Posted on January 12, 2010March 3, 2022 by Dale Phillips Review: Spray Finishing Basics by Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie Review: Spray Finishing Basics by Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie Reviewed by John Calkin Originally published in American Lutherie #61, 2000 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Six, 2013 Video: Spray Finishing Basics Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie Stewart-MacDonald, 1999 This video is broken into two distinct segments, each of which covers the complete finishing process in its own manner. In the first portion, Dan Erlewine finishes an ash strat-style body in a Fender blonde color. This is a white finish that allows the wood grain to show through. In furniture work it’s usually called a pickled finish. In the second segment, Don MacRostie paints a bound alder tele-style body pink on the face and black on the back and sides. All colors are mixed in the shop from a clear lacquer base, and a good amount of time is expended demonstrating the process. Alder and ash require different prep treatments, and this is also a feature of the tape. Builders of acoustic guitars shouldn’t feel left out, since the color coats are followed by clear finish, and working with clear is the same, regardless of whether it goes over sealed wood or colored lacquer. The idea was to pack as much information into the allotted time as possible. The application methods used by the two men differed drastically. The three basic steps of wood finishing are wood prep, finish application, and sanding/buffing. It often baffles beginners to find out that if any step is less important than the others it’s the second, the application. The acquisition of a compressor and a quality spray gun hardly guarantees a good finish, but a talented luthier can do a good job with the unlikeliest gear. To prove it, Erlewine finishes his guitar entirely with aerosols. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.