But enough about Jeremy Clarkson - what's all the fuss about nitrocellulose? 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. Acrylic Lacquer: A new, low voc clear coating for wood. The problem is the lacquer thinner in the lacquer. 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. Acrylic resin is colourless, transparent thermoplastic, obtained by the polymerization of derivatives of acrylic acid. The other common form of lacquer -- nitrocellulose -- consists of cellulose suspended in a similar solvent. 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. 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. will this be a suitable finish? 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. Who would want that? 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. As a pragmatist and problem solver, his first question would almost certainly be, "Why? (Lacquer) or nitro cellulose paint once used. CAB Lacquer CAB lacquer is typically made from a mixture of a cellulose resin called cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) and acrylic. 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. Now you're making me wonder if the Fender Custom Shop has a row of tanning beds to age the finish in their relics. As a nitro finish ages it has a tendency to shrink continuously. 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. 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? 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. There is no equal to Nitrocellulose Lacquer when it comes to depth and gloss and ease of buffing, especially BLACK. i have to go with auto paint here in p.r. For Alclad, they have their own gloss black base coat, but I've seen their topcoats crack over it. I'm in the UK so sadly, Minwax is an unknown brand over here. Apply a number of very light "mist" coats using the spray lacquer, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. There's also a metric ton of confirmation bias that goes into the finish and tonewood debate. Urethane epoxy finish... to the best of my knowledge. Second is to seal the oil with shellac or something similar, then shoot with nitro. 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. It is also slightly opalescent. BA1 1UA. The gloss on Base coat/Clear coat is on the surface no real depth. 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). Hello, I just sprayed black gloss nitro lacquer over nitro lacquer primer, which had dried for 24 hours. Fender also sprayed acrylic over rejected Sunburst finishes to fulfil custom-colour orders. Acrylic paint consists of acrylic plastic suspended in a solvent; it's a non-yellowing form of lacquer. 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. And why do guitar players still want to have their instruments covered in it? Clarence 'Leo' Fender, would be bemused by today's guitar market. I want a satin light grey like a navy ship kind of colour. We all know that the way your guitar makes you feel has a direct effect on how you play. Two 60s Lake Placid Blue Jazzmasters - but the left guitar has a nitro top coat, which has yellowed over time. Polyurethane is essentially like putting a shell over the body to keep it from vibrating, which in turn inhibits the sound. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. ", "The guitar would continue to 'cure' over the ensuing years, as the solvent in the finish continued to evaporate and harden". 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. Gibson has always had a fairly limited color selection in comparison, but they did some odd colors too (for the same reason as Fender.) This sealing coat will dry enough to proceed in an hour. Detractors argue that it's pure nostalgia-driven hogwash. It's this solvent - acetone - that denotes the 'lacquer' part of the name, creating a highly flammable, extremely environmentally unfriendly cocktail in the process. Re: Clear coat over acrylic paint? The main one being that it never fully "cures". 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. Nitrocellulose lacquer has many credits to its quality. So, lets us have a quick review about these different type of paints. Either way, the facts are that Fender used both nitrocellulose and acrylic lacquers for 1950s and 60s standard and custom colour finishes. 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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. will it age at all like nitro? Is this normal? Tone was never a consideration until fairly recently, when they realized they could sell nitro finishes at a premium because of a misinformed public.). It's like scratching glass in some cases. 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. Thanks. Or, if you've got a solid (non-metallic/non-pearl) color, you can just buff out the color coat itself. In fact acrylic paints were developed because they were more colourfast and didn't crack and check as easily as the older nitrocellulose paints. Regardless it will turn yellow - if this is a problem for what your repairing then I would not go with nitro over the acrylic. Bare Wood: No: For a natural finish first use Clear Cellulose Sanding Sealer, then finish with Clear Nitro Lacquer as a top coat. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Press J to jump to the feed. In general, there are three major types of paints that are commonly used in model kits painting, Acrylic, Enamel and Lacquer. 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. It's weird. Fender also experimented with acrylic during this period, but nitrocellulose was generally favoured for finishing guitars as it could form a nicer gloss. 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. There was a problem. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Tell me more about this tanning light business. It is fragile, yes, and ages differently. The two easiest ways to avoid problems are to spray se I've played several vintage Strats and Gibsons over the years that were, frankly, pieces of shit.) 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. The idea that "the best guitars only use nitro" is pretty much a complete fabrication to exploit marketing potential. I've applied Alclad over gray primer with excellent results. There are risks to spraying any type of solvent lacquer over any existing, and older, paint or finish. 4/ It will be fairly well dried out in about an hour but wait at least 24 hours before lacquer finishing. By Nor are the finishing standards or production goals identical from facility to facility or shop to shop. 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. Nitro takes ages to cure, costs more(? 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. Plus I lovvvve a guitar that looks like someone actually plays it. If it still looks very 'white', chances are there's no top coat. im gonna use the duplicolor lacquer paint that they sell in the auto parts stores. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. Acrylic is also used in enamel paints, which have the advantage of not needing to be buffed to obtain a shine. Regarding its content, nitrocellulose lacquer is mostly solvent-based and comprised of plant-based substances like cotton, mixed nitric and sulfuric acids. That depends on the amount of light it is receiving on the surface. Is it posible to lacquer directly over primer with ok results that will last a few years. 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. 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. 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 . There are several different kinds of poly that have been used on guitars (polyester, polyurethane, and various 2-part catalyzed and UV-cured 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. Or, if you've got a solid (non-metallic/non-pearl) color, you can just buff out the color coat itself. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, 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. 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. ), and is nowhere near as tough. To whit: Fender has pretty much never used a purely nitro finish. Nitro was used for the color and clear coats, but even by the mid-late 60's they were moving to other poly finishes. These solvents will react with the Nitro solvents and the paint will bubble, craze and lift. Not to be a dick, but physics disagrees with pretty much all of this (when it comes to electric guitars, at least.) Nitrocellulose Lacquer is not as durable as acrylic lacquer. Nitrocellulose lacquer will not adhere to 1K. "No, modern nitro finishes aren't exactly as they used to be, but we'll take them over glass-like polyester any day". Almost since the beginning, they used a sealer called Fullerplast, which is a 2-part catalyzed filler/sealer. 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. Acrylic Lacquers have stronger or "Hotter" solvents then Nitro. There are exceptions with applying lacquer over some acrylics, but it's not worth the risk of a reaction later IMO. Visit our corporate site. 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. 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