Nitro takes ages to cure, costs more(? Who would want that? Nitrocellulose lacquer is a material which has many uses both inside and outside the home. This sealing coat will dry enough to proceed in an hour. 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. Acrylic is also used in enamel paints, which have the advantage of not needing to be buffed to obtain a shine. 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. Point taken though, I need to look for a quality product. The same effect happens on Lake Placid Blue guitars that can appear more green with age. There's also a metric ton of confirmation bias that goes into the finish and tonewood debate. Nitro was used for the color and clear coats, but even by the mid-late 60's they were moving to other poly finishes. will it age at all like nitro? 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). It's weird. ), and is nowhere near as tough. 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. The two easiest ways to avoid problems are to spray se 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. © 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. I want a satin light grey like a navy ship kind of colour. 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. 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 (“nitro”) was the finish most often used during Fender’s original 1950s and ’60s golden age, although acrylic lacquers were also used. 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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. Acrylic Sanding Sealer: No: Typically causes bubbling and damage to the acrylic base coat. As a pragmatist and problem solver, his first question would almost certainly be, "Why? 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. As a nitro finish ages it has a tendency to shrink continuously. Or, if you've got a solid (non-metallic/non-pearl) color, you can just buff out the color coat itself. Either way, the facts are that Fender used both nitrocellulose and acrylic lacquers for 1950s and 60s standard and custom colour finishes. Please refresh the page and try again. There are risks to spraying any type of solvent lacquer over any existing, and older, paint or finish. Nor are the finishing standards or production goals identical from facility to facility or shop to shop. Martin Guitars also uses a vinyl sanding sealer and has for decades (and so has Gibson, IIRC.). This finish has the same general properties of nitrocellulose lacquer, except 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. 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. 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. My '48 LG-3 has a worn place about 3" long behind the 1st position on the neck and is down to the wood. 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. By The reason I ask is because if you use nitro over acrylic it will turn yellow in time - how long? The advantage of acrylic lacquer … Visit our corporate site. 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. Two 60s Lake Placid Blue Jazzmasters - but the left guitar has a nitro top coat, which has yellowed over time. Regarding its content, nitrocellulose lacquer is mostly solvent-based and comprised of plant-based substances like cotton, mixed nitric and sulfuric acids. Acrylic paint consists of acrylic plastic suspended in a solvent; it's a non-yellowing form of lacquer. The problem is the lacquer thinner in the lacquer. Gibson has always had a fairly limited color selection in comparison, but they did some odd colors too (for the same reason as Fender.) So, why nitrocellulose at all? Bath 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. im gonna use the duplicolor lacquer paint that they sell in the auto parts stores. It's this solvent - acetone - that denotes the 'lacquer' part of the name, creating a highly flammable, extremely environmentally unfriendly cocktail in the process. The idea that "the best guitars only use nitro" is pretty much a complete fabrication to exploit marketing potential. It's like scratching glass in some cases. A wet application can cause many paints and finishes to wrinkle or blister, even an old coat of lacquer itself. Detractors argue that it's pure nostalgia-driven hogwash. 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? You will receive a verification email shortly. It's this solvent - acetone - that denotes the 'lacquer' part of the name, creating a highly flammable, extremely environmentally unfriendly cocktail in the process. Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. 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). 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. 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. what are the differences? Nitrocellulose Lacquer is not as durable as acrylic lacquer. Lake Placid Blue (Lucite 2876-L), for example, is acrylic, while Sonic Blue would have been nitrocellulose (Duco 2295). i have to go with auto paint here in p.r. 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. In this article, we are going to go over the types of paint in modeling kits and the differences. Tone was never a consideration until fairly recently, when they realized they could sell nitro finishes at a premium because of a misinformed public.). 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 Lacquer: A new, low voc clear coating for wood. Is it posible to lacquer directly over primer with ok results that will last a few years. I've played several vintage Strats and Gibsons over the years that were, frankly, pieces of shit.) Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. The only real drawback is that some of them have a tendency to look "plastic-y", which people sometimes equate with "cheap". Clarence 'Leo' Fender, would be bemused by today's guitar market. Mick Taylor ... Ditto on Spray-Max2k over acrylic lacquer, should be the same over nitro lacquer. It is sometimes labeled as CAB-acrylic lacquer. Thanks. You're safest that way! The proof is easy to see once you have refinished an instrument from one to the other. Urethane epoxy finish... to the best of my knowledge. By the end of the 80’s 2K had taken over from the well known acrylic? 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. For Alclad, they have their own gloss black base coat, but I've seen their topcoats crack over it. The question is in the title. This also goes for putting Acrylic color coat over a Nitro based Sealer. I've applied Alclad over gray primer with excellent results. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Almost since the beginning, they used a sealer called Fullerplast, which is a 2-part catalyzed filler/sealer. No two finishing lines are exactly the same. Acrylic clears are weird, at least the easy-to-get ones like DupliColor. Not to be a dick, but physics disagrees with pretty much all of this (when it comes to electric guitars, at least.) If it still looks very 'white', chances are there's no top coat. 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