Finishing - where to start?
A finishing is applied in the first place to protect your instrument. Not only against damaging by bumps, but also by conserving the wood. The finish however also gives a look and feel to your instrument. Will you go for a subtle, natural looking finish, a traditional French polish or for a stunning gloss for your guitar.
Once you decided on your choice of finish, you need to consider the preparation that is suitable for that finish and make sure that you have everything needed for the application.
Because there are many finishes available, we listed them underneath with a handy overview for the prep, app and result to help you on your way. You can click on the products for a further how-to guideline.
|Guidelines||Oil finish||Shellac/French Polish||Lacquer finish|
|Hardness (least hard 1 - hardest - 5)||2-3||5||4|
|Building capability (least 1 - most 5)||2-3||4||5|
|Flexibility (little 1 - lot 5 )||4||2||2|
|Color||transparant light amber - amber||transparent straw - amber||transparent|
|Gloss (depends on application, the higher the gloss, the smoother your base must be)||satin - gloss||gloss - high gloss||matt - high gloss|
|Prep - sanding||u/i 600||u/i 600||u/i 400|
|Prep - with open pores||Optional with sanding in method or grainfiller||Required. With pumice method or grainfiller||Required. With grainfiller or Z-Poxy|
|Prep - sealing/priming||N||Shellac sanding sealer||Cellulose sanding sealer|
|Application method||Brush, sponge, cloth, sanding||Polish-pad||Spray|
|Minimum no. of layers||4-6||6||4-9|
|Drying time between layers||2 - 24h||2 days||15m - 1h|
|Curing time||1-2 weeks||1-2 weeks||48h - 2 weeks|
|Finishing||Rub with lint-free cloth||Rub lightly with alcohol||Fine sanding from 800 to 2000/3000 grit|
|Polishing||Optional with lemon oil||Optional with lemon oil or Menzerna 3500||With polishers such as Menzerna|
|Maintenance||Clean with lemon oil. A new layer in due time.||Clean with lemon oil.||Clean with lemon oil.|
|Compatibel - suStain Concentrate*||As finish over||Not tested||as finish over & mixed with|
|Compatibel - suStain Solids*||Not recommended||Not tested||Mixed with|
|Compatibel - suStain Mica*||N||N||as finish over & mixed with|
|Compatibel - Metal flakes*||N||N||as finish over|
|Safety**||Let used cloths dry flat outside due to the risk of self-combustion||Ventilate well and use a fine-dust mask. Shellac contains a lot of alcohol!||Ventilate well and wear a high quality fine-dust mask and protective clothing!|
|Available in:||Tung Oil||Shellac Lemon||Poly Gloss 1,5L|
|Danish Oil||Shellac Super Blonde||Nitro Matte 400ml & 1L|
|Guitar Finishing Oil UV+||French Polish||Nitro Gloss 500ml, 1L & 5L|
|Guitar Finishing Oil Solvent-free|
* Finishing products andproduct combinations should always be tested before use
** Follow the complete safety instructions on the packaging