lacquer,by rust-oleum. Certainly i am not a professional finisher with all the proper tools, but i hope to get a decent finish..

Also interested in after you spray , the process between coats, and top coat..with thanks..
 

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If it's ash, you're going to want to do a lot of grain filling and prep work before you start laying down your colour coat. Ash is a very pourous wood and requires grain filling in order to get a flat finish. I don't know which brand is the best, but you should be able to get a good grain filler at most hardware stores.

Once you have your grain filled, I sand the whole body to 400 grit ,then you can do primer coats; I recommend a dark primer since you're going for a black finish. The primer stage is where you want to make sure that every little detail in your finish is perfect. If there are divots and low spots, fill them with a glazing putty and sand flush when dried. Apply primer until it looks perfect because your prep work will make or break your finish. I sand my primer coat to 400 before I start colour.

When you're happy with your primer, you can start your first colour coat. Your first coat should be a mist coat; we're not shooting for 100% coverage here, we're just trying to mist the guitar lightly with paint in order to give a thicker coat something to stick to. I spray my mist coat and then wait 5-15 minutes to do a thicker coat based on the paint manufacturers directions.

Lay on your thicker colour coat while trying to avoid runs and blemishes. Sand in between the colour coats to get rid of defects and give the paint a surface to grab; I use 800 grit here because it cuts slower and will hopefully minimize sand through. Repeat this process until your colour coat is thick enough and then wet sand the entire body to ensure a perfectly flat finish.

Once you're happy that your colour coats are done well, you can start your clear coats. The clear coating is much the same as colour coats, so follow the same process. The end goal here is to get a thick enough clear that you can wet sand perfectly flat for a mirror finish. Once your clear coat is thick enough and completely devoid of any runs, or imperfections, you can start your wet sanding process.

For wet sanding, I start at 800 grit, 1000 grit, 1500 , 2000 grit. Once I get to 2000 and my surface is perfectly flat with no sand through, I use a buffing wheel in my drill with a good cutting polish to remove the rest of the surface scratches. When you're happy that all the scratches have been removed, you can use some wax to give the finish a nice shine.

These are my methods for an acceptable finish, I in no way claim to be a pro. I'm just a hobbyist who has read up on the subject quite a bit and have painted a few guitars.

Also, black is about the hardest first finish you can try to do; every imperfection shows up in black paint, plus you're working on an open grain wood and using rattle cans. It's not going to be an easy finish to pull off, but if you're patient and follow the manufacturers directions, I think you'll be fine.
 

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On the other hand black stain is about the easiest; if there's an imperfection you keep going with more coats (if you do a lot of coats consider some light 0000 steel wool in between). Some grain will peak through too, like at the right angle you'll see it; subtle (ash is usually interesting grain-wise).

You can grain fill by staining (1, maybe 2 heavy coats - don't have to be too careful with it) and wet sanding that back with tung or linseed oil. Rinse and repeat as necessary. Then you can clearcoat with your choice of oil, poly, laquer or whatever.

Lastly, Rustoleum makes laquer in a rattle can? What kind? Thought they did enamel. ... google, google... huh, comes in black, so I guess that was your plan.
 

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Use a shellac wash coat to seal the ash and pop the grain. Zinseer IIRC. The lacquer will bond to the shellac with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all, i will probably have more questions as i get closer, at the moment i just applied white binding front and back...so i will soon be sealing the body...
 

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Step 1 - throw out the rustoleum.

Buy acrylic laquer from duplicolour, available at auto parts stores or Canadian tire.

Ive tried to use duplicolour, it never dried.
I read they've changed their formula over the last few years.

Ronbeast s instructions are good.
I prefer a white primer under black cause I like that look when its worn down to bare wood.
Ive also used shellac as primer, if you'd rather no lines.

Nathan
 

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More tips that might not be common knowledge.

Never use the entire spray can contents, only use 2/3rds (ish).
The bottom of the can always sputters & spits.
Also it can help a lot to actually warm up the can.

When I use spray cans to do a finish I use 2 cans. Labeled a and b.
I leave a someplace warm (warm, not hot.) Maybe sitting in the window that faces the sun.

1st pass with can a than switch them.
2nd pass with can b then switch.
Etc

Nathan
 
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