I have searched and searched for an answer. Im planning on using acrylic lacquer, but i need to build up a bit around the sides. it looks like sanding sealer is my best option for a filler/leveler type of thing, but theres acrylic sanding sealer, and lacquer sanding sealer, not sure what the difference is, but im using acrylic lacquer soo... plus i cant find any in the USA anywhere except 43 bucks for Masters brand. otherwise all the acrylic sanding sealers are in the UK.
is there something i can use directly on the wood to level the grain, and use acrylic lacquer over? something not expensive as heck, and available in the US would be good lol
I'm not from the US so i can't recommend brands but the acrylic stuff has the option of being waterbased and the lacquer stuff doesn't. I've used a waterbased acrylic sanding sealer before but i've always had problems getting a perfectly level surface. If you get bumpy surfaces and open pores left then do a coat of shellac over the top. Shellac is a great intermediate and can be used to hold the filler so you can add the top coat.
If you're doing a transparent finish then used bleached/blonde shellac. If not then just go the regular brown stuff..
i plan on dying the top and back, so it will be transparent. i was going to dye then clear lacquer over that.
then the sides are opaque black, so i was going to use sanding sealer on the sides, then primer (if needed) then acrylic lacquer color, then acrylic lacquer clear

sound good?
Yeah sounds fine, it's just that any time you're using layers that are either both waterbased or both oil based you can have problems with colors or finishes leaching into each other. You probably won't have any problems here but it's always best to do some test on any offcuts before commiting yourself to spraying the thing... good luck.