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Tweed lacquer or not?


Mojotone tweed kit arrived and I am fired up for my first amp build. Do many of you builders put on lacquer coats on or leave the tweed in its natural state? What’s the advantage or not?


... put on lacquer coats on or leave the tweed in its natural state? What’s the advantage or not?
If you do not lacquer/shellac tweed, any dirt or oil easily gets in the fabric and may never come out. Lacquer/shellac will eventually wear, but it keeps the stains out. It's also an opportunity to adjust the tweed's color.


Zinsser shellac, amber if I remember right.
Tried the also popular Polyshades stuff but it dries slow and doesn't smell as bad. Plus I like the looks of the shellac better, but that's me.
Those two products seemed way more popular than laquer when I was looking into it.
If you Google the subject of coating tweed you'll have reading and videos enough to last a lifetime. :)


Gold Supporting Member
I have a old, old re-tweeded TV Deluxe with no lacquer and it looks like burlap. Apply some type of light lacquer.


Gold Supporting Member
Everybody KNOWS there’s a little extra treble in that lacquer!

Mojotone lacquered mine prior to picking it up at the class. Unlacquered tweed always reminds me of a Fender Blues Deluxe/DeVille.


^^^ I made this guitar^^^
Lacquer is easy, but you do need to wait a month for it to cure. I did a tinted coat of shellac first and then sprayed 5 coats of Stew Mac clear gloss. It came out fantastic.


Play it like you mean it ~
Platinum Supporting Member
I did this MojoTone 5E3 with a single coat of brushable lacquer as a basecoat and then a few sprayed coats of amber shellac, no lacquer topcoat. Because the tweed fabric may absorb the shellac differently in one area than another, the lacquer base coat allows for a more even coat. Each successive coat of shellac melts in to the previous one. If you are brushing it on and linger a little too long or try to touch up an area you can sometimes disturb and almost wipe away the previous coat(s). By having the lacquer base you can wipe all the shellac off and start over if needed. I learned that when doing a Richter tweed years ago. The Richter also got a top coat of lacquer. Because shellac is not impervious to alcohol a beer or drink left on the amp can dissolve it and leave a ring. The lacquer topcoat prevents that.
In the third photo is a MojoTone Champ with just a few coats of brushed amber shellac with no lacquer basecoat or topcoat. It's a poor photo but the cabinet looks very nice.
P.S. The 5E3 kit sounds incredible !




Platinum Supporting Member
Shellac is where it's at. It is alcohol based and that's why you will see "rings" on top of amps from someones whisky. The old original Fender tweeds finish will lift with denatured alcohol (or alcohol drinks). If you are super careful you can do some minor repair and touchup with it. I suppose the pre-mixed and spray are ok. I used to do a lot of high end furniture building and mixed my own from the real shellac flakes. It's a fun process and not as dangerous and lacquer fumes, but still flammable. It is a pretty forgiving finish but it does dry quickly.


Silver Supporting Member
Untreated tweed can fray and look scruffy. How do these finishes react to typical scrapes and bruises?

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