ColorTone Aerosol Guitar Lacquer

  • 137 Reviews
  • Write a review

The easiest way to spray a professional finish! Produces a beautiful traditional nitrocellulose lacquer finish, without elaborate spray equipment.

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Clear gloss

Item # 3881
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $11.11

Clear satin

Item # 3882
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $11.11

Clear sanding sealer

Item # 3883
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $11.11
Quantity Discount Prices apply when you buy multiples of the same item number.
Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


The easiest way to spray a professional finish! Produces a beautiful traditional nitrocellulose lacquer finish, without elaborate spray equipment.

ColorTone® Clear Aerosol Guitar Lacquer is formulated especially for musical instruments. Fast-drying and resistant to alcohol and water, it produces a hard, durable finish that enhances the beauty of the wood.

Available in convenient 13-ounce spray cans.

ColorTone® Nitrocellulose Guitar Lacquer can be applied over smooth bare wood, sanded basecoats of grain filler, ColorTone Sanding Sealer, and over ColorTone Stains. Perfect for touch-up work, or for finishing an entire instrument. The rotating-tip nozzle can spray a horizontal or vertical pattern.

Aerosol spraying is an economical way for the beginner to apply a first finish without elaborate setup or equipment. Aerosols produce a slightly rougher surface than spray guns, however, and more sanding may be needed for a level surface.

How many cans do you need?
Electric guitar neck
Solid body electric
Acoustic guitar
Archtop guitar
Banjo rim and neck
1 can
1 can
1 can
1 can
1 can
1 can
1 can
2 to 3 cans
3 to 4 cans
4 to 6 cans
4 to 6 cans
3 to 4 cans
2 to 3 cans
3 to 4 cans
3 to 4 cans
Number of cans needed may vary depending on how heavy the coats are applied, number of coats, and desired thickness on your instrument.

ColorTone Clear Satin Lacquer typically requires fewer coats. Successive thin coats should be sanded to maintain a level surface. Don't sand the final coat; the flattener in the lacquer will give a smooth satin appearance.

Application Tips: We recommend spraying multiple thin coats, in a low humidity environment. Heavy-bodied Sanding Sealer (one coat equals two coats of lacquer) will seal stained or unstained wood before the color coats or clear topcoats are applied. At least one can of Sanding Sealer and 4-6 cans of lacquer will usually finish a complete guitar.

Use warm lacquer, not cold!
Pro shops spray heated lacquer because cold lacquer spatters, requiring extra sanding. You should warm up your aerosol lacquer too, simply soak them in a sink of warm tap water.

Our ColorTone Aerosol Finishing Kit is a great choice for the first-time instrument maker. It includes our easy-to-apply clear gloss aerosol finish with the best instruction book available!

California Residents: Click here for Proposition 65 information.

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Product Instructions

ColorTone Aerosol Guitar Lacquers

Application instructions for ColorTone Aerosol Guitar Lacquers.

Product Instructions

Nitrocellulose Finishing Schedule

A step-by-step flow chart of nitrocellulose finishing.

Ratings & Reviews

ColorTone Aerosol Guitar Lacquer

  • Based on 137 Reviews
Displaying 5 of 14 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
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colortone lacquer

By lefty's rule from duluth mn
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, October 09, 2012

this is a good product for some one who doesn't have a spray gun.and also really good for small touch-ups.

color tone

By Ronan from Burlington, NC
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, October 04, 2012

I recently purchased 2 cans of color tone gloss clear laquer for finishing a new neck. I found that the spray is very rough and when I put a clear coat over black laquer it cause the black to crack. terrible results. it caused more work than the project was worth and still isn't done because I now have to sand it all off and start over. I have been doing fine woodworking all my life, including building my own guitar. I have never had these kind of problems working with laquer when I mix it myself and spray with a gun. I will never use this product again

Awesome results

By Truebloodj from Odon, IN
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, September 28, 2012

I dont own a sprayer, so these cans make finishing a guitar easy. I have purchased this lacquer twice now and absolutely love it. It goes on easy, sands easy and polishes to a glass like finish.

Not worth the extra work

By SARC from FL, USA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I've had very good results with several products from StewMac in the past, and on my current refinish project I decided to stain blue and use the Satin Lacquer for the clear. I started with the sanding lacquer which worked ok, but when using the satin, the amount of drips, spits, sputters were totally unacceptable.

I followed the instructions and could not get this spray to be applied without getting 5-10 spits per pass. I thought maybe it was a bad can, but tried all 4 cans I purchased and each was as bad as the next. Temperature and humidity were fine, so I really believe this is a sub par product.

I sanded most of what I applied off, and switched to a brand I have used in the past (which can be purchased at local stores and is less expensive) and the difference was night and day.

I would highly discourage using this project, unless you would like to spend a lot of time sanding out the sputters (which means you will more likely need more spray, more sand paper, and more time).

Since I ended up removing what I did spray, I cannot review the final outcome of this product - it is just too frustrating to use.

By the way - the Blue stain from Stewmac came out awesome

Handy stuff.

By CWaggs from Illinois
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This is ideal for necks, & other smaller jobs. I love the satin for the back of necks on electrics. I like it for that final touch after the gloss has dried. A sweaty hand doesn't stick to satin like it does to gloss.

Colortone vs. Behlen Spray can Nitrocellulose

By SLeketa from Boston MA
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, September 20, 2012

I recently purchased several cans of Colortone Nitro for a DIY Strat project. They shipped quickly, and had easy to follow instructions and tips for first time users. I ran out, and while waiting for more to arrive from Stewmac, I made the mistake of purchasing a few cans of Behlen from a local woodworking shop. Not only did Behlen cost $6.00 more per can , but every one spit out globs of tacky half dried nitro onto my guitar body. I troubleshot every can, tipped upside down and used thinner to clear the tip, etc etc but the problem persisted with every single can I used. I had to wait and sand off these globs in order to recoat evenly. I have not used the quart sized Behlen, only spray cans.

This problem did not exist with any of the 11 Colortone cans I used. Colortone also coated more evenly and with a wider spray range.

I am new at finishing guitars, but I did a ton of research before I started, and just hoped this review would be helpful to someone else in a similar situation. Order enough cans of Colortone Nitro, and maybe even a few extra...and you will not be disappointed.

Still working on this project, but will post photos when finished here....

Works Quite Well

By SouthHill from Berkeleky, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, September 13, 2012

The dark colors were particularly easy to apply, and looked impressive immediately. The clear coats looked really good after several coats..

I ended up having to re-do the entire back of a body when I put it in the sun some 3 or 4 hours after I'd sprayed on the next-to-last clear coat (thinking it would dry faster), and big bubbles developed all over the back. Well, it looked dry, so I thought how could it hurt it? . . .. (I also found out that this stuff is really hard to get off!)

I put the cans in hot water before spraying. (They don't stay hot particularly long.) I think that helps with the clear coat, but the dark colors seemed to go on smooth whether cool or hot.

The only drawbacks are first, that the clear nozzles occasionally spattered. But I replaced the bad nozzles with one from an empty can and it sprayed just fine then. (All colors tended to spatter when they're almost empty.)

Second, the cost is a little more than I'd like to pay, when you include shipping. But you can't get nitro in California except by ordering out-of-state.

Overall a good product.


By G.Garcia from Brawley, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, August 19, 2012

About as good as you'll get out of a rattle can. I really liked the feel of the final product.

Quick and easy. 

By Edward H from Los Angeles, CA.
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Great for smaller jobs when you don't feel like hooking up the compressor and spray gun. Flows on nice and smooth and polishes up nicely.

Great, except for the tips (splatter!)

By rob0008 from Litchfield county, CT
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, August 06, 2012

Sprayed first time got lots of splatter. Contacted support, they said warm cans. Sprayed again, still got splatter (lots of trial and error here trying to warm it properly, trying different cans, using tips from different cans, cleaning tips, etc! ...followed by a fair bit of sanding each time to get rid of splatters -- one note, spraying coat(s) after getting splatter reduces the effort to clean up splatter a bit). Purchased another quality brand -- no splatter at all. But, that brand seemed to make imperfections more prominent. Put a different tip (from the other brand) on the stewmac ColorTone, and got no splatter! (didn't have to warm cans -- temperature was warm enough -- but I did clean the tip between uses). The Stewmac ColorTone lacquer is really nice, highly recommended (and I would definitely buy it again). But, you'd have to get pretty lucky to get good results with the tips that come with these cans.

Displaying 5 of 14
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  • ColorTone® is a registered trademark of Stewart-MacDonald Manufacturing Company, Inc.