Making Matters: Adding primer before varnish


Before varnishing their instruments, most luthiers add a layer of primer. Vlado Tilev looks at the types available, and their effect on sound quality

It is generally considered that any penetration of varnish into the wood of an instrument leads to poor sound results and a mediocre visual appearance. There may be opposing opinions but for me, the necessity of an insulator (a primer) that prevents varnish penetration is unquestionable. Primers can be divided into two types based on their composition: oil-based and water/protein-based primers…

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