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Nov 27, 2020 - 12:23 PM
912 posts since 2/21/2011

So, I have two banjos, i.e. an Epiphone MB-250 H&F and a Goldstar GF -100FE and both have equally gorgeous super shinny lacquer finishes

I’m trying to achieve that level of finish using spray can lacquer on a neck I am making and am having no luck.

Is fine sanding and hand or buff wheel polishing required to get a super glossy lacquer finish or can it be achieved with a well done final spray coat?

Nov 27, 2020 - 1:43:18 PM
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1576 posts since 6/20/2014

I sprayed this lacquer at 35psi with a gravity fed spray gun, this is the finish I achieved before any wet-sanding or polishing. You need to be patient and let it cure properly before attempting any wet-sanding and over agressive polishing can create heat build-up and ruin your top coat. Spray you first coat lightly and let it set-up so it's tacky, this coat allows the next coat to adhere to the finish. I only spray 3 coats every 24 to 36 hours depending on the temperature and humidity. Too much humidity can cause "BLOOM".......if that happens you need to act quickly and just mist on a bit of straight lacquer.....and I do mean mist. It opens the finish and allows the moisture to escape.....Good Luck and have fun.

Edited by - Blackjaxe47 on 11/27/2020 13:51:54

Nov 27, 2020 - 2:31:57 PM

2244 posts since 2/7/2008

Rattle can lacquer is fairly thin, so it's going to take a lot of coats too build up to a sandable, polishable finish, but it can be done. If your finishing area is dusty, you may want to sand between coats. The will produce a better end result, but that sanding will also require a lot more coats.

Nov 27, 2020 - 3:56:52 PM



3268 posts since 2/20/2016

Scuff sanding with 320 between every 2 or 3 coats will help. But scuff only. Do not level completely until you have sufficient build. I would not recommend more than 3 or 4 coats in a day. And wait at least a week or two before final levelling, and another day or two before the final rub-out with compound. My problem is that I always want to get it done too quickly.

Nov 27, 2020 - 3:59:25 PM

912 posts since 2/21/2011

So, is some polishing usually required to get a really shiny end result?

Nov 27, 2020 - 4:29:24 PM



3268 posts since 2/20/2016

Yes. The general techniques are well known. Spray until sufficient build is obtained, sanding occasionally. Let cure. Finish sand starting no coarser than 400, some folks go as far as 2000 before rubbing out with compound. The exact details vary from person to person. The best work is obtained by slow build and sufficient cure time.

You would benefit from reading a couple of chapters on working with nitrocellulose lacquer from books on instrument building and/or repair, and furniture making. The internet is not the best place to go for this information-- too many amateurs providing too much questionable info.

And then, find a friendly cabinet maker who will let you look over his shoulder while he is spraying.  And then you have to practice.

Edited by - rcc56 on 11/27/2020 16:30:29

Nov 27, 2020 - 7:28:28 PM

2244 posts since 2/7/2008

It's laborious for sure, but after the final coats, I've had success by starting at 1,000 than going through all the grits of micro-mesh. Once you get to the 12,000 grit micro mesh, things are pretty shiny, then I finished up with Meguiar's Show Car Glaze.

Nov 28, 2020 - 6:43:07 AM

15000 posts since 2/7/2003

Yes to the wet sanding to at least 1500 and compound and a machine buffer is what gives you the finish on the necks you are trying to match

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