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Advice on painting over a polyurethane neck.

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Johnny Danger, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    35
    92
    Aug 28, 2017
    Denton, TX
    I hope this is the right place to post this.

    Long story short: I have one strat with a "gloss polyester" finish with an amber tint and I just picked up a Tele with a "satin polyurethane" finish. I don't hate the Tele neck, but I LOVE the feel and look of the gloss finish on the Strat.

    A quick google tells me a lot about how to NOT put nitro over poly, except for when people say it's fine. :D I am assuming, because I don't know any better, that two poly finishes would play well together. However, the main places that carry this sort of thing for guitar, seem to only have nitro.

    I would like to avoid fully sanding down the finish if I can avoid it and keep the decals on the head stock. What should I be looking for to do the trick?
     

  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Antisocial Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Just buff out the neck, it will be as shiny as you want it.
     
    rolandson likes this.

  3. Groovey

    Groovey Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    57
    Nov 17, 2016
    NC. USA
    I'm confused. What is your goal?

    You can find satin polyurethane at Lowe's.
     

  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Antisocial Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    He doesn't like the satin. Elbow grease and rubbing compound will get rid of that.
     
    Groovey and rolandson like this.

  5. rolandson

    rolandson Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 13, 2015
    Cascadia
    ?
    I think what you're asking is how to make your satin neck "glossy?" If so...Before you start spraying crap on it, try using a finishing compound to polish what you already have. Something like 3M's "Finesse It." Worst case, you don't get what you want and resort to spraying stuff. Best case, you get what you want
     
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.

  6. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    35
    92
    Aug 28, 2017
    Denton, TX
    Yeah, I did post about satin necks kind of recently, and it was suggested that I just buff it out.

    However, I would really like to add some tint as well. Another google result suggested a UV lamp or leaving it in a window for an hour a day for a while.

    I could try the buffing first and see what happens, but thought I would get input on lacquer finishes while the neck was still "rough" with the satin finish.
     

  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Antisocial Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Give it a few years and the neck colour will change all by itself, just like magic.
     

  8. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    60
    325
    Oct 25, 2017
    Nawth Alabama
    UV lamps in an "aging closet" are fairly common for aging/toning in the stringed instrument builders community. They'll build a UV closet and typically age both the raw wood (instrument completed, 'in the white') and the base coat(s).

    If I was a luthier, I'd probably build one (a UV closet). With a single instrument, I'd buff out the satin neck and let Mr. Sunshine have it on a regular basis.
     

  9. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    35
    92
    Aug 28, 2017
    Denton, TX
    Yeah, it looks as if this is probably the best route. I had a chance to pick on it a bit on my lunch break and it struck me that the finish was actually not that far from glossy. When it's warmer out, I'll have to try setting it out in the sun. That or see if anyone I know happens to have any UV lights lying around.
     

  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Antisocial Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    You youngsters are always in such a rush.
     

  11. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    56
    Jun 28, 2011
    ok
    All the buffing in the world probably won't make satin poly as shiny as you can get gloss poly or lacquer. You can get it glossy-ish (probably about like a semi-gloss) but satin products have more solids in them to prevent natural high gloss.

    You might get it glossy enough for what you want by buffing. Just don't expect it to look like a new glossy neck.

    You also might get away with putting gloss lacquer over the existing poly, but if you do, you could have bonding problems and the neck takes a lot of abuse from your left hand. Some people have used shellac as a barrier between the finishes, but you are probably dealing more with a polyester coating than a polyurethane coating and that seems a bit more of a PITA than I'd want to deal with.