Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step

  • 35 Reviews
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By Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie
Published by Stewart-MacDonald. The definitive book for finishing guitars and fretted instruments.

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Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step

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By Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie
Published by Stewart-MacDonald. The definitive book for finishing guitars and fretted instruments.

Learn from the pros: materials, equipment and techniques, plus three dozen recipes for famous finishes. This book helps give you the confidence to finish new instruments, refinish old ones, and perform flawless touch-ups.

The expanded 2nd edition features color stain mixing charts, a color gallery of vintage finishes, and detailed recipes for recreating them with professional results. Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step focuses on nitrocellulose lacquer, the most common guitar finish, but also includes addditional information on varnishes, oils and French polishing. Dan Erlewine's color-illustrated essay guides you through the steps of modern waterbase finishing, too. 188 pages, softcover.

A partial list of contents:

Materials and tools
Abrasives • Solvents • Fillers • Colorants • Topcoats • Buffing materials and equipment

The basics of spray equipment • Sanding • Buffing • Basic finishing steps

Recipes for popular finishes
Fender blond, sunbursts and solids • Gibson goldtop, cherry red and sunbursts • Basic Martin-style finish • Lots more!

Color gallery
Stain mixing color charts • Examples of vintage finishes • Waterbase finishing steps

Ratings & Reviews

Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step

  • Based on 35 Reviews
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Sharing the experience

By Lupinus from Montr+¬al, Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Very good. Lots of info on the different products used in finishing and the receipes for existing finishes are very instructive. A good investment.

Excellent for a beginner

By bzarembareal from Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, March 01, 2014

This book covers a lot of ground. I wish it would also cover polyurethane too

A Must Have for Any "First Timer"

By Kathieh from Danville, Calif
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, January 20, 2014

Just before Christmas my 13 yr old grandson emailed me and asked if I would help him finish the electric guitar he was building for his 8th grade class project. (I mess with different paint mediums and have some airbrush experience but have never finished or painted a guitar.) He wanted to put a Sunburst finish on it and use lacquer. So I started doing some homework and found Stewmac. I ordered this book as well as the color, lacquer, sealer and thinner. Today we finished Step 8 and it is beautiful. My grandson is really happy with the result. The book had EVERYTHING I needed to help him get the job done. Now we just have to shot it with clearcoats and polish. Easy peasy!!! Money well spent.

Great fundamentals

By unluthier from NC
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, January 09, 2014

I'm new to finishing, and really like the introduction to the foundations that this book illustrates. I especially like the explanations about the characteristics of the materials involved. Hats off to the authors of this great teaching text!

You must buy this book!

By Chris Thomas from Elizabeth, PA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, December 29, 2013

I have a few wood finishing books. All of which are great but none better address the needs of guitar finishers better than this one. Included are recipies to recreate classic Fender, Gibson and Martin finishes! A must have for any shop.

Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step

By Hearse Driver from Hanover, Virginia, USA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, December 29, 2013

Great book, The information is laid out in a logical, chronological, easy-to-follow format so that an intelligent non-luthier can be successful. I am refinishing a Gibson EB-L bass guitar that I was originally going to pay a pro to do. Not only will this save some money, but it should be a lot of fun as well.

Everything you need to know

By WBR Guitars from USA
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, December 27, 2013

A very thorough book, easy for an amateur like me to understand. I found a lot of reasons why my previous finishing attempts turned out so bad. I have wasted so much time and money through my own trial and error, I wish I'd bought this book years ago!

Guitar finishing step by step

By sicosi from scottish highlands
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Great book ,very pleased with the delivery very quick ,to Scotland uk ,just used info on this jagstang build and I'm very happy with the results ,finished it with nitro lacquer got to leave it cure for a few weeks until I can assemble ,I'm no professional just a hobbyist ,and more than pleased with the detailed instructions in the book thank very much

Nearly everything you need to know...

By Tom H from Lonoke AR
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, November 02, 2013

This book is an awesome tool, especially for the first timer! Clear instructions for finishing or refinishing a guitar or mandolin. Easy to understand and full of recipes for classic and modern jobs. If you are going to finish a guitar, BUY THIS BOOK!!!

Talks about a lot of things, I like it.

By Bruno Lobao from Brazil - Rio de Janeiro
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, August 24, 2013

I like it, talks about a lot of stuff in painting.

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