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My JS1000 just collects dust sadly, so I thought I'd breather some new life into it and give it the black dog treatment with the silver/gold markers. I dont want the artwork to get rubbed off, so am wondering is it possible to clearcoat it? I've never painted anything more complicated than a ceiling.... should I hit it with the pen, then hand it off to a luthier to finish up the clear?
 

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Yes, you can easily clear coat over artwork if done correctly. Compatibility will depend on the type of marker/clear coat combination you use (some clear can "melt" weak marker ink causing it to run). Your best bet is to use a 2K poly clear (such as the 2K Clear Glamour by SprayMax) but take the safety precautions seriously! I'm not sure what kind of art pens work best (ask Joe! :)). Ideally you would first lightly scuff sand the entire body (this creates a better mechanical bond b/t old and new clear coats), wipe down with a weak solvent (like naphtha), do your art, then begin applying the new clear coat. First pass should be a very light mist to lock in the art, after this dries you can continue with light-medium wet coats until you build up an acceptable thickness (up to you). This is the general approach...you could also hand off to a luthier.

The only thing I would caution is make sure you want to do this! I don't know about you, but my tastes (and talent) at drawing changes all the time. Depending on how good you are at art and finishing, you could easily end up with something less than satisfying. Why not do a complete refinish? Pick a great color you like (maybe with a little reflective flake in it), have the local auto paint shop mix it up and put in a rattle can for you, apply, then finish with clear. Just an option, good luck!
 

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I have used Posca paint pens to give an old JS100 the Donnie paint scheme and I cleared it with Duplicolour clear and it worked fine. I dont know if Posca do the gold & silver though.

Your best bet would be to go down to Bunnings or something and buy some scrap wood and do some testing.

As derin mentioned, 2K Spray Max is great stuff but its not easy to find in Oz and its friggin expensive when you do find it. I bought a can about 2 weeks ago and it cost me $60. I have a link to where I bought it if you need it. If you use 2K, make sure you use a ventilator and gloves. You DO NOT want to breath this stuff in. Its extremely dangerous. Also once mixed, this paint has a shelf life of about 48 hours. It will harden in the can and you will have to throw it out.
 

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Ah yes, the clear coat does needs sanding and polishing to achieve a nice finished look. Depending on how much "orange peel" (bumpiness) the final clear coat has, wet sand using progressively finer grits with a small flat block (like a 9v battery). I typically go: 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, and 2000. After that polish with various polishing compounds (I use 3M Finesse It -> Perfect It -> Hand Glaze). Hope that helps!

Yikes! I didn't think 2k sprays would be that expensive down there. Dutchie is absolutely right about safety precautions and shelf life. Happy to answer more questions!
 
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