My son J & I are quickly approaching the point where we need to start finishing our Tele-like guitar (our first build). See this thread for details - http://www.tdpri.com/threads/father-son-tele-build-thread.954089/ The body is ash and the neck is two-piece maple (both neck & fingerboard). Have been researching the finishing process, including sanding sealers, grain fillers, lacquers, retardants, thinners... as well as application process and technique. It is pretty clear we will need to do some trial work on off-cuts, which is fine, but would still like to keep the number of false starts manageable. J wants Seafoam green, which seems fine, though there appear to be a number of flavours of that colour. From reading numerous TDPRI threads as well as SM and LMI finishing info, it seems that once we have finished sanding to shape and smoothing (220 or 320), the next steps are as follows: 1.Apply sanding sealer. Go thin on coats, 2. Apply Grain filler (e.g. Timbermate). Sand lightly to get dead smooth, 3. Apply appropriately tinted Lacquer in multiple thin coats. Pay attention to mfr guidelines on dry time btw coats, and whether to sand (seems sanding btw coats is not advised in most cases). 4. Apply clear lacquer in multiple thin coats. 5. Buff to super smooth. We realize that there is a LOT more to it than this & that is why we need to try out the process on scrap. We are thinking of trying out a few process variants in parallel to see what makes a real difference and what produces the best results. There is a local lacquer manufacturer (10 minute drive from us), Goudey, that appears to have all the right stuff. While weekend warrior hobbyist guitar-builders who are only going to buy a gallon or so are not really their target market , we can walk into their showroom and buy like anyone else. I looked at the Goudey website (https://www.goudeymfg.com/goudey-lacquers/pre-and-post-catalyzed-lacquers.html ) and visited their factory showroom today. Goudey makes both regular nitro and pre-catalyzed lacquer and will mix a 1 gallon custom colour order based on a colour sample. The lady at the counter was very friendly and patient, though it was pretty clear she was more used to dealing with pros and people with a lot more experience. When I asked about the need for sanding sealer for either nitro or pre-cat, though the Goudey site suggests that it is not needed for pre-cat, but is needed for nitro. Hoping someone here might have some experience (or could give a bit of coaching) on whether it makes a material difference going regular nitro or pre-cat and if so, whether sanding sealer as well as grain filler is needed. Separately, would it be totally foolish to use a Preval sprayer to apply (at least initially) or smarter to go straight to an HVLP system. All of this assuming we want to do a good quality job that will last for a while, but recognizing we will make mistakes along the way and that is part of the fun. Cheers. Patrick.