I built a Telecaster a few years back. To my surprise it worked out pretty well, taking into consideration the fact that the hardware and electronics were all pretty cheap,

I have since been in the process of getting better parts and have almost accumulated everything I need/want.
A couple of weeks back a friend and I played a house party and I noticed that afterwards the finish was coming off. It’s a simple wood stain over a basswood body and a “friend” had helped out to give it a slightly more natural wood-appearance. He also said that he had sealed and lacquered it. Clearly not well enough. Not that the absence of a little of the finish is a problem and I quite like the road-warn/relic appearance, but I want to preserve it and ensure that it will not deteriorate any further.

Any suggestions on products that are easily obtainable from hardware/DIY stores (in Australia) that can be used to good effect? And the best method of applying the finish without the luxury of a professional spray room?

I plan to have the guitar finished in the next few weeks – just waiting on a couple of things (a good input jack and ferrules) to be shipped to me.

Thanks in advance.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
I use a nitro lacquer made by Wattyl, but it's pretty pricey. It's called Stylwood 95% Gloss. I got it from a local paint store, i'm not sure if hardware stores carry it. As for spraying, I'd recommend getting a gravity-feed spray gun from an auto store and spraying outside. A good way to do it is, if you have a garage, hang the guitar just inside the door of your garage so it's sheltered from the wind and spray out the door. I'd only recommend this as a last resort though if you can't get find a spray booth.

Edit: if you haven't got a compressor to power the spray gun, you can go for a aerosol spray lacquer. Not sure if anyone in aus sells the same stuff as stew mac but some hobby stores do have good quality urethane-based aerosol lacquer.
Last edited by matt154 at Jun 9, 2011,
Thanks - I can have a word with a couple of people that live near me that may have access to a booth... A mate does custom jobs on motorbikes, so that could be an option.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
I use nitro because it's easier to fix than urethane. People say it lets the guitar 'breathe' and stuff like that, but I don't know. Just when the guitar is knocked badly nitro doesn't chip as badly as urethane and it can be easily patched. Poly sets by a different method and you can't patch over it flawlessly like you can with nitro.
Last edited by matt154 at Jun 9, 2011,
Nitro is probably the simplest hard finish to apply but is not as tough as modern 2 part finishes.

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