What is the best lacquer for a guitar?

Typically, when it comes to guitars, the type of lacquer used is either nitrocellulose or acrylic. For a great number of years lacquer was the go-to finish for many products including guitars.

Is nitrocellulose lacquer water-based?

Nitrocellulose lacquers are perfect solutions, which means the coating is completely soluble in the vehicle (or the solvents). Water-based wood finishes are at best dispersions, but mostly emulsions.

What finish does Martin use on their guitars?

martin uses a product called chem sheen , it is a satin finished lacquer. A gloss finish still requires buffing and polishing to get the gloss as shiney as they do . for a year or two, santa cruz french-polished (with shellac) the tops of a few guitars.

What guitars use nitrocellulose finish?

Nitrocellulose is a century old lacquer used by guitar companies such as Gibson, Fender, Martin and many others. In the ’50s and ’60s nitrocellulose lacquer was almost exclusively used to finish guitars, but it is still in use today, well after the “golden era” of guitar building.

Does fender still use nitrocellulose?

Fender still uses nitrocellulose lacquer finishes on a select group of instruments (Road Worn™ and American Vintage series, various artist models).

Is water based lacquer any good?

Water-based finishes do bond fairly well to previous coats, but the similarities pretty well end there. In virtually every other important quality, the two finishes are very different and should have different names to avoid confusion.

What brands of guitars are finished with nitrocellulose lacquer?

Which Guitars Have Nitro Finishes? These days, this type of guitar finish is used almost exclusively by Gibson and Fender’s Custom Shop divisions. As these departments mostly produce premium time-honoured instruments, they therefore use nitro finishes to recapture the essence of their older vintage models.

Is nitrocellulose a good finish for a guitar?

The good thing about nitrocellulose is that it can be patched up in areas that are becoming distressed easily, and lets the guitar retain most of its original wood resonation. In particular, this finish doesn’t fully set like polyurethane and polyester, so it keeps some flexibility and gives the guitar a warmer overall tone.

What is the best finish for a guitar?

Polyurethane became commercially successful thanks to it being safer, cheaper and easier to apply than nitrocellulose, requiring just two layers to produce a glossy, even finish. Polyurethane also ages well and offers more protection than all the coatings we’ve mentioned so far, so it is a popular choice among modern guitar luthiers.

Is nitrocellulose lacquer toxic?

Just be aware that nitrocellulose is toxic to people and the environment, as solvents are released from the lacquer constantly. This is a plastic, urethane-based finish which was designed in Germany and introduced to the industry in the 1950s.

Why do guitar manufacturers use polyester instead of lacquer?

Companies tend to use polyester regularly because it’s cheaper than lacquers and easy to apply as a spray. In the early days, companies tended to spray on polyester in a very clumsy manner, which results in a thick finish that looked unappealing and drained your guitar tone.