Clear coating a raw tweed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by candid_x, May 6, 2015.

  1. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    I'd like to clear coat my raw tweed amp. Is there a particular clear product you'd recommend, and other than using pro auto spraying euipment, is there any particular technique you would advice, i.e. how many coats, re-coat, when tacky or fully dried, etc? I'm not inerested in an old shallac finish at this time, and have no problem with modern clear if it does a nice job in sealing and protecting the tweed material.

    Thanks
     
  2. Trout

    Trout Member

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    I have done this a few times, 2 products that work well.
    Deft
    &
    Valspar

    These come in low cost aerosol cans and are readily available.

    They will cover & protect really well and do not discolor the tweed or cause bleeding/blotching.
    The last cab I did used 2 cans.
    2-Light Coats
    allow to dry overnight.
    1 quick deburr with a light grit scotch bright pad being careful to only remove any fuzz.
    1-2 more coats to finish.

    The gloss finish works extremely well, the Satin looks more or less like the original tweed factory sheen.

    I like the Deft best, the Valspar was pretty smelly.
    BOTH work really well.

    Avoid any consumer grade polyurethane products, they tend to cause bleeding and discolor the cut edges when it wicks in.
     
  3. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Thank you, Trout. Very helpful, especially for the warning on consumer grade poly. So the deburr comes after the first two thin coats dry.

    I'm not so concerned between sheen and shine, but would like to eliminate the fuzziness and to protect it from absorbing stains.

    I'm wondering if this can be purchased to be used in a professional spray system since a friend will likely insist on using his. I'm guessing it can.
     
  4. 5881

    5881 Supporting Member

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    I used shellac, thinning the first couple of coats with alcohol and had great results. 10 years later it still looks great. The shellac helps darken the tweed a bit which is nice.
     
  5. Trout

    Trout Member

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    A professional grade sprayer would do the best job. Years ago I visited a cab shop that had been doing Tweed cabs for Victoria.
    They used an HVLP Spraying system that did a beautiful job really quickly.

    I haven't seen anyplace that sells Valspar or Deft in quart or gallon cans locally so I can not comment on that.

    If you don't mind getting a hit of vintage tint Behlen Qualalacq Gloss Nitro-Cellulose is a great alternative.
    Rockler sells it though I am sure it can be purchased elsewhere for a bit less.

    No matter which product is used, thinning and fast drying it the real trick.
    Most guys that use shellac do not thin it enough. It uses alcohol as a solvent which helps a bit.
    Common shellac is pretty and does offer some resistance to dirt, but it is not typically very good with moisture resistance. Water will leave stains it not wiped off immediately.

    A few years back a buddy had this big 3 day bash in his semi finished barn.
    One of the guys had brought a beautiful tweed with the nicest shellac finish I ever saw.
    Sadly,
    Someone left a sweaty 1/2 full beer can on it overnight.
    The next afternoon when things started going again he discovered the can was actually stuck into the finish!
     
  6. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I like Shellac. If you use Amber it will get dark pretty fast. If you don't it will not darken much. I like a 50/50 mix.
    It depends on if you want that dark look or more neutral.
    Remove everything from the cab.
    Shellac dries very fast... if you are brushing, you must move fast and overlap previous part while still wet while laying the shellac on.
    If you don't you will have dark/light spots.
    It's not too hard if you pay attention and keep moving.
    Start on the bottom to get a feel for it.
    If you can find Zinnser Shellac in a spray can.. do that... easier.
    A couple coats does it.

    With a shellac'ed cab you have the dirt/mark problem that bare tweed has.
    However, when a finished tweed is scratched hard it shows up a lot more than tolex does.
    If you screw up badly soak a cloth in alcohol and wipe it off before it starts to set.
     
  7. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    For Tweed, you really can DIY with rattle cans...it's not like you are going to have a mirror finish to show off seams. But Behlen is what I recommend for your friends spray equipment.

    A caveat, just about anything will make the tweed a little darker, that's what happens when fabric gets wet.

    Shellac is great for tint/stain, but I always seal it with a top coat of nitro/poly for protection. Since we are going for color...I would just skip to the nitro.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  8. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Has anyone seen an issue with nitro weather checking on tweed? I ask because I have used Behlen's Qualalac on a few instruments; goes on great, looks great, dries fast, easy to work with, and weather checks like crazy on everything I've sprayed it on. One might think that weather checking on tweed might be hard to see due to the tweed's texture, but it would be good to know for sure.

    I used the Zinnser's Amber Shellac on the last tweed recover I did, and wasn't completely happy with the results. It went on a bit blotchy with a brush, I wish I would have sprayed it. I'll probably use lacquer next time.
     
  9. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    I use Minwax Polyshades satin in the honey pine color. Very easy, 2 coats, sand just a little after the first coat. Looks as good as any I've seen. I've also used the classic oak color when I couldn't find the honey pine and it looks about the same. The small 8 oz can is plenty for a deluxe size amp.
     
  10. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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    Deft is better than Valspar IME
     
  11. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    True, but the beauty of shellac is it's so easy to repair. You paint more shellac over top the damaged shellac, and it melts the old shellac and dries leaving a new layer of shellac! Do it right, and it'll look like good as new! So yeah, it's not the most durable, but it might be the easiest to repair.
     
  12. Trout

    Trout Member

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    Personally, I think about 90% of the not so nice looking finishes are related to simply using to much finish.

    Trying to completely fill the tweed to a smooth finish is just to much.

    Wyatt;
    :agree

    Behlen Is great stuff!

    100% correct!
     
  13. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    I've only done it twice and used the Minwax (brush on) both times with good results. On the first one, I did a test on one of the inner flaps that don't show to make sure the tint and application process was what I wanted. On the second one, I just went for it. Good luck.
     
  14. fezz parka

    fezz parka Member

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    I use rattlecan nitro neck tint.
     

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