Lacquer available in canada

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Jean-Philippe regnard
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:35 am

Lacquer available in canada

Post by Jean-Philippe regnard »

Hi everybody,
I'm from Canada and i'm finishing my first electric guitar (hope that it's not the last!!!).
I looking for a satin or semi gloss lacquer for my guitar solid body.
However, since it's my first guitar, I don't have all the material to make one completely.
I will equip myself gradually with the next guitars.
For the finishing, i don't have a spray gun so i have to deal with lacquer in spray can.
I'm looking for clear (satin or semi-gloss) polyurethane lacquer (no-yellowing) in spray can which is available in hardware store in canada.
I find this: Varathane Diamond Wood Finish - Outdoor (Water, Satin) available in home Hardware ( ... 1000423123. Has anyone ever used this product for a guitar finishing? Does anyone know of another product that meets my requirements easily available in Canada?
otherwise, I also found an acrylic lacquer that meets my requirements however I do not know it's good as a guitar protection. It does not turn yellow but it does not turn out to be hard when dry.
However, it seems that it has already been used as a finish.
For information, I don't want the discussion to slip on the influence of lacque on the sound. I have already found enough discussion that turns on this topic where everyone have his opinion on nitro and poly laquer. I especially want to have advice or feedback on the practical aspect.
Thanks a lot for your answers.

Brian Evans
Posts: 900
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Brian Evans »

I've not found an over-the-counter spray finish available in Canada that I would use for guitar finishing. In particular, Beautytone spray acrylic lacquer is bad for peeling and flaking after a year or so. Shipping of nitrocellulose lacquer is essentially banned in Canada. None of the spray products from Stew-mac or the other luthiery supply places seem to be available. I have had great success with Brite-tone instrument finish, which I bought from Wood Essense, a Canadian supplier in Saskatoon that ships all over. Brite tone is a sprayable finish but I think it can be brushed. They also supply General Finish products (Endurovar), the subject of a very long thread here a few years ago, that you can surely find and learn from. Another very good choice is EM6000, which I buy from Lee Valley, can be sprayed or brushed.

Gordon Bellerose
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

I am Canadian also, as you can see from my signature.

I have used some of the same products that Brian mentions, with good results.
EM-6000 is a good water base lacquer. I dries really clear, with a tinge of blue after 10 or 12 coats.

Britetone from Wood Essence is definitely the best, and MOST EXPENSIVE. It is a high solid water base lacquer that builds fast, thus fewer coats.
I spray it, but the literature says you can brush it also.

It dries water clear, so it won't affect the color you may have under it. I generally get the thickness I need after about 8 - 9 coats.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Andy Bounsall
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:29 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Andy Bounsall »

I used satin Varathane Diamond on the first guitar I built, many years ago. As a satin finish, I didn’t try to polish or buff it. Wet sanded to about 1500 and left it at that. It seemed to work ok. I still have that guitar and have had no issues with it.

I’m now using Target Coatings EM6000 which I spray on with HVLP but I believe it can be brushed or wiped on as well. You can buy it at your local Lee Valley store.

Freeman Keller
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:34 am

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Freeman Keller »

My friend sent me this. I'm passing it along verbatum - if you want to contact him PM me and I'll set it up

Hey Freeman, so there's a company called Richelieu Hardware, ( They sell Mohawk instrument lacquer. But they only sell to contractors, you can't buy over the counter, or online. Having said that, getting set up with an account was a breeze, I just had to jump through the typical bureaucratic hoops, which wasn't difficult, and I get the sense they'll take anyone.

They have aerosols of nitro-cellulose but only clear as far as I can tell. I ended up buying a pint for a repair I'm in the middle of so I could tint it. But I have rudimentary spray equipment, I don't think the poster on the other forum does. But maybe he just needs the clear?

Marshall Dixon
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Marshall Dixon »

I also like Target Coatings EM6000. Several light coats of shellac as a sealer will bring out the grain of the wood and shift the color away from the bluish tinge, characteristics that seem inherent to the waterborne types.

I've been using Verathane products (both oil and water) for finishing dining tables, coffee tables, dressers, chairs, etc for years.

I've used Verathane Diamond (waterborne) finish for oak floors in a living room and it held up well in high traffic areas. For an acoustic guitar, that will undergo more movement from humidity changes, there might be a problem with checking. But the oak flooring I installed was only 3/8" thick. This is tough stuff. Put some on a scrap piece and pour some boiling water on it. Rub it against a belt buckle. That would be a good test.

I think it would work fine.

Marshall Dixon
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Marshall Dixon »

Jean-Philippe regnard wrote:
I especially want to have advice or feedback on the practical aspect.
Hello Jean-Phillippe,

I came across this thread last night and it brought to mind your question. This is a very informative discussion of various types and brands of waterbourne finishes and their practical application. Some of the issues covered are things like stirring, coloring, thinning, sanding, polishing, application, curing, etc. ... b.1116168/

It's 62 pages and I'm not done yet.


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Steve Sawyer
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Since it was mentioned a couple of times in this thread, I can confirm that Brite Tone can be brushed with excellent results. I just wrapped up a build finished with brushed Brite Tone, and am really pleased with the results. Any flaws were user-initiated, and not in any way the fault of the finish or the application method. Looking forward to using it again (brushed) on my next build which should come out even better with the experience I've had.

Rick Milliken
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 10:05 pm
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Rick Milliken »

Late to the discussion but I’ll add this just in case.

I came across a product through a Benjamin Moore dealer, Old Masters Brushing Lacquer. It’s packaged as a nitro-cellulose lacquer meant to be brushed on. I experimented a bit with it but decided against using it much just because of the fumes. But, it seems to make a very “lacquer” type finish, dries really quickly, crystal clear etc. Might suit your needs.

Christ Kacoyannakis
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:58 pm

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Christ Kacoyannakis »

I'll add a plus one for Brite Tone. I have used KTM-9, and EM6000 in the past, with great results, but they do have that bluish tinge. I sprayed the Brite Tone right in my basement shop with an HVLP conversion gun (the Iwata LPH-80 - fantastic gun) and a small pancake compressor. I had a small fan behind me, and I set up a small impromptu booth made of styrofoam insulation panels. I cut a section out of the center panel, taped in an HVAC filter, and put a larger fan behind that sucking the overspray into the filter. There really wasn't much overspray in the shop, and just some light dusting of the machines behind the filter. Plus no fumes in the house, and my family didn't complain. As I am sure you all know, when finishing is concerned surface prep and patience are paramount. I did three coats of pore filling with Solarez UV cure epoxy, 5 coats of the Brite Tone sanding sealer and 8 coats of Brite Tone. I let it cure for a solid month. Dry sanding with Super Assilex sheets was super easy, and produced a fine white powder. After the final buffing, I was so impressed with the finish, I almost couldn't believe I had done that. I did a gloss black back on an electric, and you can see your reflection in the back. On the video I posted to Facebook, you could see my legs and shoes very clearly, as well as the camera. Can't say enough about the Brite Tone. Not sure how tough or durable it is. It is probably not as hard as a polyester or 2K finish, but very user friendly for the home shop.

Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: Lacquer available in canada

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Here in New Jersey, I searched for a consumer grade over the counter lacquer that would be suitable for a long time. I've used numerous brushing lacquers and spray cans and always was slightly disapointed. About five years ago I was introduced to Mohawk Musical instrument lacquer and it really is a totally night and day change of experience from any consumer grade product. I suspect that this is what Reranch puts in their rattle cans. If you can find any way to get it you should. Buy a gallon and re-can it into pint size mason jars. You shouldn't have any trouble making up the money for the investment with friends. Its worth every penny. Get yourself a mid level airbrush and a compressor. I use a badger Cresendo and another Badger two-stage airbrush. They're not expensive and parts are easy to get.

Its breaking the rules but I can actually finish a maple neck and give it to the client in ten days and sometimes less if the humidity is low. I've polished out the Mohawk lacquer after only three days -- pushing the limits but its awesome stuff. Another thing I like about it is that it wears well. Like any vintage instrument that gets used often, the way it ages is much like you'd find on an old Fender or Gibson working mans guitar.

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