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Need some of your expert advice - and not so expert advice too!
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 984
So I started wet sanding the guitar today. 3 coats of Deft sanding sealer, and 12 coats (thin) of Deft Gloss lacquer. There was a bit of orange peel, so I sanded the back down with 600 grit until the shiney spots were gone and I had a flat smooth surface. So far so good. I did the same to the sides, and again it looks good. I turned to the top, and it seemed to take a bit more sanding to get past the orange peel. In the area of my split repair, it required even more, and in the process, I sanded through to the wood along the edge of the lower bout. I was not watching where the end of my sanding block was all the time....good grief. So there is an area about 1/4" in from the edge and maybe 4 inches long along the edge that is bare.
My question is, what is the best way to tackle this?
My though is too hang it back up and spray about 4 more coats on the whole guitar, and maybe a couple of extra coats to this bare area. Then let is cure and sand it again, but next time using 1000 grit.
How does this sound? Do I need to rough up the surface again with 400 grit before I start spraying again? Should I just respray the top?, or just spray a few coats over the bare area? I don't think I can go wrong by adding a few more coats over the whole guitar, but.....what is the best way to spray to avoid the orange peeling? Was I too wet...too dry? I'm spraying in about 90 degree and 50% humidity.
Any help with the best direction to take would be much appreciated.
I am not discouraged! It looks pretty good except for this sand through.
Thanks a bunch guys.


Sep 13, 09 | 8:23 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Maybe thin the coats a little, and spray a few extra? Dunno. Bummer!

Sep 13, 09 | 9:47 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I can't help with advice, but some encouragement might be in order. You did such a good job with the split repair, I'm sure when all is said and done, nobody will be able to tell you ahd any problems with the finish. Just take it slow and think it through like you did with the split.

File under: "It ain't a mistake if you can fix it." :-)


Sep 14, 09 | 5:47 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
You are about to fully appreciate nitro-based lacquer --- simply get the surface fairly level and as you guessed re-spray several coats. In my view the beauty of solvent based lacquers is the fact that each coat completely burns into the previous layer in effect creating one unified surface. Youíll have to use some good judgment regarding how many new coats --- donít get carried away. Iíd wait a little longer to allow complete drying before leveling again.


Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Sep 14, 09 | 5:59 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Also, the orange peel may be because you are using too much air and not enough lacquer --- don't be afraid to get "wet" layers of product on the surface it will flow out, just take care not to get drips --- in my view the fear of getting too much coating on a guitar is mis-guided ----- to put on "too much" material you'd really have to glop it on.


Sep 14, 09 | 6:23 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Thanks Ken,
I sprayed pretty thin coats, so I'm thinking I don't have as much lacquer on there as I should. I will make an attempt to spray wetter coats as I go ahead with the respraying. I am using rattle cans, but I have done spraying with guns too, so I have a little experience, but first time spraying a guitar. I have to admit I was trying hard to avoid a sag. The refinish on my first guitar (the second to be sprayed) does not have any orange peel that I can detect and I felt like I was spraying heavier (wetter) coats. I'm going to block sand that one level and then spray 4 more "wet" coats on it too.
I sure appreciate the help.

Bill, the split fix is going to show, mostly from some glue residue that I didn't take off because I new It wold cause more issues....but overall it looks better than the glue in the split showing did.


Sep 14, 09 | 9:32 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
You can ad more spray but may I suggest you allow the finish a bit more cure time. At least 14 days. If you see gumming when sanding , you lacquer isn't cured.
As Ken says I just ad , it isn't what you put on , it is what you let on. In most cases people don't put on enough finish
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repaircenter

Sep 14, 09 | 4:15 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Ken & John,
I've sprayed over the last two days four nice wet coats and it is looking very nice. I think that I will now let is cure for two weeks.

I will do the same with the number 1 guitar refinish job. No sand throughs here, but I put down the first 12 coats the same way, so I know it needs more. What a great learning experience!!


Sep 15, 09 | 7:02 pm

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 6
I always start with no courser than 1500 grit. You think it will take forever, but it actually does not. I've leveled out runs that were quite large on some cars I've shot with 1500, certainly way worst than anything encountered on a guitar. Courser grits cut faster but leave bigger surface scratches, which then must be removed with more sanding. I believe starting with the 1500 ends up removing less overall finish. Use a hard sanding block and really be careful close to the edges. I sand the edges with very little pressure, just a bit more than the weight of my finger and a sanding block about 3/4 " square. Wipe and check the surface every 30 seconds or so. The big lesson here is be SUPER careful sanding and buffing. A "2 second error" in either could take weeks to fix. Slower can be faster. Good luck!

Sep 17, 09 | 8:00 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Okay so the respray of the sanded through area has come out fine, but since I discovered that I had not pore filled my Koa rosette, and I had pores showing. Another good grief, so today I have dropped filled those low spots, and sprayed a couple of coats over the top, and I got a run right next to the rosette....spraying "too wet". So tomorrow I will sand the rosette area again, and hopefully it will level out and the rosette will be filled. Then I'll shoot one last coat on the top, and hopefully be done to finally let it cure for a couple of weeks.

I was suppose to be polishing out his guitar this weekend....oh well.

Number one looks will also sit for 2 weeks before I wet sand it.


Sep 19, 09 | 5:06 pm

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