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What's the deal with "Nitro finish"

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by ultraeconomike, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. ultraeconomike

    ultraeconomike Strat-Talker

    Apr 27, 2009
    Los Angeles
    People seem to mention it a lot on this site. If it's thin and will wear down to the wood easily then that's exactly what I'm looking for Where do you get it and what is the exact product name?

  2. kappa2583

    kappa2583 Strat-Talk Member

    May 1, 2009

  3. Axis29

    Axis29 Strat-O-Master

    Mar 9, 2007
    Stafford, Virginia
    Any finish can be put on thin. Factory Nitro tends to be thinner than factory Poly finishes. but even if you finished it yourself in poly, you could spray it on nice and thin, then buff it back to smooth... but it'd still be thin and wear through quickly.

    The biggest difference for me is in the feel. Nitro gets a nice velvety soft feel. Poly stays plasticy feeling.

  4. StratmanNick

    StratmanNick Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 24, 2008
    Cornwall England
    To be honest, a Nitro finish isn't going to "wear down to the wood easily". Think these things are sometimes exaggerated. You'd have to be playing that guitar one hell of a lot to get any real wear.

    My AVRI is now 9 years old and is only showing some gentle wear on the back at the tummy cut line and this is showing the original paint colour, as its ageing to a creamy yellow.

    Hope this helps

  5. ultraeconomike

    ultraeconomike Strat-Talker

    Apr 27, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Thanks from the above comments I surmise it's the number of coats you go for rather than the type of paint, although the characteristics of Nitro are probably more what I want in a paint. That and it just sounds cool like a bad a#@ funny car or something.

  6. Offshore Angler

    Offshore Angler Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 3, 2009
    NY Finger Lakes Region
    Well, there are lots of variants of "nitro" too. Like now, the "nitro" on Fender's HWY 1's is a Sherwin Williams acrylic laquer product, a far cry from the nitrocellulose laquer of old.

    The issue with real nitro is that it is not evironmentally friendly, and in some states (like California) it is almost impossible to use without getting a visit from the Board of Health, the local HAZMAT team, and OSHA. So now they use substitute nitro products.

    I imagine it was used originally because it relatively fast drying time in its day.

    Cool article about Fender's paint here

  7. chuckdup

    chuckdup Strat-O-Master

    Apr 30, 2009
    sup guys, fender was just being cheap when it went to the "thin nitro finish" in my opinion and when they were cornered on the subject claimed it was "tone" blah blah blah. a load of crap if you aske me. but people bite on the whole tonewood, nitro song and dance so i guess it works for them. fenders run the strings thru a 4 piece bridge 'sustain block, bridge plate, saddle, and saddle adjustment screws, suspended from as many as 6 screws. attached to 3 to 5 springs or sustain dampners as i like to call them attached to a claw secured by 2 more screws. bolt the necks on and hang the pickups from springs secured to a piece of 3ply plastic, sorry got a little carried away there. some really cool guitars though..........chuck