Dartfords Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer

Code: RP0110
  • Now From $4.42
Available to Order | In stock - order before 1PM for same day dispatch.
  • Nitrocellulose guitar lacquer in over 25 colours
  • Tinted lacquers are semi-transparent so allow some of the wood grain to show through
  • Available in aerosol spray cans, and bottled for use in spray guns
  • Classic vintage lacquer formulation for a true, thin nitro finish
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  • Nitrocellulose guitar lacquer in over 25 colours
  • Tinted lacquers are semi-transparent so allow some of the wood grain to show through
  • Available in aerosol spray cans, and bottled for use in spray guns
  • Classic vintage lacquer formulation for a true, thin nitro finish

Finishing your guitar body in a colour rather than clear finish can dramatically change the personality of the guitar. Often, though, the grain of the guitar's wood is too pretty to hide, which is where our nitrocellulose lacquers are ideal. Our vivid, colour-fast dye tinted nitrocellulose guitar lacquers are available in over 25 colours including natural browns, classic sunburst tones and contemporary shades so whatever effect you're going for we've likely got a colour to suit.

Noteworthy Colours

Some of the colours have been developed for specific purposes:

  • Gibson Cherry is Heritage Cherry Red sprayed onto a mahogany neck & body
  • Gibson Mahogany is Dark Rich Mahogany sprayed onto a mahogany neck & body
  • Candy Apple Red can be made by spraying Tomato Red over Inca Silver or Aztec Gold Metallic Cellulose Paint
  • Gretsch Orange is Light Orange
  • Ageing finishes and parts can be done using Lightest Brown
  • 50s Sunburst is made with Dark Yellow, Light Red and Tint Black
  • 60s Sunburst is Dark Yellow with two of our Pigmented Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquers, Strong Cherry Red and Solid Black
  • Lemon Burst is Light Yellow with Amber around the outside

Colour Representation

Every effort has been made to accurately represent these tinted colours, but really the swatches shown should only be used as approximate guidelines. The swatches themselves are all made in the same way:

  • 6x6" square of Swamp Ash, filled with our Neutral Thixotropic Grain Filler
  • 3 coats of our Clear Cellulose Sanding Sealer
  • 2 coats of the colour lacquer
  • Allowed to dry overnight before photographing

We have shown some colours, for example the Dark Rich Mahogany and Heritage Cherry Red, applied to Mahogany as well as Swamp Ash, as these colours are often used on Mahogany bodied guitars.

The final colour you achieve will vary from these swatches due to:

  • Variations in how computers and mobile devices display colours
  • The colour of the wood to which the lacquer is applied
  • How many coats are applied
  • The thickness of each coat

What is the process for using these lacquers?

Starting with bare wood, the finishing process is:

  • Sand wood to 320 grit
  • Apply grain filler if the wood is porous (e.g. Swamp Ash or Mahogany), sand to 320 grit
  • Apply Cellulose Sanding Sealer, sand to 600 grit
  • Apply your choice of tinted Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer, do not sand
  • Finish with Clear Nitrocellulose Lacquer top coat
  • Polish

How much is needed to spray a guitar body?

On average we would recommend either:

  • 1 Aerosol Spray Can, or
  • 1 250ml Bottle (and you'll usually have about 100ml left)

If you're also spraying the neck and headstock, as is often the case for set-neck guitars, you will likely need 2 Aerosols.

Which base coat should be used underneath?

If you are spraying onto a porous wood such as Swamp Ash or Mahogany, you will first need to use a grain filler such as dartfords Thixotropic Grain Filler.

For all of our nitrocellulose lacquers we recommend using dartfords Clear Cellulose Sanding Sealer as the base coat.

How many coats?

This tinted lacquer is purely for look rather than building up the finish, so you only need to spray as many coats as you need to achieve the strength of colour that you want. The more coats you apply, the more intense the colour will be.

Does it need a top coat?

Yes. These tinted nitrocellulose lacquers are not top coats, and should not be polished directly. We recommend using dartfords Clear Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer.

Can this lacquer be polished?

We don't recommend it. This lacquer is see-through, and the colour you see depends to a degree on the film thickness of the finish. As part of polishing you are sanding back and removing some of the finish - if this is done at all unevenly the result will be a patchy, variable colour finish. Without a top coat, as the lacquer wears through use this will also cause the film thickness - and therefore the colour - to change. As such, it's best to put a few coats of clear lacquer on top so that all polishing and wear only affects the clear top coat, and won't change the appearance of the guitar. Using a clear top coat will also allow you to achieve different sheen levels such as matt, satin and gloss, to your preference.

Can this lacquer be sprayed over metallic paints?

Yes! We urge you to do this as the results are absolutely stunning. The most famous example of this in the guitar world is Candy Apply Red, which is a see-through red lacquer sprayed over a metallic silver or gold (from our range use Tomato Red over either Inca Silver or Aztec Gold Metallic Cellulose Paint). The beauty of this type of finish is not just in the colours themselves, but in that layering. Unlike a straight colour metallic finish, using a see-through colour over the top of the metallic changes the way that light reflects and bounces around the body, giving greater depth and richness to the finished effect. This isn't limited to just Tomato Red, though - if you fancy trying something outside of traditional then consider trying our yellows, ambers, blues, gr.. well, any of them. They're amazing.

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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.

Whether or not VAT is charged depends your shipping address and tax status. You can use the toggle at the top of the site to display prices either inclusive or exclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT).

UK orders are subject to 20% VAT.

Orders to the EU are:

  • Subject to 20% VAT if you are a private individual
  • VAT Exempt as an Intra-EU sale if you are registered for VAT in any EU country (excluding UK) - please enter your valid EU VAT registration number during account setup and checkout for VAT to be automatically deducted from your order.

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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