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Thread: Waterbased finishes

  1. #1
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    Waterbased finishes

    Looking for recommendations on a waterbased solid color paint to paint a body with. I am building a few kit guitars this winter, but do not have a place to spray solvent based paint right now. I would like something that is compatible with water based poly.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    One problem with water based color coats is that they open pores and raise grain to the point that sanding through it is almost necessary to achieve instrument/furniture grade smoothness. The other problem is that they don't sand nearly as well as the hotter solvent products. So even though they require an extra coat and more sanding, they don't sand as well or as fast. That isn't to say that you can't get an acceptable finish from waterborne products, but it's more work and, if there are flaws, you may question if you could have done better. You probably could have.?. There are two component (catalyzed) waterborne finishes that are being used by bigger manufacturers and the automotive industry, but the typically require special equipment, care and expertise to get the most out of them. Maybe worth looking into depending on how far you are willing to go to avoid hotter solvents.

    So, I would look into single component waterborne auto finishes. They are out there and they have a mixed rep for cars, but should prove plenty durable enough for a guitar (ie: not travelling down a hot, sunny highway at 60mph or sitting out in the rain for weeks ) You'll still need some good spray equipment and an empty space that you can turn into a clean room (filtered venting preferred).

    Good luck. I too hate the hotter solvents. I deal with them on an as needed basis because I have fewer problems and less time getting to the desired result.

    EDIT: This assumes your parts aren't already primed/filled. So I would assume the waterborne criteria applied to any primer/filler also.
    Last edited by Chuck H; 12-24-2017 at 06:58 PM.
    "So I acquired it for the purpose of fixing it up - in case I run out of things to do with the rest of my life..." tubeswell

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  3. #3
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    ...
    "So I acquired it for the purpose of fixing it up - in case I run out of things to do with the rest of my life..." tubeswell

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "Shut up, you big dumb poopy-head!" Justin Thomas

  4. #4
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    Its pretty annoying to get a really good sanded finish only to have the grain lift. Especially end-grain, where it can look like it's just been rough-sawn. I use a damp cloth to wipe over the work just to raise the grain. Let it dry thoroughly, then sand it smooth and repeat. This improves the situation when you come to apply the filler/primer.

    The water-borne products I've tried have not been to my liking when it comes to scratch resistance and durability. I've also had issues with rubbing down the final finish and one of my customers who manages an auto paint shop told me that the last coat has to be good straight from the gun, and my durability issues come down to the need to use a hard clear coat even on solid colours.
    Chuck H likes this.

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