Lacquer (Precat or Acid Cat) Gloss Levels and Polishing

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Established Member
19 Feb 2013
Reaction score
Hi All

I am slightly confused around the application of various sheen / gloss levels of pre-cat or 2 pac clear lacquer - say 10%, 50% 90% etc., and then polishing lacquer after it's application.

For example, if I apply 50% sheen lacquer (de-nibbing in between coats with P320, 3 coats total), and after this, then sanding progressively from P500 say up to P1200 and finish with a polish / buff with a sponge/fleece along with some t-cut type liquid - will this post sanding / polishing process increase the 50% sheen level to say, something equivalent to 80% or 90%? In which case i should just use 80 or 90% sheen lacquer initially and forego the post processing with high grit sandpaper and polishing?

All I can tell you is that when finishing guitars with satin lacquer (I think 50% or less), the finish is levelled and then the final coat is shot and that's it, no sanding or buffing.

Players find that arm or finger wear polishes up spots, but never to the level of high gloss. Some have buffed their satin finishes to a kind of gloss, but nowhere near 100%.

OTOH, full gloss finishes are buffed much finer than T-cut.

Satin finishes are much cheaper because so much less work is involved.