Lacquer Master – Addam Stark

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Ive been wanting to go into a little more depth about the finishes on my guitars for some time now and decided an entry here would be a good spot.


If you own one of my guitars that has a lacquer finish, it was done by the legendary Addam Stark (note the 2 d’s!).  AND if you own one of any other California “Bay Area” luthiers guitars, chances are Addam did the finish as well.  If he didnt do the finish on your California Luthier guitar, he probably  consulted with and or taught the person who did the finish on your guitar!  If you own a Santa Cruz Guitar Company guitar built somewhere between 1995 and 2005, its pretty likely Addam did your finish!

You get the point. He has prepped, sprayed, buffed and polished probably more guitars that anyone on the planet. Sunburst, solid colors, tints, relic’d, vintage recreations and custom one offs. He  has done it all. Some of the most beautiful 3 tone sunbursts, smooth transitions and gradients, Addam makes look easy to do, but nearly impossible unless you have thousands of hours in the booth. A true master of color and touch.

While I dont want to advertise it, he has given away much expert advise and information to people  in need of a solution. Addam has helped the solo luthier in his garage, Luthier schools, and many large companies trouble shoot new materials and process. Wether its staining and pour filling chemistry, Lacquer solvents and solids ratios, adhesion issues, contamination and material cooperation, buffing compound and wheels, he really has been through just about all there is. Addam mainly focusses on Nitrocellulose but he has also done plenty with Poly, UV cure, oiling and shellac.

When you order a guitar with me, this is the kind of attention and expertise that goes into your finish. The customer, Addam and I all go over the color scheme that will go best with that particular instrument. Often a customer will send pictures and a description of the sunburst, gradient and style or particular color of finish that is desired. We go over this together and let Addam do his magic.

Like many of us, after Graduating from Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, Addam moved to Santa Cruz to study and gain experience in guitar building.  He’s a family man and a true member of the “Luthier Community”, I’m proud to call him a friend and am honored to work with him on a weekly basis.

Thank you Addam for all your help and expertise!

Click here for a link to his Facebook page.

Here are just a few examples of the finishes Addam has given to my guitars.


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