View Full Version : Nitrocellulose vs. Water-Based Lacquer

07-26-2010, 05:00 AM
I've read just about everything I can find on the forum relating to the subject of finishes, and am still having problems deciding which route to take. So, I thought I'd ask everybody on here. For a koa tenor, oiled up with Watco, which type of lacquer would be best, Nitrocellulose or a Water-based, such as Target EM-6000? Any kind of general insight into the finishing process and any tips you guys may have are also greatly appreciated. I'm just trying to get a great, glossy finish so I thought I'd ask the best. :)

07-26-2010, 06:23 AM
I'm not familiar with the Watco oil finish, but if you put enough on to build a gloss layer then I wouldn't suggest using anything like a lacquer because it is too brittle. Brittle finish over a soft finish will result in checking. If the oil has soaked in then you might be able to go over it with a harder finish but I'd put a coat of shellac on it first. Why not finish it with an oil finish?

07-26-2010, 06:25 AM
The oil has all soaked in, and I just really love ukuleles done with gloss finishes, and I think it would really bring out the grain in the koa even more with a gloss finish. The shellac is probably a good idea, cause everything bonds to shellac haha

07-26-2010, 09:59 AM
Watco Danish Oil, used to be advertised as a resin oil, which I think is a mixture of oil stain and varnish that you wipe on and then wipe off. It is a one-step process. I think you can coat over it but I vaguely recall there was a 72 hour drying time before putting a finish on it.

I used to use it on the teak on a small sailboat we had. I never added another finish on top of it.

Since it is oil based, I don't think I'd put a lacquer over it. I'd go with an oil based finish.

I'm sure someone here has more experience with it than I do.


Steve vanPelt
07-26-2010, 10:28 AM
here's a good thread on using lacquer over oil....http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?12789-William-King-s-oil-finish-lacquer-regime