What is Golden Age nitro and where does this varnish come from?


golden age nitrocelulosa

During the 50’s and 60’s, the nitro that was used, as any other type of varnish or product, had lower performance than any other manufactured today.


these “worst qualities” resulted, among other things, in a less elastic coating, which caused cracks to form on the surface when there were sudden changes in temperature.


This is because wood expands and contracts with these temperature changes, and nitrocellulose could not do so in the same way without producing cracks on its surface.


Today, the research and development of new additives has improved the properties of nitrocellulose, preventing defects such as this cracking that was very frequent in those years. The objective of all industrial varnish manufacturers was to obtain a more elastic product that would not crack easily and would take longer to age.


However, for those of us who are guitar and bass aficionados, we have a special preference for vintage instruments.

Therefore, many of our customers and guitar enthusiasts with whom we have spoken at fairs and events we have attended, have shown us their desire to obtain again this type of varnish without additives or plasticizers.

This was a big challenge for our laboratory, as certain additives and plasticizers had to be eliminated, and getting the product to work properly in the guitar was not just a matter of removing these components from the formula.

That is why after months of R&D and testing of old nitrocellulose samples we have launched this new product for sale.

What is different about the different Nitorlack nitrocellulose?

Knowing in detail the Nitorlack products before starting the painting process on your guitar is one of the main questions of all our customers.

That is why our job, as experts, is to explain to all these luthiers, builders and guitar enthusiasts, everything they need to know before choosing the type of nitrocellulose to use in their guitar.


Since the presentation of our new product “Lacquer Golden Age” this article has been in high demand by our customers, as this product has generated a lot of expectation in the sector because of its properties.


What is the recommended finish for making a vintage guitar? Relic or plasticizer-free? What are their main differences?

We know that the availability of a new varnish generates a lot of debate when deciding to use one or the other and it is important to know their differences. For this we will base our analysis on the tests that we have done ourselves as we have been developing the product.

First of all, it should be noted that Nitro relic does contain plasticizers, and has a completely different chemical composition, although it achieves a cracked effect.

After months of testing this new product with various professionals in the sector, the final conclusions we have jointly reached are as follows:


  •  Nitro relic cracks more easily and in many occasions it is not necessary to subject it to freezing processes to get the crazing to start on the surface. By contrast, in the Golden Age nitro, to achieve this cracking it is recommended to put it in the cold, because if not it will be difficult to obtain the first cracks quickly.


  • We have also been able to verify that the gloss level is similar or even higher in the Golden age nitro. Some of the professionals who have used the product state that they will also use it as a substitute for the gloss finish.


  • The speed with which it ages and is superior in the Golden Age nitro.


  • The new Golden Age nitrocellulose does not contain plasticizers and therefore has a faster drying time.


  • The lines produced with this plasticizer-free nitro are thinner and all usually follow the same direction. However, in the relic finish the lines are thicker and take different trajectories. Although this may vary and may not always be the case, it will depend on other things.

In this photo you can see for yourself the difference between the relic finish (left) and the golden age (right).
However, the result will not always be the same for both products, as this can differ greatly depending on how the product is applied and how the whole process is carried out.

no plastifizers varnish

Our recommendation:

In case you want a more visible crack, we recommend the relic, however, we believe that this new nitro will create the desired effect when it comes to getting a vintage guitar.

In my opinion, I don’t think this nitrocellulose is better than any of the ones we have, just different.

Therefore, I recommend using it on your next coating job so that you can draw your own conclusions.


If you want to get information about how to carry out this varnishing process, you have the complete process in the new product sheet.
Don’t forget to tell us your opinion and show us the final result you have obtained.

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