Behlen Nitrocellulose Stringed Instrument Lacquer, 1 quart

  • 31 Reviews
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A hard, durable finish that's less brittle and more flexible than standard furniture lacquer.

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Behlen Nitrocellulose Stringed Instrument Lacquer, 1 quart

Item # 4841
In stock, ready to ship!


4 or more $19.91
Quantity Discount Prices apply when you buy multiples of the same item number.
Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


A hard, durable finish that's less brittle and more flexible than standard furniture lacquer.

Stringed Instrument Lacquer is specifically formulated to accommodate the expansion and contraction of wooden instruments.

Stringed Instrument Lacquer finish has better resistance to cold-checking and scuffs than standard furniture lacquer. It's ready to spray with no thinning required, for faster finish build-up in multiple coats. This lacquer is designed for use on wood which has been sealed with Behlen Vinyl Sealer, or on unfinished wood.

One can goes a long way!
1 quart will finish 1 acoustic guitar body & neck.
1 quart will finish 2 entire mandolins.
1 quart will finish 2 to 3 solid guitar or bass bodies.
1 quart will finish 3 to 5 electric guitar or bass necks.
1 quart will finish 4 ukuleles.
1 quart will finish 2 to 3 dulcimers.
1 quart will finish 2 to 3 banjo rims and necks.
Keep in mind there are many application variables: your spray gun adjustments, PSI used, how heavy the coats are applied, number of coats, and desired thickness on your instrument.

Lacquer products are flammable! They cannot be shipped outside the USA nor shipped by air within the USA. Nitrocellulose lacquer products should not be used with acrylic lacquers.

California Residents: Click here for Proposition 65 information.

Product Instructions

Nitrocellulose Finishing Schedule

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

Ratings & Reviews

Behlen Nitrocellulose Stringed Instrument Lacquer, 1 quart

  • Based on 31 Reviews
Displaying 1 of 4 1 2 3 4
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Very nice

By Steve Fillipp from Lubbock, Texas
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I've used this on several projects, and it has never disappointed me. When used with the recommended vinyl sealer, it flows out beautifully and doesn't sag or run easily. My only real beef with it is that Stewmac only sells it in quarts. Gallons would be more economical.

I've tried a different type, a furniture grade nitro, and it was ok, but didn't sand as nice and was very brittle and easy to chip. So I'm a big fan of the Behlen.

nice product

By KrashBurn Guitars from Redding California USA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, June 04, 2014

This clear spray lacquer is super user friendly and delivers pro results even for a novice like myself. Fairly new to spray finishing so I read all the reviews and followed the suggestions. I used the retarder as directed and I added a drop of flowout. Also bought the behlen reducer and used it 2:1. the finish comes out practically smooth and flat. Hardly any level sanding needed on the guitar bodies I've sprayed so far. Very happy! so far, I cant attest to the durability, but the cured finish seems to be pretty solid.

Very Pleased!

By Jon Hill from Cleveland, Ohio
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, May 19, 2014

I have used EVERYTHING over the years and this stuff works perfect. With the pigments, I can make and adjust my own colors and trans tints and it hardens nicely and buffs out easily! Easy cleanup compared to urethanes and poly and no incompatibility problems. And the bonus -- its priced right!

The Right Stuff

By tlizzard from Costa Mesa
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, May 05, 2014

This is a thinner lacquer for restoration projects or any project where super quick buildup is not required. Does not have the "filler" that other lacquers contain. Easy build-up of coats when desired and polishes out for high-gloss finish. Tints easily but pigment should be agitated frequently to keep it in suspension for even coverage. Love this stuff; after trying the others I use this exclusively. Allow two weeks for complete shrinkage, though, before final cut and buff. Otherwise, some unevenness could occur. Flat sanding to 2000 grit and polishing with Stu Mac ColorTone Polishing Compounds results in an absolute mirror finish. Also, this lacquer feels a little softer when dry than other lacquers with fillers. Should be no deterrent to using on your favorite projects.

 Better than Seagrave

By Eric from Milford,NH
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sprays very well without a lot of fuss. Easily dry sands, the next morning, with 600 grit stearated paper with no loading! No issues with build, blush or orange peel. At half the cost of Seagrave what's not to love

Best nitro out there

By Pacific North Coast Guitars from Washington USA
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, April 01, 2014

This is hands down the best nitrocellulose lacquer you can buy. At least that I've found. Doesn't stay soft. Sprays well without reducing and even better at a 4:1 reduction ratio. If its cool and moist, reduce it more and it will spray without clouding or fisheyes. And unlike water base lacquer, this stuff is ready to sand in under 48 hours. It mixes with colors very well and sprays in almost any apparatus. The drawbacks of it are obvious though. Its very toxic and noxious and extremely flammable. Use breathing protection and gloves. It will melt some plastics so use glass or metal containers only. I clean it with hardware store thinner but I would only recommend Behlen reducer for mixing.

Great finish

By guitarwoodrat from Cumberland Gap, Tn
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, March 17, 2014

This lacquer will match up to the best finish Martin, Gibson, Taylor, or any other Guitar manufacturer can spray. People are amazed at my finishes and they can't believe they are done in a little shop that doesn't have dust free conditions.

Behlen Nitrocellulose Stringed Instrument Lacquer

By Tstrongarm from Dothan, AL
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, February 28, 2014

Started worrying at first that it wasn't building enough, then it started to shine. When I get it buffed It will look great.

Worth the time...

By Tom H from Lonoke AR
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, December 23, 2013

Used to restore a 63 Strat back to as close to original as possible. Was worried that we weren't going to make it shine for the first 10 coats or so, then POW! Absolutely beautiful high gloss finish. Spend the time following the directions and you will end up with an awesome vintage finish that doesn't squash the real tone of the guitar!

Paint on Nitro

By Rick Phillips from Seattle, WA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I built a bass and first finished it with spray on nitro, which worked well. Then I put some decals on the guitar and needed to seal them in. I didn't think the spray would put enough nitro on to do the job, so I bought the Behlen and painted it on, sanding between coats with 1500 automotive water sand. I was pleased with the results, not a perfect mirror finish but suprisingly smooth and when it is cured and I buff it out I am sure I will be happy with it.

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