Nitrocellulose lacquer for guitar finishing

Nitrocellulose lacquer for guitar finishing.

lacquerMy wish is to only sell the very best quality items. Items I can be proud of and that I use myself.

Not all nitrocellulose lacquer is the same, beware of inferior types which will not give as good result. This lacquer will not craze under normal conditions (unlike some others!) but can be made to do if required so by freezing. 

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My lacquer is supplied in 400ml aerosols. All colours, unless otherwise noted, give a glossy finish. It is of course a true lacquer, as used by top guitar makers since the 1950s and dries to a hard glassy finish, unlike others’ “pre-cat” lacquer.

My lacquer is used by numerous guitar builders and repairers in the UK, including Gibson’s London guitar repair centre.

Lacquer can be supplied to UK and many EU addresses. Information on application can be found in my lacquer FAQ page.

Please note that where the lacquer colour shows a darker shade on the right hand side, it represents the colour of the lacquer when sprayed over with my Light Tint Gloss clearcoat.

Examples of my lacquer in use can be found in the workshop blog.

The items I supply are all made locally in Manchester.

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15 Comments on “Nitrocellulose lacquer for guitar finishing

  1. I need to re lacquer the top of my guitar,i replaced the Fingerboard,in removing the old fingerboard with a steam iron it appears to have burnt the surface,I dont know if this is just the Lacquer or the wood.It is Cedar Top.any idea’s.thanks Rod.

  2. If I am to paint a guitar body what would be the equipment I need. Base layer and top Coat to give it a really nice finish.

  3. Can the gloss clear lacquer be used straight onto water based stain ( when dry ) on my Les Paul kit guitar, thanks.

  4. I’m looking for Fender Taos Turquoise. Do you supply this? Or can you make it? Do you ship to canada or US New York state?

  5. looking to paint my guitar in a black cherry pearl finish. Cant seem to find the color anywhere. Can you help.


    • The closest would be to use the same techniques as for Candy Apple Red and spray more coats of Clear Red which will deepen the shade.

      Using a top coat containing black would obscure the metallic too much.

  6. Hello,

    I’m looking to give a nice glossy feel to an unfinished maple telecaster neck for a project. Do you have anything that fits the bill?

    I have a Jazzmaster which already has this finish and i’m trying to replicate it.

  7. Hello. I only need to coat a headstock for now. Can this lacquer be stored for extended periods in the tin if I clean the nozzle with some solvent perhaps? The headstock looks too new for the much older body I’ve bought it for, and seems to have an almost matt finish, probably Fender’s ‘natural satin’. I’d like it darker with a glossy finish to protect it. Will I be able to spray this directly onto the headstock? Not sure if it’s a wax on there. It’s only for a Squire Affinity neck but I might as well get it right. Thanks.

    • Yes you can spray onto the Squier finish. Remove the hardware (tuners, etc.) then degrease and sand lightly with say 800 grit abrasive paper before spraying the lacquer.

      The aerosol should keep for years.

  8. Thanks. The headstock looks ‘as new’, extremely smooth and clean. I was hoping to give it a wipe & dry and then just spray it, so I don’t damage the logo or finish.

    • If you don’t key the old finish with light sanding then the new lacquer will not adhere very well and may chip and flake off.

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