Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finishes

Solid-body electric guitars were for many years (up to the 1970s) finished in nitrocellulose lacquer.  This finishing technique is long and laborious, with the sealing and lacquer coats built up thinly one after another over a lengthy period to allow solvent to escape and the lacquer to cure properly.  Although there are more modern finishes available which are not so labour intensive and require less curing time, there's nothing quite like nitrocellulose for bringing out the beauty of wood and allowing its natural resonance to come through.  That's why we choose to use nitrocellulose lacquer on our guitars.

Traditionally, nitrocellulose finishes have been polished to a very high gloss - this adds a considerable amount of time and cost to the finishing process, with the only tangible benefit being that you can see your face reflected in your guitar!  It's a fundamental principle that Solwayer guitars are made to be played, so inevitably your guitar will sustain a few knocks and scratches unless you never take it out of its case!  A high gloss finish is more vulnerable to showing the effects of this.  So we've spent a long time (and been down a few blind alleys on the way) to develop a durable and cost effective nitrocellulose finish option. 

The result is our 'workhorse' lacquer finish which we offer as standard on our guitars.  Unlike some thin lacquer finishes which have very little wear in them, our 'workhorse' finish is designed to age slowly and gracefully as your guitar works hard for you.  It uses the traditional multi-coat finish for durability, but dispenses with the high gloss polish - instead we use a 35% gloss finish on our guitar bodies and a gloss 'dust coat' finish on our necks.  We believe these finishes are much better suited for a working guitar.

 

Our 'workhorse' finish is shown here in transparent cherry on mahogany ...

 

 ... and for comparison our equivalent full gloss finish (to order only for an additional £200) ...