Hollow Body Guitar Kit Finishing Queeries

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Forum topic by weasel1983 posted 02-01-2018 02:27 PM 1022 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 896 days

02-01-2018 02:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: guitar

Hello All.

Thanks for the quick add. I’ve been googling finishing questions and you guys keep poping up. So you must be a great resource.

I have this all maple Hollow Body guitar kit. I’ve got it to the point where it is assembled and stained in s subtle white stain. It has a clean blonde finish that I’d like to keep more on the blueish side of white than yellow. Minwax oil stain to be specific.

(Stained .. This is durring testing)

(Pre Stain / Post Woodburning)

How do you feel / what are the opinions on a mineral oil finish?
I really like the satin look of a oil sanded finish. (wet sanding with oil)

My thoughts going in are to wet sand with a mixture of mineral oil with possibly orange oil.

I’m aware that mineral oil needs frequent application; and I’m fine with that, I am a busker and clean and oil my guitars more often than most do to begin with.

I look forward to see what you have to say.

7 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4156 days

#1 posted 02-01-2018 09:40 PM

I’m far from an expert, but when I inquired about guitar finishes, I was told adamantly by some savvy seasoned veterans that nitrocellulose lacquer is the finish of choice.

That’s a beauty BTW.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Kazooman's profile


1498 posts in 2733 days

#2 posted 02-01-2018 10:05 PM

I have never heard of using mineral oil as a guitar finish. You are correct that where it is used it requires occasional reapplication. It is a non drying finish and doesn’t provide much protection for the wood. Mineral oil is most often used for items like cutting boards that come into contact with food. The oil will soak into the wood and will soak back out and onto your shirt on contact.

Are you perhaps thinking of a finish using some other oil with wet sanding?

View OSU55's profile


2648 posts in 2770 days

#3 posted 02-01-2018 10:25 PM

You state you want to trend to the “blue” or clear color spectrum and not the “yellow” side. Forget any solvent finish, including NC lacquer – it yellows with time. To my knowledge there are no water clear solvent finishes, possibly some automotive clears that I dont think you want to mess with due to the volatiles. You will need a water borne product. Check out Target Coatings, I know luthiers use the em6000 lacquer and em9000 poly. Both are water clear and stay that way. I use these products but on furniture not instruments. They can be brushed but should be sprayed. WB does not work well at all as a wipe on.

I do not consider anything the doesnt dry, like mineral oil, or any wax, a finish. They are treatments, requiring constant attention.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4428 days

#4 posted 02-01-2018 10:26 PM

I’ve seen oil finishes on guitars in shops.

I’ve assumed it was a linseed oil or tung oil
sort of thing.

View Sloboy's profile


6 posts in 997 days

#5 posted 02-01-2018 10:35 PM

I’m sure your google search turned this up:

I have read (because I dream to make one someday) that the finish on a guitar, especially one that is acoustic can dramatically change the tone. I wouldn’t think that it would affect electric guitars as much, but a hollow body is kind of hybrid. I would also ask on luthier forums to be sure that you get out of it what you intend. Beautiful work you did.

View weasel1983's profile


2 posts in 896 days

#6 posted 02-02-2018 02:06 AM

Thanks for the feedback.

Here’s a little more background. I will be finishing in linseed oil in about a year. But I am putting that off for a reason.

I am trying to speed wear the antiquing without being too violent with it, you know without over sanding road-wear into it. If it makes sense, I want it to look a little worn out when I do final oil it. So the idea of this fish is temporary and not the final process.

View Walker's profile


385 posts in 1253 days

#7 posted 02-02-2018 03:54 AM

Here’s an article I found on how to relic a guitar, aka how to age it. It looks like the started with the common nitrocellulose finish, wiped some off using naptha, and a few other tricks. It’s also widely known that most guitar stands will eventually damage a nitro finish because it reacts poorly with the foam/rubber, so that might be somewhere to start. Google “how to relic a guitar”, gets a lot of results.

You could always go to your local guitar center, ask them if they’ll leave it on the display floor for a week. After a week of every grubby little 14 year old in your town playing smoke on the water on it, it will look weathered!

-- ~Walker

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