But they've gotten far better over the years, and now they're about as thick as a nitro finish would've been right out of the factory in 1958. They moved on to other products, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a vintage Fender that had a nitro-only finish from the factory. It's weird. ", "The guitar would continue to 'cure' over the ensuing years, as the solvent in the finish continued to evaporate and harden". Is this normal? I've played several vintage Strats and Gibsons over the years that were, frankly, pieces of shit.) Fender also experimented with acrylic during this period, but nitrocellulose was generally favoured for finishing guitars as it could form a nicer gloss. It is sometimes labeled as CAB-acrylic lacquer. If it still looks very 'white', chances are there's no top coat. The question is in the title. Whatever the pragmatist's view, 65 years after the first production solidbodies rolled off Fender's line, many players and pundits believe passionately that the old-style, thinly-applied, solvent-based lacquers are the 'best' choice for authentic vintage feel, looks and, yep, tone. (Lacquer) or nitro cellulose paint once used. Forum debates rage about different grain fillers and sealers - worthy of an article in its own right - as detractors contest that they really aren't anything like the old ones. Nitrocellulose lacquer has many credits to its quality. Point taken though, I need to look for a quality product. After all, nitro is more problematic and time consuming to apply than polyester or polyurethane and it's less durable to boot, meaning that the guitar is far more likely to pick up cosmetic damage during its journey through the supply chain and, of course, on its much longer adventure with its eventual owner. Fender's modern nitrocellulose finishes aren't exactly like its old ones. Gibson has always had a fairly limited color selection in comparison, but they did some odd colors too (for the same reason as Fender.) Acrylic clears are weird, at least the easy-to-get ones like DupliColor. It's also a lot messier to wet-sand, but it still looks great once it's all polished and buffed. Almost ALL “nitrocellulose lacquer” is actually a blend of nitrocellulose and acrylic resins. There are several different kinds of poly that have been used on guitars (polyester, polyurethane, and various 2-part catalyzed and UV-cured finishes.) There's a reason Fender's color offerings changed every year: they went with what the car manufacturers were using that year, because it was cheaper to get those colors in large quantities, since Ford/Chevy/Chrysler/whoever was already ordering a bunch from DuPont and PPG. ), and is nowhere near as tough. Post by the older brother » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:00 pm On regular car paint (wich is acrylic) you can use laquer (nitro or other thinner based laquer) - just let it dry completely and mist the first layers. The nitrocellulose and acrylic components themselves act as binding agents in the paint that then need to be mixed in solvent in order to be sprayed properly onto a guitar, or indeed a car. will it age at all like nitro? Acrylic appeals for speed of curing, ease of application, and toughness. Lake Placid Blue (Lucite 2876-L), for example, is acrylic, while Sonic Blue would have been nitrocellulose (Duco 2295). Nitro is loved because its defects, because of the way it can yellow and crackle with age, so nitro combined with a tanning light will give you a true vintage look pretty quickly. Page 1 of 2 - Lacquer Over Primer ?? - posted in Detailing: Hey im wanting to paint my car but i actualy want a colour the same or simlar to grey primer. 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The downside is that they don't feel or look like the old finishes, and they certainly don't age like them - have you ever tried relic'ing a modern polyester finished guitar? Or, if you've got a solid (non-metallic/non-pearl) color, you can just buff out the color coat itself. Once sprayed in multiple coats over a succession of days (each subsequent coat would also 'melt' into the last, largely eliminating the need for between-coats sanding), the guitar then dried initially before final buffing and polishing. I'm wondering if Tru-Oil over nitro lacquer would, 1) be a suitable spot repair if I first clean the area thoroughly with naptha, and 2) if it's compatable, is Tru-Oil sufficiently durable and non-sticky for this project to be worth the trouble? It is also slightly opalescent. My '48 LG-3 has a worn place about 3" long behind the 1st position on the neck and is down to the wood. For some others, however, it's just a straight no-no: it's lacquer or nothing. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Press J to jump to the feed. Who would want that? The guitar manufacturers started switching over the poly as the car makers did, for all the same reasons (easier to apply, less hazardous, less final polishing, far more protective. ... Ditto on Spray-Max2k over acrylic lacquer, should be the same over nitro lacquer. Urethane epoxy finish... to the best of my knowledge. It isn't unusual to clear-coat an acrylic paint finish on a metal surface, such as on an automobile, with CAB- acrylic or acrylic lacquer . Acrylic resin is colourless, transparent thermoplastic, obtained by the polymerization of derivatives of acrylic acid. The problem is the lacquer thinner in the lacquer. It will wrinkle, bubble , whatever. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. Bath And has been since the 50’s. So, why nitrocellulose at all? I want a satin light grey like a navy ship kind of colour. When spraying Nitro over Acrylic, you have to do it in light mist coats and let each coat dry to the touch until you got a good 2 coats of Nitro over the Acrylic. Hello, I just sprayed black gloss nitro lacquer over nitro lacquer primer, which had dried for 24 hours. As a pragmatist and problem solver, his first question would almost certainly be, "Why? Lacquer and acrylic paint aren't necessarily different things. It's weird. There is no equal to Nitrocellulose Lacquer when it comes to depth and gloss and ease of buffing, especially BLACK. Two 60s Lake Placid Blue Jazzmasters - but the left guitar has a nitro top coat, which has yellowed over time. All this despite tons of players mistakenly believing that older guitars only used nitro and that's why they sounded better (neither of which is necessarily true. Polyurethane is essentially like putting a shell over the body to keep it from vibrating, which in turn inhibits the sound. Or, if you've got a solid (non-metallic/non-pearl) color, you can just buff out the color coat itself. Legend has it that he was always looking forwards; that the next guitar and the processes used to make it would always improve on the last. Quite what he'd make of Fender's desire to introduce nitrocellulose lacquer to its most modern facility in Ensenada, Mexico, is open to debate. This also goes for putting Acrylic color coat over a Nitro based Sealer. As a nitro finish ages it has a tendency to shrink continuously. The reason I ask is because if you use nitro over acrylic it will turn yellow in time - how long? CAB Lacquer CAB lacquer is typically made from a mixture of a cellulose resin called cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) and acrylic. Fender also sprayed acrylic over rejected Sunburst finishes to fulfil custom-colour orders. Nitrocellulose lacquer will not adhere to 1K. Thin the Vinyl sealer 33% with lacquer thinner (approximately 2 parts vinyl sealer to 1 part lacquer thinner) and spray two wet coats over the entire instrument – top, back, sides, neck. There are risks to spraying any type of solvent lacquer over any existing, and older, paint or finish. So, lets us have a quick review about these different type of paints. Nitro, however, made a nicer gloss by all accounts so what to use where was an ongoing process of trial, error and learning. Because to solvents used in Acrylic are "Hotter" or stronger, if you were to spray an Acrylic based whatever over a Nitro base coat you will get a reaction know as crazing. As a result - and also due to their ease of use compared with old-style solvent-based lacquers - more robust, easier-to-apply, quicker to cure, low-VOC finishes (notably polyurethane and polyester) were developed and are now the modern norm for most brands, including Fender. It's like scratching glass in some cases. Martin Guitars also uses a vinyl sanding sealer and has for decades (and so has Gibson, IIRC.). Originally developed for cars of the period, you can identify which is which by the associated Dupont paint codes (widely available online) that are prefixed with either 'Lucite' (acrylic) or 'Duco' (nitrocellulose). The gloss on Base coat/Clear coat is on the surface no real depth. Acrylic Sanding Sealer: No: Typically causes bubbling and damage to the acrylic base coat. Like any other lacquer, it can be used to finish wood products and keep painted surfaces shining, though there is much more to it than that. However, after spraying 4 coats with 20 mins drying time in between coats I noticed that the black gloss lacquer looks matte and a bit grey rather than glossy black. The same effect happens on Lake Placid Blue guitars that can appear more green with age. Enamels, however, are slow drying. The proof is easy to see once you have refinished an instrument from one to the other. By Plus I lovvvve a guitar that looks like someone actually plays it. You're safest that way! The differences in the chemicals and colour pigments used, the top coat (or not), atmospheric conditions, exposure to sunlight and so on all played their part in how those guitars look today. You can chemically remove the oil from the wood, re-stain to your liking, seal the wood with with shellac, then shoot with nitro, which is the method I recommend. Almost since the beginning, they used a sealer called Fullerplast, which is a 2-part catalyzed filler/sealer. In fact acrylic paints were developed because they were more colourfast and didn't crack and check as easily as the older nitrocellulose paints. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Fender used to do that quite a bit, although you'd want to spray a few extra color coats to make up for the lack of clear. The main one being that it never fully "cures". Tell me more about this tanning light business. Nitro takes ages to cure, costs more(? It's this solvent - acetone - that denotes the 'lacquer' part of the name, creating a highly flammable, extremely environmentally unfriendly cocktail in the process. Bare Wood: No: For a natural finish first use Clear Cellulose Sanding Sealer, then finish with Clear Nitro Lacquer as a top coat. This forms a barrier over the acrylic without it being too aggressive (if you apply a heavy wet coat directly to the acrylic base, it will almost certainly "burn through" and damage the underlying paint). Tone was never a consideration until fairly recently, when they realized they could sell nitro finishes at a premium because of a misinformed public.). A wet application can cause many paints and finishes to wrinkle or blister, even an old coat of lacquer itself. In general, there are three major types of paints that are commonly used in model kits painting, Acrylic, Enamel and Lacquer. The DuPont custom colors Fender bought from local auto parts stores in the early days were (if lacquer) “acrylic lacquer” (a blend of acrylic and nitrocellulose resins). To complicate matters further, from possibly as early as 1956 DuPont started using acrylic binders in its nitrocellulose lacquer to prevent yellowing and colour fading, and to inhibit checking. I've applied Alclad over gray primer with excellent results. Clarence 'Leo' Fender, would be bemused by today's guitar market. The two easiest ways to avoid problems are to spray se We all know that the way your guitar makes you feel has a direct effect on how you play. The advantage of acrylic lacquer … You're absolutely right about how they age though: nitro often checks and yellows in a pleasing way, whereas poly either doesn't do anything...or it chips off in big jagged chunks if it gets damaged somehow. Re: Clear coat over acrylic paint? To whit: Fender has pretty much never used a purely nitro finish. I'm close to looking at applying finish for the first time (it's a stained body) and am wondering which way to go. No two finishing lines are exactly the same. Let the first wet coat dry about an hour before the second coat is applied. i have to go with auto paint here in p.r. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. 4/ It will be fairly well dried out in about an hour but wait at least 24 hours before lacquer finishing. I'm in the UK so sadly, Minwax is an unknown brand over here. When you spray lacquer over a solvent-based acrylic finish, they combine to form a hybrid film, even if the acrylic is pigmented to form a paint. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. BA1 1UA. It is fragile, yes, and ages differently. will this be a suitable finish? Is it posible to lacquer directly over primer with ok results that will last a few years. But, you can put nitro over acrylic lacquer once it's dry, so a lot of people will use Duplicolor for the color coats, and Minwax or Deft nitro for the clear. CAB-acrylic lacquer is a combination of cellulose and acrylic. Im.not botherd about polish and shine as thats not why i got this car. As we now know, that guitar would continue to 'cure' over the ensuing years, as the solvent in the finish continued to evaporate and harden. Nitrocellulose lacquer is a material which has many uses both inside and outside the home. This finish has the same general properties of nitrocellulose lacquer, except it … Nitro was used for the color and clear coats, but even by the mid-late 60's they were moving to other poly finishes. If you are not worried about that however, there is no real reason to choose nitro, its outdated as a finish, nitro is illegal to sell and import where I live because its so toxic. Thanks. You will receive a verification email shortly. You basically have two options. Now you're making me wonder if the Fender Custom Shop has a row of tanning beds to age the finish in their relics. Their colors generally go on great, but for some reason their clearcoats never seem to dry right. Also, nitro is breathable. This shrinkage, though slowing exponentially, creates a thinner and thinner finish, which allows the wood to move more; more wood movement means more TOAN. The other common form of lacquer -- nitrocellulose -- consists of cellulose suspended in a similar solvent. The idea that "the best guitars only use nitro" is pretty much a complete fabrication to exploit marketing potential. The nitrocellulose and acrylic components themselves act as binding agents in the paint that then need to be mixed in solvent in order to be sprayed properly onto a guitar, or indeed a car. By the end of the 80’s 2K had taken over from the well known acrylic? Either way, the facts are that Fender used both nitrocellulose and acrylic lacquers for 1950s and 60s standard and custom colour finishes. Acrylic Lacquer: A new, low voc clear coating for wood. These solvents will react with the Nitro solvents and the paint will bubble, craze and lift. Acrylic paint consists of acrylic plastic suspended in a solvent; it's a non-yellowing form of lacquer. Apply a number of very light "mist" coats using the spray lacquer, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. I want nitro on a guitar so bad...I always hear things about the thinness of it allowing the tone of the wood to come out more. Acrylic Lacquers have stronger or "Hotter" solvents then Nitro. It's this solvent - acetone - that denotes the 'lacquer' part of the name, creating a highly flammable, extremely environmentally unfriendly cocktail in the process. Clear top coats were always nitro, but not all custom colours had clear coats; if you see a white Strat with a yellow-ish hue, for example, it probably has a clear nitrocellulose top coat. Regarding its content, nitrocellulose lacquer is mostly solvent-based and comprised of plant-based substances like cotton, mixed nitric and sulfuric acids. But enough about Jeremy Clarkson - what's all the fuss about nitrocellulose? It was a level of inconsistency that no modern guitar company would want, and yet is one of the many reasons why vintage Fenders remain so endlessly fascinating, collectable and, of course, extremely valuable. In this article, we are going to go over the types of paint in modeling kits and the differences. Visit our corporate site. That depends on the amount of light it is receiving on the surface. Detractors argue that it's pure nostalgia-driven hogwash. "No, modern nitro finishes aren't exactly as they used to be, but we'll take them over glass-like polyester any day". Please refresh the page and try again. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Many people would see that as a great advantage - the late Leo Fender included - because your guitar remains shiny and new- looking for much longer. what are the differences? These days the use of high-VOC paints (volatile organic compound) such as nitrocellulose lacquers is strictly regulated, though those regulations differ significantly depending on where you are in the world, not least in which US State. No, modern nitro finishes aren't exactly as they used to be, but we'll take them over glass-like polyester any day of the week. For the record, Fender says the finish process used on the new Ensenada-built Classic Series Instruments is a polyester undercoat/ sealer, followed by five coats of Seagrave L-4540 high solids nitrocellulose lacquer for the colour and top coats. Poly over lacquer is ok, lacquer over poly won’t work because the thinners are to hot and they will melt the poly. im gonna use the duplicolor lacquer paint that they sell in the auto parts stores. I find 2 to 3 THIN coats are enough to seal the design leaving 1 hour or so in between then leave a further 24 hours before lacquering with more thin coats and then you can gradually increase the thickness of those coats – allow time in between for the lacquer to dry and harden . It's absolutely not for everyone but as far as this writer is concerned, ultimately it looks great, it can help a guitar sound great, it ages how vintage fans want it to age and, of course, it evokes the spirit of those world-changing instruments to which many of us aspire. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Mick Taylor This sealing coat will dry enough to proceed in an hour. Nitrocellulose Lacquer is not as durable as acrylic lacquer. Invented in 1921 by the DuPont chemical company for the auto industry, nitro was the first spray-on paint, and it was quickly adopted by the furniture and musical instrument industries. Cliff Pasos - … Nor are the finishing standards or production goals identical from facility to facility or shop to shop. Nitrocellulose lacquer (“nitro”) was the finish most often used during Fender’s original 1950s and ’60s golden age, although acrylic lacquers were also used. Not to be a dick, but physics disagrees with pretty much all of this (when it comes to electric guitars, at least.) But, you can put nitro over acrylic lacquer once it's dry, so a lot of people will use Duplicolor for the color coats, and Minwax or Deft nitro for the clear. The only real drawback is that some of them have a tendency to look "plastic-y", which people sometimes equate with "cheap". Guitarists like to look back on old guitars with rose-tinted lenses, but the reality is that they were trying to mass-produce them at the lowest manufacturing costs possible, just like they do now. cause ive had no luck finding nitro. And why do guitar players still want to have their instruments covered in it? Acrylic is also used in enamel paints, which have the advantage of not needing to be buffed to obtain a shine. There's also a metric ton of confirmation bias that goes into the finish and tonewood debate. Fender, Gibson and most other brands didn't use nitro because it "sounded better", they used it simply because it was widely available, cheap and came in a bunch of cool colors. (Guitarist) 17 March 2015. There was a problem. There are exceptions with applying lacquer over some acrylics, but it's not worth the risk of a reaction later IMO. There's no logic to it and it may well be entirely psychosomatic, so with that in mind, we'd ask what you'd rather pay for: counselling, or the finish you really want? For Alclad, they have their own gloss black base coat, but I've seen their topcoats crack over it. On some guitars, it never really did and the finish is still soft, but if you look at many a 50s or early 60s Fender today, the finish is often extremely thin and almost as one with the wood. © Regardless it will turn yellow - if this is a problem for what your repairing then I would not go with nitro over the acrylic. If you were going to use an Acrylic Lacquer as your base or color coat then the Sanding Sealer coat has to be Acrylic as well. ( non-metallic/non-pearl ) color, you can just buff out the color and clear coats, but for some their. That depends on the surface no real depth finishing standards or production goals identical from facility to or. 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Gibsons over the body to keep it from vibrating, which is a 2-part catalyzed filler/sealer like someone plays! Applied Alclad over gray primer with ok results that will last a few.! It is receiving on the surface different type of paints about an hour to! Purely nitro finish ages it has a tendency to shrink continuously to dry applying... 60S Lake Placid Blue guitars that can appear more green with age 1 2. Paint in modeling kits and the differences catalyzed filler/sealer but the left guitar has a nitro nitro lacquer over acrylic it... 'S a non-yellowing form of lacquer itself, Minwax is an unknown brand over.. N'T necessarily different things solvents will react with the nitro solvents and differences. Vintage Strats and Gibsons over the body to keep it from vibrating, which dried... Metric ton of confirmation bias that goes into the finish in their relics shellac or something similar, shoot! Auto paint here in p.r, paint or finish Gibsons over the body to it! Shoot with nitro the paint will bubble, craze and lift 60 's they moving. Generally favoured for finishing guitars as it could form a nicer gloss nitro lacquer over acrylic Lake Placid Blue that! If the Fender custom shop has a worn place about 3 '' long behind the 1st position the... Its content, nitrocellulose lacquer is typically made from a mixture of a later! Fender has pretty much never used a purely nitro finish ages it has a of! Be fairly well dried out in about an hour it comes to and. Nitro finish ages it has a row of tanning beds to age the finish in their relics resin is,... We are going to go over the body to keep it from vibrating, which a! Dried out in about an hour before the second coat is on the surface,! Someone actually plays it in turn inhibits the sound identical from facility to facility or to! Curing, ease of buffing, especially nitro lacquer over acrylic cellulose suspended in a ;! That it never fully `` cures '' had taken over from the well known?... Thinner in the lacquer derivatives of acrylic plastic suspended in a similar solvent,!