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.

Read more

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.

Trade Secrets! Newsletter

How to spray a sunburst using aerosol cans

Erick Coleman uses tinted aerosols to recreate a vintage Strat 3-tone 'burst.

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 12 of 14 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Write a review

Poor choice for way open grained wood

By 4suremann from USA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First of all I've used this to paint maple necks with good results since 1996.

That said, I was anticipating no worries when I went to use it on a mahogany body and a korina body.

This is not a good choice for open grained woods. Despite grain filling 4 times and sanding off 2 coats of sand sealer and 4 coats of nitro, then 4 coats of sand sealer (per Stew Mac via email)and 11 coats of lacquer I still had lots of pits after level sanding.

I then sprayed nitro into a glass jar, let it evaporate for 4 hours then drop filled all the low spots and level sanded: 3 times.

Judging from the halos that kept showing after drop fills I suspect the paint is formulated with a flash solvent which flashes into any lows in an aggressive way.

Once level, I sprayed another 4 coats of lacquer, level sanded 2 days later, and will wet sand 800, 1200, 1500 and buff in 2 weeks time.

This process took me 6 months, but the maple necks finished with same nitro came out good in only 30 days.

I advise not to use the aerosol nitro on open grained woods, way too time consuming and labor intensive, highly reccomended for tight grain woods such as maple.

Good with a few setbacks.

By james147 from New York
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Bought 1 can of sealer and 4 cans of clear gloss for a guitar I built. The sealer went on very well with just one spit because of the cold on the cans (in southern new york where i live its around 35 degrees). However, after sanding I sprayed 4 coats of clear gloss, and it goes on pretty good. It spits a ton though. After I was finished with the coat I had lacquer running down my glove and it spit a good 4 or 5 times on the instrument. I mean its not difficult to remove a spit but its annoying when that happens.

But, the photo to your right shows that it makes a great finish (it'll get glossier when i buff it)

Functional enough for me

By CRMandomaker from Castle Rock, WA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I used this product when I built my first mandolin because I didn't want to invest in spray equipment. All nozzles are not created equal here, so I coveted those that produced a nice pattern. Dried very fast, even though the temp in my garage was always below 70. All in all a pretty decent product that I will buy again.

Overall Great Lacquer

By Lindsay from Hartford, CT
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, December 02, 2010

I build my own guitars, and a big part of what I do is painting them. I have used this lacquer on two different guitars so far, and they have worked well on both. The lacquer always comes out smooth, but only if you do it right. Unless you have your own painting shop/building, you will have to use it outside.

You have to spray when the humidity is below 55%, and the temperature is between fifty and eighty degrees. Spray the lacquer about 6 inches from the object and go smoothly back and forth. Light coats work best, other wise you will notice the lacquer runs, and the only way to fix that is to sand it.

The only problem I have with it is that it has such a heavy smell that you are almost forced to use it outside, or else you will stink up the whole house!

Overall great buy, especially because it's hard to find lacquer, let alone specific lacquer for guitars!

No Brainer Finish

By Musicmishka from Johnson City, TN
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, November 25, 2010

Easy to use, no spitting, great coverage, fast drying time, great product. I highly recommend it.


By Rich Davis from Los Angeles, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I made a rosewood Martin guitar kit 12 years ago and finished it with Clear Gloss spray Lacquer. I was very pleased with the results. This time, I figured I'd put the Clear Satin spray Lacquer on my second homemade guitar, made out of some beautiful rosewood I bought in Nepal.

I sprayed on two cans of base coat and four cans of satin finish, about 15 coats in all. I did all the spraying in my garage in the evenings, temperatures in the 70's to 80's and dry conditions. I sanded between every third coat, and before the final coat as per instructions. It seemed like I was breaking through during sanding even after multiple coats, but I blamed this on my ham-fisted sanding technique.

In the end, it came out great, at first. I only waited 3 days before putting on the tuning machines, and it the finish cracked underneath as I tightened the machines. I blamed that on my impatience. The rest of the guitar looked awesome, like a pro finish. I set it up and played it, delighted.

Now, 8 weeks later, the guitar looks like it's been treated badly for a decade. I've kept it in a humidified case and taken it out only to play, sitting around on a couch (no live gigs or abuse.) The slightest trauma leaves a ding, including dropping a credit card sideways from a height of 1 inch. Cracks have started to form in the finish the way they do on "vintage" instruments. The finish looks just like my grandma's 50 year old classical guitar, that's sat in her living room on a stand for decades.

I'm starting over and sanding all the finish off. I haven't decided what I'll do now, maybe I'll try tru-oil or a brush-on lacquer.

Maybe spray finish is best done by the pros in a booth with an airbrush. Maybe my coats were too thin and I should have sprayed on a few more cans' worth. I'm very disappointed with this outcome.

Great nitro lacquer!!

By Pat H. from Southern, NH, USA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stewmacs aerosol guitar lacquer is one of the best I've used and I really like the price. The only problem I had was with the cans nozzle. I got occasional "spit" splatters from one can out of three. Otherwise I'm very happy with this product. Seems to dry faster, harder and more glossy than others I've tried.

Great Product

By Jimmy from Los Angeles
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, November 13, 2010

This is a great product. I have a spray gun, but I hate all the cleaning I have to do after every coat. The aerosol is quite a bit more expensive than lacquer in a can, but it more than makes up in convenience for a hobbyist.

Quality standard

By mike g from lebanon nh
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, November 12, 2010

I have tried several different products & I find that I prefer your. It may even come from the same factory for all I know it just seems to work for me .


By Kent Edwards
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The aerosol lacquer worked very well, though it took a lot of cans.

Displaying 12 of 14
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Shown on page 38 of our latest catalog.
  • ColorTone® is a registered trademark of Stewart-MacDonald Manufacturing Company, Inc.