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Finishing Questions

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 107
Hi all,

The bindings are on, and i'm currently sanding the body smooth (surface prep). So that means I get to start the enjoyable task of finishing soon.

Since I want a satiny finish, here is what I was thinking of going with for a finish:

1) Neck
a) Pore filler (probably Enduro) for the neck and headstock overlay
b) Tru Oil finish over the pore filler

2) Body
a) Pore filler for back and sides
b) KTM-9 (satin) for the top

First, is this a sufficient for finishing? Do I need a shellac washcoat on the bare wood prior to pore filling? It a washcoat necessary or will it make a difference if I don't use it? If I do need a shellac washcoat -- can I use shellac from a can or spray? Mixing and cutting seems a lot of work if it's done just for a washcoat.

Any other recommendations suggestions would be greatly apreciated!


P.S.: I have no idea why this post is being centered!

Jul 13, 06 | 4:54 am

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 113

See the current post on TruOil finish regarding your first question. Also in the Finishing section, there are some good strings on using KTM-9. ALso, the LMI site ( has some good info on it.


Jul 15, 06 | 12:45 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Mark -- I've always used shellac as a wash coat, going on many recommendations of people who know what they're talking about. The clear Zinnser from the can is okay. I usually cut it down to a 1 pound cut, pour some into a plastic container, seal it for a day or two, and the wax all settles out. So if you want to use it dewaxed, you can just slowly pour off the clear part and use it. Spray will also work fine.

Use only "synthetic steel wool" and "non-stearated sandpaper" on the water based stuff so you don't get tiny rust deposits in your finish.

Test the TruOil over the waterborne Enduro on scrap. It should work, but you don't know for sure 'til you try it.

Jul 16, 06 | 4:36 am

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 107
Bill -- never having "cut" shellac before, how does one make a 1 pound cut from the canned type of shellac? And do you have a good source for "synthetic" steel wood and "non-stearated" sandpaper?


Jul 18, 06 | 3:47 am

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 5
guys, what is this KTM-9? Thanks.

Jul 20, 06 | 9:04 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Mark -- on the Zinnser shellac can is the cutting formula for making the difference cut mixes. If you're mixing your own from flakes, it's different, but you can get the formula easily by searching on google.

I get synthetic steel wool from Woodcraft stores, but Home Depot also has it, though they are always out of the "fine" (0000) grade. Basically, synthetic steel wool is the same stuff as on two-sided "pot-scrubber" sponges from the grocery store, but it's graded.

Non Stearated sandpaper is available at Woodcraft and other wood working stores, or on the internet. Google for it too.

Mark, if you aren't spraying, and if you have another $$28 to spend to get the best finish, go to Dakota Art Brushes and buy a DaVinci Cosmotop 5080 watercolor wash brush. It is the only brush I have found that loads well, puts on a thick coat, leaves no bubbles and practically no brush marks. Nothing else has worked, and I've tried everything else. I use the 1 7/8" width, my pref, but others are available. Yeah, it's just a brush, sort of like Tommy Emmanuel is just a guitar player.

Welcome to the forum!
KTM-9 is a waterborne lacquer that many home builders are beginning to use. Some pro luthiers are using it, too. Go to and look at their home page; there's a section on it, and links to detailed information on its use. Its manufacturer is Grafted Coatings.


Jul 21, 06 | 6:00 am

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