Minwax or StewMac?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by JVjunky, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. JVjunky

    JVjunky Squier-Meister

    Age:
    70
    166
    Apr 30, 2019
    United Kingdom
    I've just wasted a lot of time and effort refinishing my Squier Strat's neck. Sanded down the original satin varnish back to bare wood, used a water based tint to get the 'vintage' look that I wanted then applied several coats of Rustoleum Clear Coat gloss varnish.......what a disaster!
    The Rustoleum gave a really nice gloss finish, but it just won't dry hard. It's touch dry but not hard enough to use.
    So it's start again time! So which is the best gloss varnish to use next time? It will need to be brush on as I have no spray facilities. Minwax Polycrylic/Polyurethane or StewMac ColorTone Wipe-On Poly??
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  2. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I have had good luck with Tru-Oil. Easy to put on and dries hard as a rock.

    1E7F8FB6-F00A-463B-8DB4-E7C2CE4EB226.jpeg

    379F786B-D40C-4E58-8EE0-00AB5E802FA2.jpeg
     
  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    My experience with Tru-Oil is the same, but it does take a few weeks to get to the hard as a rock stage. It was playable a few days after I put it on though.

    How long has the Rustoleum been drying? I have had some of their products take a month or two to get really hard. I used Minwax water based spar varnish on a speaker cabinet I built earlier this year. It was usable a few days after I sprayed it on, but it was only after a couple months that it was really hard.

    And come to think of it, when my father and I painted his '73 Dodge van with automotive enamel (not lacquer) it took a good month to get to where you could polish and wax it. A week after we sprayed it you could press a fingernail into it and leave a mark.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  4. Tepid Pilot

    Tepid Pilot Squier Talker

    Minwax tung oil got me a good result. Give it 48 hours to set.

    TP
     
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  5. Chubbles

    Chubbles Squier-Meister

    331
    Mar 6, 2018
    Philadelphia PA
    Oil type finishes give that fast playing feel to the back of the neck. Too glossy and your hand drags.
     
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  6. JVjunky

    JVjunky Squier-Meister

    Age:
    70
    166
    Apr 30, 2019
    United Kingdom

    I keep seeing recommendations for Tru-Oil, but will it give me the high gloss finish that I want?
    I have three Chinese CV guitars and I really like the tinted high gloss finish and that's the finish that I want for my YN strat.
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    After several coats it starts looking glossy. The usual procedure is to use something like 4x steel wool to knock off the gloss and level the surface, then continue with more coats. This is repeated until you get the thickness you want. The final coat can be left glossy, especially if it's sprayed on, or you can fine sand or steel wool it to smooth it, then leave it matte or polish it, than wax it. It will certainly polish to a high gloss.

    My impression of Tru Oil is that it's really more like a spar varnish than a simple oil like linseed oil or tung oil.
     
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  8. surf green

    surf green Squier-holic

    Jul 15, 2014
    RI
    I have removed a bad lacquer top coat with lacquer thinner. I believe it will also remove a varnish finish. This may eliminate a sanding "start over". Start with steel wool and thinner, then rag off with thinner. On the Tru-Oil, you can get a gloss finish with several coats as @Triple Jim suggests. If you're going for the Classic Vibe gloss special, you may consider multiple coats of clear spray lacquer. I've had good luck with furniture quality Mohawk ambers and clears.
     
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  9. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    @JVjunky, I'd still like to know how long the original Rustoleum has been drying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  10. JVjunky

    JVjunky Squier-Meister

    Age:
    70
    166
    Apr 30, 2019
    United Kingdom
    I left it drying for over a week, from what other people have replied perhaps I should have left it a little longer. But some of the replies said that they had left the Rustoleum for months and it never dried hard!
    Anyway, I'm in the process of removing the Rustoleum, then I'll have to decide which way to go. Tru-Oil, Stewmac or Minwax.
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  11. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    OK, too late now. My bet is that in another week or two you would have been happy with it. Don't expect Tru-Oil to be hard in a week either. Something like Spraymax 2K or traditional lacquer will be pretty hard in a week, but many coatings take longer than that.
     
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  12. Wizzer

    Wizzer Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jul 12, 2010
    Scottsdale, AZ
    20190921_130052.jpg
    These are after 12 coats of Tru-Oil without tint and without any buffing/polishing. However, I don't use it straight from the bottle. I cut it 2/1 with denatured alcohol. That's the catalyst IN Tru-Oil, so it works well. You have to do more coats, but you end up with a glossier finish. I pour a bottle of Tru-Oil into a jar that seals airtight, add the denatured alcohol, mix it, and use it from the jar.
    20190921_130034.jpg
     
  13. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    113
    441
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    Very purty. I was going to use wipe-on poly for my next project, but this Tru-oil is looking like a strong contender. My biggest question at this point is whether or not I'll strip and refinish the maple neck.
     
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  14. JVjunky

    JVjunky Squier-Meister

    Age:
    70
    166
    Apr 30, 2019
    United Kingdom

    Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I was a bit hasty in removing the Rustoleum. It did give me the nice high gloss finish that I wanted and I could spray outside and bring indoors after most of the vapours had evaporated. My problem now is that the alternatives that have been suggested are not available here in the UK. StewMac do a wipe on water based Polyurethane but having used an aerosol, that's the way I would like to go. I don't really like the idea of multiple coats of something like Tru-Oil. Should I give Rustoleum another try, using thinner applications and leaving a few days between coats??
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  15. JBrooks

    JBrooks Squier-Meister

    Age:
    45
    245
    Jun 18, 2019
    Chicago
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  16. Afrika61

    Afrika61 Squier-holic

    How much time are you prepared to spend on it?
     
  17. JVjunky

    JVjunky Squier-Meister

    Age:
    70
    166
    Apr 30, 2019
    United Kingdom
    I'm not in a hurry, it's just that when I get started on a project I get a bit impatient!!

    I've scrapped and sanded off the Rustoleum back to the bare wood, re-tinted the neck with a water based tint and now have to decide what to use to give me the Classic Vibe high gloss finish that I like.
     
  18. Afrika61

    Afrika61 Squier-holic

    I stole this from a Tele forum:
    Lap Guitar.jpg
    That's pure TO and nothing else. The trick is to do the prep work correctly at the beginning and take your time. This was, I think, about 30 coats or so.
     
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  19. -r3-

    -r3- Squier-holic

    Age:
    51
    Jan 28, 2016
    NC Piedmont
    If you ever want to try Tru-Oil, this UK supplier seems to have it. Fairly low tech website, doesn't have an e-commerce component, but does have contact email for sales, and a phone number. To check the prices and quantities of Tru-Oil available click on Catalogue on the home page, then Electric Guitars, then Papers, Oils, Polishes.
    http://www.luthierssupplies.co.uk/
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  20. Dave M

    Dave M Squier-Nut

    711
    Feb 27, 2017
    Mira Loma, CA
    What's wrong with MiniWax Poly Gloss in the spray can ?... not available ? See the difference from bare to spray.
     

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