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Nitro Lacquer


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I watched the stewmac video on guitar finishing last night. They supposedly used nitro lacquer for most of the finishing. From what I could tell, they did a whole guitar in a matter of days. Teh LGM tutorial that explains the differences between products mentions that nitro has a very long cure time (3 weeks before polishing). Is this right? How did they go so fast in the video? I'm so confused about all of the products and terminology!

If anyone here has used nitro lacquer, could you please tell me how long you waited between the various steps? I'm planning on a multi-color (3 solid color) guitar.



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Yes Dave if you do a little digging your going to find out for a decent rubout and polish any lacquer (doesn't matter what type) needs a good 3 weeks to cure before polishing and buffing.

One of the things about tutorial videos is that they RARELY ever tell you the time involved.

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Thank you Brian, I guess I'll have to watch it again and see if they really say that it took 3 days. Then again, it wasn't clear to me that they were using nitro lacquer either but I'm pretty sure they were.

Anyway, between coats nitro drys fairly quickly, right (45 min)? It's just the final buffing that requires the 3 weeks?

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Nitro will dry in about 5 minutes, I don't leave any time between coats, once you stop spraying, wait a good 5 days before you try spraying anymore (this is just my opinion from personal experience).

When I was using Nitro I always put on 25 to 35 coats, 20 in the first day one after the other, wait 5 days, sand it flat, then 10 more.

THEN!!!!! you have to wait a good 2 to 3 weeks, longer is better.

The thing with video tutorials is, I'm sure it only took 3 days of work, but they don't tell you about all the time in between where they don't look at the guitar. The other thing is, you can polish nitro after only 2 days, but in 2 more weeks it will have shrunk so bad it will look like total crap again and you'll need to do it all over.

That's the problem with Nitro, is it shrinks dramatically for at least the first 3 weeks.

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You might want to read this link.. it has some very interesting things on this subject.


Nitro is good but comes with alot more headaches.. for example.. Nitro does dry faster between coats(also known as flash time). Takes around 5 minutes in the right conditions, and poly takes 30 to 40 before next coat can be applied. But where Poly really shines is the amount of time till polish.. which in most cases is 10 hours air dry time... instead of having to wait 3 weeks for nitrocellose to cure... but also Poly is even more dangerous so, make sure for good ventilation and use a good respirator, but you need that for spraying nitro as we'll....

Also I can understand why they deal with nitro.. it's because you can add your own colors to the clear easier. But from now on I'm a believer in PolyUrethane.. It's hard as a rock.. and looks awesome.. but then again nitro isn't bad to start off with.. it's just when you get frustrated that you'll be looking for poly.. lol.. My current choice is Nason Select Clear for the clear coat simply because it's really good paint for a better price.. just shop around for prices though it's still expensive.. PGP also makes good paint..

Good Luck on your paint job...


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lol... I was just looking at Harmony Central at the reviews some of Ed Roman guitars are getting.. most are good ratings on the guitar.. but he's not doing good because of the customer support part.. which most rated under 3... lol.. guess Ed is a hot head... it was funny reading some of those post..

P.S. No offense to anyone.. I don't even know Ed.. but just reporting what I've heard..

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