Refinished Deluxe Strat with duplicolor and minwax lacquer

audiosalvage

Strat-Talk Member
May 26, 2013
14
Gibbsville
Hello. Just got done with my refinish and am a bit disappointing. Started with a black poly stock body, scuff sanded with 320, primed, lightly sanded, then 3 coats of duplicolor Wimbledon White, waited 4 days then 4 coats of minwax clear lacquer. After 2 weeks sanded flat with 1000 grit, sanded with 2500. then polished. I was looking for the aged olympic white, which it does. Looks good from arms length away, but very soft and easy to scratch. I will probably live with it for a while to see if it holds up. I may end up sanding it back to original, we'll see.
My advice to anyone trying this would be to build up a lot more clear coats and ley dry for a Lot longer. Or use a 2 part clear coat.for faster, harder results.
 

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Torvald

Senior Stratmaster
May 3, 2019
1,520
Northwest
Yeah, I think you need 10-12 coats of clear at least. The good thing is you can put 5 on in a day. Maybe more but that's my personal preference. Then wait a good two weeks before wet sanding and buffing. Also, when you do wet sand you expose softer lacquer. It probably will harden further given more time.
 

Triple Jim

Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar
Feb 27, 2018
8,491
North Carolina
The Duplicolor color coats I've used are acrylic lacquer. They take quite a while to dry enough to feel hard. Putting clear on it after four days added to the layers that need to dry. It will probably be hard in a couple weeks.

When I used Duplicolor lacquer it was on a motorcycle. When it dried I did what you said and put Spraymax 2K clear over it. It's a 2-part acrylic-urethane in a spray can. It's gives an extremely durable finish and you can actually get enough on in a couple successive coats so it gives a wet-look finish without having to polish it.

Once everything you already put on is hard, you have the option of adding Spraymax 2K to it if you're looking for durability.
 

Roger66

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 21, 2021
1,372
Port Hueneme
Hello. Just got done with my refinish and am a bit disappointing. Started with a black poly stock body, scuff sanded with 320, primed, lightly sanded, then 3 coats of duplicolor Wimbledon White, waited 4 days then 4 coats of minwax clear lacquer. After 2 weeks sanded flat with 1000 grit, sanded with 2500. then polished. I was looking for the aged olympic white, which it does. Looks good from arms length away, but very soft and easy to scratch. I will probably live with it for a while to see if it holds up. I may end up sanding it back to original, we'll see.
My advice to anyone trying this would be to build up a lot more clear coats and ley dry for a Lot longer. Or use a 2 part clear coat.for faster, harder results.
It needs to dry for like a month and a half.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
May 20, 2020
6,529
Sante Fe, NM
Hello. Just got done with my refinish and am a bit disappointing. Started with a black poly stock body, scuff sanded with 320, primed, lightly sanded, then 3 coats of duplicolor Wimbledon White, waited 4 days then 4 coats of minwax clear lacquer. After 2 weeks sanded flat with 1000 grit, sanded with 2500. then polished. I was looking for the aged olympic white, which it does. Looks good from arms length away, but very soft and easy to scratch. I will probably live with it for a while to see if it holds up. I may end up sanding it back to original, we'll see.
My advice to anyone trying this would be to build up a lot more clear coats and ley dry for a Lot longer. Or use a 2 part clear coat.for faster, harder results.
Using minwax lacquer was your mistake. Behlen is what you needed. Grizzly sells the Behlen.
 

Tylerlayne

Strat-O-Master
Jul 18, 2021
735
St Augustine, Florida
You need to use a urethane clear with a hardener in it. It will be cured in 8 hours. This is a good choice. You can wet sand and buff the next day. Years ago when we used lacquer to spot repair cars it was hard as a rock the next morning. Lacquer has to be buffed to achieve a good shine. Urethane does not but can be. Lacquer does chip much easier than any other finish. Only some of the reasons nobody uses it anymore. I used it many years in automotive finishes. Its crap paint. It can lift, craze, blush, crack, pull imperfections in a finish and it has horrible UV protection. Terrible stuff. IMG_1672.jpg
 

stratmanshow

Strat-Talker
Apr 8, 2010
108
Victoria BC Canada
Lacquer actually doesn't need a clear coat. Wet sanding & polishing a straight colour will give a deeper gloss than a clearcoat. The clear adds a silvery edge to the reflection while a straight colour is more mirror like. Plus it makes it really easy to touch up any damage.
Lacquer takes a long time to evaporate the solvents and is an active finish meaning it will "melt" back to lacquer when exposed to a hot solvent. An enamel or urethane will "dry".
Spray can lacquer will sink during the evaporation and will likely need a final sand and polish after a few months unless it was heat dried. (which can cause a lot of the issues Tylerlayne mentions if overheated because it needs to evaporate from the bottom up)
When used in a sprayer, different flash-off solvents can be used to greatly speed up drying according to conditions as opposed to the slow flash used in spraycans and brush-ons
 

Roger66

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 21, 2021
1,372
Port Hueneme
I'd need therapy if I waited that long, lol.
Yeah, I know it's a long time, but yer stuck with it.
Unless you want to sand it all down and start over with something else. maybe hang the body in the sun. That might speed things up. I hate that!
I have waited a long time for lacquer to dry.
Gibson hangs them for 6 weeks, I think!
Good luck!
 

pooterpatty

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 8, 2022
28
West Virginia
I’ve done a bunch of acoustics with acrylic lacquer. I usually try to stay under 3 coats a day, and unless you have a spray booth, the weather has to be right (humidity over 60% or so and the lacquer will “blush”, which means it’s soaking up the humidity in the air, making it look cloudy).

I might put 20-30 coats on an acoustic, but since I’m level sanding after every 3-4 coats, the finish thickness is actually quite thin at the end. I also use thinner on the lacquer. The idea is slowly building up multiple thin coats, then leveling and finally buffing and polishing.

It sounds like your lacquer just didn’t have enough time to dry. The longer you can let it dry the better.
 

6th Stringer

Strat-Talker
Jan 30, 2014
124
Rogers AR
I like to use the 2 part clear from the automotive paint supply. I have painted 2 guitars so far and 3 motorcycles. It is more like an epoxy and cures very fast and has a softer plastic-like quality to it. It conforms very well and is more likely to dent than chip off. Plus, since it's for automotive, you know it will resist oils from your skin as well as gasoline or whetever else might get spilled on it.
 


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