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Water-based varnish for guitars, everything you need to know


In this article we are going to talk about a product that is generating more and more interest among our customers. We are talking about water-based varnish.

This type of water-based varnish, due to its properties, is increasingly being used on guitars.

We will explain their advantages and disadvantages compared to other types of varnishes, such as nitrocellulose or polyurethane, and the main differences between them.


Advantages and disadvantages of water-based coatings:

Water-based varnishes have different properties and show a number of advantages and disadvantages compared to other types of varnishes.

Its main advantages include the following:

    • They do not smell, which makes them a very interesting option for use in enclosed spaces.
    • Non-flammable. Facilitates a healthy working environment by eliminating the risk of fire accidents.
    • No yellowing over time.
    • Easy to clean No solvent is needed for cleaning.
    • Ease of recoating due to its good adhesion between coats.
    • They are more environmentally friendly. Water-based varnishes are solvent-free, non-toxic and non-polluting.

There are also some disadvantages compared to other varnishes:

  • Hardness. This type of varnish has a hardness similar to nitrocellulose, and therefore marks bumps or scratches more easily than other varnishes such as polyurethane.
  • Application system: As the product is not available in spray format, a spray gun and a more professional application system are required (unless you apply the product with a cloth).


Tips on how to choose the perfect varnish for your guitar

When choosing the most appropriate type of varnish for your guitar, the following factors should be taken into account:


  • The finish you want. Do you want a glossy, satin or matte finish?
  • The resistance you need. Will you prioritise resistance to knocks or scratches?
  • The time you have to apply the varnish Do you have a lot of time or do you need it to dry faster?
  • The risk that may be involved in the use of each of them. Do you have a working environment that is well prepared for a possible fire?


Water-based varnishes are a good choice for guitars. However, it is important to assess what type of project you are going to carry out, and whether or not this product will be well suited to it. Although the gloss finish has been improved to a high gloss finish, it is more commonly used on guitars where a satin finish is desired.


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