Clear nitrocellulose (nitro) top coat lacquer for use on guitars and restoration pieces. Ours is the highest quality nitro, made here in the UK to our own spec. This is a true vintage finish making it ideal for vintage guitar builds, repair work and high-end handcrafted instruments.
Available in three sheen levels (gloss, satin, matt) and five pack sizes (handy 400ml aerosol, 60ml touchup pot for small spot repairs, 250ml bottle, 1 litre bottle and 5 litre tin for use in sprayguns and HVLP kits).
If using neat nitrocellulose lacquqer in a spray gun or HVLP kit it should be thinned beforehand using Anti-Bloom thinners. We recommend thinning no more than 30%. I.e., a ratio of 70:30 (lacquer:thinners). This is merely a guideline, though, not a firm rule - judgement is required as particular thinning ratios depend on a number of factors including equipment, temperature, weather, experience and desired results.
Please note these are guidelines only as we have absolutely no control over your specific spraying conditions.
|1K Lacquer||No||Nitrocellulose lacquer will not adhere to 1K.|
|Acrylic Sanding Sealer||No||Typically causes bubbling and damage to the acrylic base coat.|
|Bare Wood||No||For a natural finish first use Clear Cellulose Sanding Sealer, then finish with Clear Nitro Lacquer as a top coat.|
|Cellulose Paint||Yes||For either vintage finishes or to achieve a Satin or Matt shine. Otherwise, Cellulose Paint is a top coat and can be polished directly.|
|Cellulose Sanding Sealer||Yes|
|Metallic Cellulose Paint||Yes||Metallic paint must have a clear top coat, unlike solid colour cellulose paints which can be polished directly.|
|Oil||No||It simply won't stick. If refinishing an oiled body put a lot of work into removing the old oil finish, if possible, otherwise a lacquered finish will never work.|
|Polyurethane/2K Paint/Lacquer||No..ish||Not recommended as the nitro typically won't stick, and so will peel off easily. Try at your own risk.|
|Pre-Cat Sanding Sealer||No||One of the most common causes of cracking is using over an incompatible base coat, such as Pre-Cat.|
|Waterborne Paint||No||Similar effects to acrylic - bubbling and damage.|
|Waterborne Sanding Sealer||Yes||Only dartfords, can't vouch for any other brand as formulations and characteristics vary massively.|
In its neat bottled form it has a light amber colour to it. However, when it dries it dries to a clear finish. Only over time does the dried finish then naturally age and discolour to a slight yellow tinge.
Our aerosol spray cans are sealed and ready to spray - simply shake for two minutes before use.
Our bottled lacquer, available in 250ml, 1 litre and 5 litre containers, is intended for use in spray guns and HVLP kits. It needs to be thinned before use using our Premium Anti-Bloom Cellulose Thinners. We recommend a thinning ratio of between 80:20 and 70:30 (lacquer:thinners). So, for example, to mix 100ml of ready-to-spray finish you would need approximately 70ml of lacquer and 30ml of thinners.
We recommend two aerosols, or 200ml of neat lacquer for an average Stratocaster-sized guitar body. This can vary depending on how you spray, the precise size and shape ofyour body, and what is underneath.
Our aerosol spray cans have a capacity of 400ml. This is made up of:
This compares favourably to aerosols from most other suppliers and manufacturers, who use a 1:1 ratio for the lacquer and thinners. I.e., you get less useful lacquer per can. Being a thicker mixture closer to that you would use in a spray gun ours also gives a finer more consistent spray that is less prone to drips.
Yes, our Clear Nitro can be tinted with a variety of products such as:
We also stock a wide range of pre-tinted lacquers which are ready to use, available here.
Eventually, yes, it always cracks. The real question is how long it takes, and this is really difficult to say. If sprayed properly onto a well prepared base coat and kept at steady room temperature then it will be many years before the finish shows any signs of aging. a number of factors can reduce this time, some significantly. These include:
The most common scenarios where cracking occur are:
Cracking of the lacquer through poor adhesion or over thinning tends to be a crazing effect all over. Cracking to to wood expansion/contraction tends to be larger cracks focussed around drill holes.
Yes, eventually. It gradually turns from clear to yellow. The effect of this is that any colour(s) underneath will take on a yellow tinge, so blue paint will look more green, red finishes will look more orange etc.
This discolouration is commonly seen on vintage guitars. This effect is the result of two effects:
If an instant discoloured/aged look is desired then once this clear coat has been sprayed one of our Tinted Nitrocellulose Lacquers can be sprayed over the top. We recommend our Light Brown or Weakest Amber lacquers for this purpose.
We recommend the following process for hand polishing nitro finishes:
All items are dispatched from our locations in the UK. We pack and dispatch items Monday-Friday.
Standard items are dispatched same-day if ordered before 12pm UK time. Standard items ordered after 12pm will be dispatched the following working day. Our website shows live stock levels.
Custom items are typically made and dispatched within 3-10 working days, and ship separately from our UK studio.
All of our products ship all over the UK - Scottish Islands, Highlands and Ireland included.
Royal Mail Letter, Parcel and Parcel Signed services are available from £1.50 for smaller, lighter and lower priced items. We only use First Class. Delivery time is 1-2 days from dispatch.
Economy UK Courier is delivered by Hermes or DPD, is tracked, requires a signature and is typically delivered in 2-5 days.
Next Day Courier is delivered by DPD or Parcelforce, is fully tracked, requires a signature and will provide you with a 1-hour delivery slot on the morning of your delivery.
Saturday Courier is delivered by DPD or Parcelforce, is fully tracked and requires a signature. Order before 12pm on Friday to receive this service.
For shipments to non-mainland areas only Royal Mail and Economy UK Courier services are available, but we don't charge any extra for these - for the available services we charge a flat rate all over the UK.
All of our products ship everywhere in mainland Europe.
Airmail Letter and Airmail Parcel are for smaller, lower priced items, with prices starting from £3.99. Delivery typically takes 3-10 days.
Airmail Tracked Letter and Airmail Tracked Parcel are for smaller items up to a value of £100. Prices start from £12.99, with delivery usually taking the same 3-10 days as standard un-tracked Airmail.
Economy Courier is a road service to all mainland European destinations, and is the service we use for all orders (including those which contain Dangerous Goods such as paints, lacquers and dyes, since these items cannot ship by Airmail or Express Courier). It is sent with DPD or DHL, is fully tracked and requires a signature. Delivery times vary by country, with 2-5 days being normal. Prices are £14.99 for Western, and £19.99 for Eastern. Additional handling charges apply to Non-EU countries.
Express Courier is an Air courier service for all non-Dangerous Goods items, ideal if you're in a hurry for your, materials, tools, inlays or decals. It ships with DHL or UPS, and as you'd expect is fully tracked. Delivery time to most areas is 1-2 days, with a cost of £15.99 to Western and £24.99 to Eastern Europe.
Please note: Economy courier service is not available to European Islands including Malta, Cyprus and Azores.
Decals, Inlays, Parts, Tools and Materials all ship Worldwide.
Wood Finishes are less clear-cut, as we can't send flammable liquids through the postal service or by Air. This means that unfortunately most of our paints, lacquers and dyes aren't available outside Europe, but we can ship any powdered dyes/pigments and non-flammable wood finishes or equipment.
Airmail Letter and Airmail Parcel are for smaller, lower priced items, with prices starting from £3.33. Delivery typically takes 3-10 days.
Airmail Tracked Letter and Airmail Tracked Parcel are for smaller items up to a value of £100. Prices start from £10.83, with delivery usually taking the same 3-10 days as standard un-tracked Airmail.
Express Courier is an Air courier service for all non-Dangerous Goods items, ideal if you're in a hurry for your, materials, tools, inlays or decals. It ships with DHL or UPS, and as you'd expect is fully tracked. Delivery time to most areas is 1-3 days, with prices varying by country, starting at £20.83.
Our returns policy is straightforward - we like our products and hope you do too. If there's something wrong just give us a call or send a message through our Support page and we'll do our best to fix it.
Broken, damaged, not as expected or no longer required - return in 30 days and we'll refund or exchange the item.
For custom items, if it isn't as requested let us know and we'll make you a replacement.
"Dangerous Goods", which is anything flammable (so includes most of our paints, lacquers and dyes), cannot be shipped through the postal service or by Air. As such, we can currently only send such items to UK and mainland European destinations.
See the Specifications tab for information about how and where this product can ship.
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UK orders are subject to 20% VAT.
Orders to the EU are:
Orders to outside of the UK and EU are not subject to VAT, so once you have confirmed your shipping address VAT will not be charged. Please be aware that your items may be subject to additional Customs charges (import tax and duty, for example) - these charges are not included in our order and delivery charges, and are therefore your sole responsibility. Please check your local government websites for details on Import charges.
USA has a generous de minimis limit of $800 for imports by one individual on one day, so usually orders under this value will slip through customs without further charges.
VAT invoices are issued for all orders.
Our VAT number is GB155302731
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