Finishing – DIY Kits


It isn’t by accident that iconic, big clean sounds are from guitars which tend not to have very much paint left on them! The distinctive tone of Stevie Ray’s One or Rory Gallagher’s stratocaster are just a couple of classic examples. Solvent based polyurethane and NITRO Cellulose  lacquers create a dampening filter to the natural resonance, feel and tone of a guitar.  These have been the accepted ways to finish guitars since the 1950’s and nothing much has changed, largely because they produce thick, consistent looking results, quickly. At Wudtone we have developed our own method of finishing to maximise the integrity, resonance, feel and tone of a guitar.




A complete finishing system, designed to meet a wide range of guitar based applications

Wudtone offers a comprehensive finishing system with different types of kit, to meet different needs in the categories shown below.

plus options for 

  • Satin, Satin Ageing, Extra Gloss, Extra Gloss Ageing – top coat.
  • Transparent Grain Filler 
  • Gold, Silver Highlights

Overview on the kits and how to use them:

An advantage of using a Wudtone finishing kit is that no specialist skills or spraying equipment is required. There is no spraying involved, which in itself can be hazardous when using aerosol cans with no special breathing equipment . Spraying creates the opportunity, depending on skill to lather on wet coats, spray eddys, high density around edges creating areas of considerable thickness without realising. A 400ml can of spray lacquer can be quickly used up on a body.

The Wudtone finish kits, along with method of application won’t add more finish than is needed. Slow curing, self levelling properties ensure you achieve a professional result with excellent wear and tear capability, yet reduces filtering to maximise the resonance, feel and tone of the guitar.

Using the Wudtone finish kits will :

  • enhance the beauty, integrity and natural ageing process of wood.
  • create a breatheable, hardwearing finish.
  • offer none of the suffocating tone disadvantages of solvent based poly and nitro cellulose lacquers.
  • be easy to repair ( unlike cracked lacquers) in the event of any damage to the surface.




The finish kits come with either , deep colour, base and top coats ( depending on the type of kit) , designed to meet the demands of wood. Being microporous they won’t crack or blister. The finish provides complete protection against beer, wine, cola, coffee, tea, fruit juice, milk. water and sweat! It is extremely durable and hardwearing.

The base coats include pigments and or dyes ( depending on type and colour option) . These are emulsified into natural oils, waxes and curing agents. No grain fillers, sanding sealers are required for a natrual texture as oils, pigment, dye elements soak into the wood during the application of the first couple of coats. The wood itself will let you know how much is required. Lighter woods, eg light swamp ash, need a little more than dense woods. You will quickly notice less and less base coat required with each coat and you are able to vary the density of the tint with the number of base coats,  usually between two to five.  The top coat includes more waxes, curing agents. It is also slow curing, self levelling and between 2-5 coats are usually applied.


Whilst the body kits can also be used on necks ( e.g. a set neck mahogany project) we have four kits designed for use on maple necks, shown in our online shop here. These kits are self-levelling leaving a lovely silky smooth feel on maple. They have in their mix a small amount of classical oil based lacquer. They include extremely fine particle dyes which are fantastic at highlighting any special features in the wood such as flaming, birds eye maple.

Top Coat – Satin or X-Gloss

Finishing with Wudtone offers a flexible approach when it comes to levels of gloss. You have the option to vary from an extremely thin satin ( perhaps for the very best resonance) to an equally thin but more glossy result, to a much deeper gloss (even fully grain filled with our transparent grain filler option) . It simply depends on the number of coats and the top coat option chosen. Select the top coat option, Satin or X gloss, you require when purchasing your kit in our online shop ) and number of top coats.  See the comparison pics between a single coat of satin, extra gloss top coat on a Carmine Gypsy body.

Top Coat – Ageing or non Ageing

We also offer Ageing or non Ageing top coat options. The picture below shows how the ageing option changes and warms the look of a project in a way similar to older yellowing lacquer.




Any guitar finished using our kits will quite quickly develop a lovely natural patina through use of the guitar on areas of contact such as the curved armrest, bottom edge of the guitar. You can accelerate this by burnishing ( rubbing until warm) the finish with some plain photocopy paper.


The optional gold or silver highlights are used in two ways. You can either add to a base coat to create a metallic effect, gilt the curves of a guitar

or apply neat after the base coats to embed in the grain.











































Transparent Grain Filler

Although many customers particularly like the way you can retain more of the natural texture of the wood using Wudtone, a compatible, transparent grain filler is available as an option. Because it is transparent, there are a number of ways you can use the grain filler. Recommended methods are included in the downloadable instructions. Using the transparent grain filler will enable you to achieve a flat surface look. It is particularly designed for use with more open grain woods such as Ash and Mahogany.


Please see examples of finished guitars below. If you have any questions or you require a colour not displayed, please do not hesitate to get in touch via .  Kits are generally in stock and can be purchased via our online shop .