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Thread: "I can't believe it's not lacquer" is staying sticky

  1. #1
    Member ThatCluelessGerman's Avatar
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    "I can't believe it's not lacquer" is staying sticky

    Hey there,

    do you remember me?

    Well, new year, new guitar build. This time with "Solarez - I can't believe it's not lacquer" as a top coat for the veneer side. It's actually a nice product, it sands very nicely when it's cured, but there is the problem: I can't get it to cure properly. The backside says "expose to sunlight for a few minutes" but that doesn't work for me.

    I actually tried my UV exposure unit (which is specifically for curing UV resins) up to 3 hours(!) but the surface still feels tacky.
    Then I tried LED Blacklights which supposedly have the right wavelength (385nm) but - no cake.
    So, last resort, German spring sun - still tacky.

    I applied thin coats only. I think the first 3-4 coats did actually cure to a degree where they were sandable, but the coat after sanding is now just not curing. I saw the stuff on youtube and people just sprayed it on, brought it outside and it was hard in seconds... Any idea what I'm doing wrong, or how long it needs to cure outside in other conditions than bright California sun?
    I don't know what I'm doing but I hope I will end up with a guitar

  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It will feel sticky even when cured. You need to sand it for it to loose that sticky feeling. So give it a rub with some 400 or 600 grit paper and see if it still feels sticky. As long as you aren't leaving fingerprints, its cured.

    You're a coupe of degrees further north than I am, so you'll need to wait until midday on a sunny day to guarantee getting enough UV at this time of year. But I got enough sunshine last summer for it to work happily within seconds. Didn't work on overcast days but as long as there was no cloud covering the sun, it was fine.

  3. #3
    Member ThatCluelessGerman's Avatar
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    Hi Simon,

    thanks, that's good to know. The guitar is having tanning session on the balcony, let's see.

    How do you like the Solarez? I'm not 100% convinced yet, maybe it will work better in summer. What are your experiences in regards to durability and scratch resistance?
    I don't know what I'm doing but I hope I will end up with a guitar

  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I'm not sure yet either. Haven't finished applying it to the bass I was working on last summer before the weather turned too cold, wet and windy to work outside, so I haven't even attempted to polish it yet.

    It's supposed to be harder than nitro lacquer, so it should be durable enough.

  5. #5
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Harder, yet tacky without sanding? That seems odd.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It is, but it's true. It's probably just the way the surface hardens and creates a certain roughness at a microscopic level that interacts with your hands so that it feels a bit 'grabby' and tacky.

  7. #7
    Member ThatCluelessGerman's Avatar
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    I wiped it with denatured alcohol and it's better now. But still, it feels suspicious. I'll try to polish it in the next few days so I'm curious how it will turn out.
    I don't know what I'm doing but I hope I will end up with a guitar

  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Have you sanded it? It sands easily, but is also very good at clogging up the sandpaper. It seems to work best if you dry sand it.

  9. #9
    Member ThatCluelessGerman's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have flattened it to a degree. You are right, it sands well but dry sanding and wiping the paper works better. I currently have no idea how thick the coating on the guitar top is, so I'm torn between the polishing and adding more coats.

    I got some of the Solarez on my finger nail last week and it's still there, so far it's at least more durable than nail polish, lol.
    I don't know what I'm doing but I hope I will end up with a guitar

  10. #10
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Shine it up and you've got new a new, long-lasting nail polish!

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