Fact: All Fender Guitars made since 1963 are Polyester coated. Lacquer is put on top of the poly to satisfy the general publics belief that Nitro Cellulose (nitro) Lacquer finished guitars "breathe", "dry" and generally have become the bottom line for creating great tome. I'm talking USA, Vintage collectable instruments that the general public has bought, traded, and sold for over 50 years. They came from the Fender factory with a hard plastic jacket underneath it. a suffocating wolf, masquerading under a cloak of Lacquer Fender later switched to 100% Poly and UltraViolet cured resin on Squire, Mexican, Japanese, some USA and all other imports till this day. Fact: The two-part catalyzed coating named "Fullerplast" (Fuller for Fuller O'Brien, the products creator, and plast for the obvious PLASTIC"), solved all of Fenders finishing problems; encasing the deep wood pores in a self-hardening plastic that wrapped the body in a rock-hard solid coffin. In some cases we have found it to be as thick as a.060 string. Yes, all of the wood moisture and characteristics are sealed in a virtual time-capsule, only to be vented from the body through screw holes and paint fractures. Share this info and be the hit of your next guitar gathering! Fact: Fender rarely mentions Fullerplast, or the way it prepares its bodies before applying Lacquer. If they mention it at all So, when someone tells you that a Fender "nitro-cellulose" or "nitro" finished guitar will sound better, have more warmth, or will dry out... they really don't have the full story. <---see the poly under the lacquer on the 60s era guitar <---- Here's a Tele, getting ready to be coated in Fullerplast Ask any seasoned guitar craftsman what happens when you will apply paint stripper to a Fender "nitro" finish. The nitro color comes off within minutes, leaving the guitar with a rock-hard plastic coating that can not be removed with any chemical means. Sandpaper barely scratches this coating, but will remove it with mechanical help. Heat Guns will remove the coating, but not by softening it. Apply heat to the Fullerplast coating and it will remain solid until about 300F, at which time it will crack, and pop off of the guitar. It's a fact, , its scientific, and it's the skeleton in Fenders closet, that they never want to be seen. They have kept it locked away like a bastard child, allowing players, collectors, and experts to spread the "nitro" legend as the holy-grail of tone! When did Fender start the plastic coating process, and why? Most experts agree that Fullerplast was started to be used by Fender in 1963 There are many experts that are willing to share the facts with the guitar community, just as I am. The most time consuming part of finishing a solid guitar body, is the process of filling the wood pores, and allowing the paint to lay flay, with a gloss found on Grand Pianos, or automobiles. Fender needed a fast and easy solution in order speed up production during the guitar craze of the early 1960s. Encasing the wood in a smooth, hard, "glass" jacket would eliminate up to 20 hours in each body prep. Fender even experimented with a hot dip that resembled a candy apple method. The problem was that the dip mixture would need to be at a temperature that would damage the wood, or cause body moisture to create "steam pops" in the coating When Fender switched to Alder (from Ash) as it's primary body wood in mid 1956, many books and authorities state Fender started using the product called "Fullerplast" This is a very misunderstood product. For example, there is a picture in Tom Wheeler's American Guitars, page 54 (upper left corner), of a man with long rubber gloves dipping bodies into a tank at Fender in the late 1950's. The description incorrectly denotes the man is applying Fullerplast to the bodies. Most likely, this man is staining the Alder bodies yellow, a process used on Alder from 1956 and later before spraying the sunburst finish.. Thanks to VintageGuitarHQ for this info Fullerplast is a clear, sprayed chemically curing sealer, unaffected by solvents after it dries. It's invention is often given credit to Fuller O'Brien (but often though to be named after the city of Fullerton, the home of Fender) Whether either is the case, it is now manufactured and distributed by Van Dee Fullerplast soaks into the wood and creates a seal that prevents following coats from soaking into the wood like a sponge. This means spraying the color coats is easier and the coats can be applied thinner (saving material, money and dry time). Even though alder is a "closed pore" wood, the first few coats of lacquer will soak in like a sponge without some type of sealer coat. Fullerplast dries in 15 minutes, and is paintable in one hour. It is also applied very thin. Most experts agree the actual product Fullerplast actually started to be used around 1963 at Fender. Prior to that, Fender used other products as their sealer coat, but they did the same thing. The sealer allowed any color coat (be it sunburst or a custom color) to not soak into the wood. Since the sealer is essentially a clear inexpensive primer, less color would be needed (and color costs a lot more money than a cheap sealer). Another misconception about Fullerplast is it's color. The sealers Fender used including Fullerplast were clear, not yellow. The yellow seen in the unpainted portions of a 1956 and later Alder body is actually a stain or dye applied under the sealer coat. This was used to simplify the sunbursting process. The Alder bodies are dipped in a vat of yellow stain/dye. Next the Alder body is sealed with a very thin coat of clear sealer (i.e. "Fullerplast"). After drying, the sunburst procedure is continued by spraying the translucent red (starting in 1958) and dark blackish-brown on the edges of the body, which completes the sunburst look. Finally a clear coat is sprayed over the entire body to seal the colors. By dipping the alder bodies in a yellow stain first, instead of spraying yellow lacquer, there is one less step of lacquer to mix, spray, and dry. * By fall 1964, Fender changed the yellow making it more whitish and opaque to better hide flaws in the wood. This allowed Fender to use cheaper Alder with more cosmetic flaws. The more whitish yellow was then sprayed over the sealer coat, as were the red and brown of the Sunburst. That is why the red and yellow now looks much different on late 1964 and later Fenders. This new whitish-yellow bleeds through the translucent red making it more orangish. Note that even though Fender was now spraying the yellow after the Fullerplast, they still continued to stain or dye the bodies yellow before the sealer coat. Current use of Polyester and UV coatings on Fender Guitars. Probably cause for another article is the case of Ultra Violet cured paints and sealers now used by most production guitar manufacturers. UV allows a very thick and durable coating to be applied directly over bare wood without any need for pore filling. UV cures the paint to its hardest state within minutes, not allowing the finish to soak into the wood. If you have ever chipped an Ibanez guitar, you know what I mean. Essentially, beneath every vintage Fender is an Ibanez coating in-waiting for you. WIN A BET, BUT GET A PUNCH The next time someone brags about how good their "lacquer" Fender guitar sounds, because it breathes, try this. Take a cotton swab dipped nail polish remover, and take a wipe at an inconspicuous area on the guitar. Either 1) The finish will remain un-touched, or 2) You will wipe away the color coat, and see the rock-hard, insoluble Fullerplast. If all the finish comes off and you get to bare wood, the Fender guitar has been stripped and refinished. Either way, you get to say you know something, before you hit the floor.