Acrylic lacquer vs. Nitro lacquer

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by DucRyder, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

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    I know that Cardinal Red comes in Acrylic and wondered what the differences are spraying Acrylic vs. Nitro?

    I also wonder who can match Cardinal Red in Nitro?
     
  2. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    you can buy the pigments at Stew Mac and mix them with clear nitro. It's pretty easy to blend. With red you may need to add a small amount of either black or white to get the tint you want.
     
  3. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Acrylic and Nitro are about the same as far as spraying. They both need to be cut to get the best coverage with the smoothest finish. You can clear over acrylic with nitro if you want. They both can use the same thinner, DuPont 3602 is a great choice for both.
     
  4. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

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    Thanks for the reply...Do you know if anyone has a formula fo rthe Stew Mac as a baseline color (for Cardinal Red)?
     
  5. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I wonder what differences there are in the finished product as far as film thickness and hardness.
     
  6. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    The best way to get the thinnest finish is to use a basecoat/Nitro clear. Acrylic really is no difference for the most part in thickness, it is simply the binder that is different. Acrylic may be a bit harder maybe?!
     
  7. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Acrylic is a tad more durable and clearer.
     
  8. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

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    So if I'm picking up what you kind gentlemen are putting down...

    Acrylic = thicker, more durable, clearer.

    Nitro = thinner, less durable,
     
  9. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Yes and no. You can spray each thin or thick. The modern acrylics have more plasticizers(sp?) in it but nitro has more than it used to as well. Cannot get the old nitro anymore. Acrylic is less toxic as well. 6 of one half a dozen of the other.
     
  10. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    They'll both do the job and both should come out fantastic if done right. I personally preferred acrylic from my past experiences. It actually has been quite some time since I used acrylic, so I'm not sure why I liked it better, but I did.

    Just get what's more accessible and get spraying.:)
     
  11. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Amen! Too many talk stuff to death instead of just doing it. You will have fun with it and you can say that I did it. Just email me if you want any advice along the way or maybe I am being presumptive:huh.
     
  12. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    For me there's just something about the look of nitro. As far as the cardinal red goes, find something that color and just blend the colors until you match it. You can spray one coat of that and 2 coats of clear and you'll have a pretty thin finish with a high gloss.
     
  13. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

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    I want to know what's what before I start spraying (never used Acrylic). I'd hate to make a mistake and have to strip and start over. Also the thickness/hardness was a consideration for tone.

    For instance here's a link that says to use Acetone instead of Lacquer thinner when doing the Cardinal Red Acrylic/Nitro layering (I'd have never known)

    http://www.provide.net/~cfh/gibsonc.html
     
  14. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't recommend acetone to thin as it dries way too fast. Will it work, probably. It's just not the best option out there.

    Either chose nitro or acrylic and buy all the related products from one supplier that will sell you the system.

    Believe me, exactly how you do it will be way more influential on the tone than what product you use. Whether it's acrylic or nitro is a very minor issue imo.

    Research all you can/want, but I think you will find most painters develop their own way of doing things and everyone has their own tricks and methods that work for them, but not necessarily someone elee. There are a lot of variables in painting. Equipment, environment, temperature, technique, etc... The list goes on and on.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    The only thing I use lacquer thinner for is to clean my spran guns. I always use acetone as a thinner.

    As paintguy said, every painter has his own way of doing it. Every environment is different. In the summer (100 degrees for 3 months) I shoot lacquer without any thinner, but I use a retarder. In the winter I use about 50% thinner, sometimes more. Here in Texas it is VERY humid and through trial and error (lots of error) I devised a system that works very well. I doubt that it would work in Phoenix, Arizona or Bangor, Maine.

    Painting is like cooking - you get a different set of circumstances every time which calls for lots of improvisation. It's a good thing because I'm all about imporvisation.
     
  16. Structo

    Structo Member

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    In my experience, acrylic lacquer is softer than nitro.
    Of course different brands differ in quality from each other.

    I like nitro because it doesn't have a re-coat window since it melts into itself.
    Easy to repair if you goof up.
    Easy to wet sand and polish.
     
  17. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    I bought some White Acrylic Lacquer from Autozone that was intended for automotive use just for experimental purposes. It cost twice as much as the nitro and IMO didn't spray as well.

    Nitro is incredibly easy to finish with and is easy to repair. The only real drawback to it is the fumes - they'll get you higher than Amy Winehouse on payday. WEAR YOUR RESPIRATORS!!!
     
  18. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

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    LOL... I consider that a fringe benefit!:worried
     
  19. greuvin

    greuvin Member

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    I have heard that shooting nitro lacquer over acrylic lacquer will result in wrinkling. Is this true?
     
  20. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    You can shoot nitro over nitro and get that to happen. Just go slow and there should not nbe any troubles.
     

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