Glazing is different from that of bodying the guitar by two major distinctions. First, we will use a very thin cut of shellac instead of the 2 pound cut that we have used up until now. Second, we will apply the shellac without using more straight patterns and fewer circular patterns. We will apply the shellac almost exactly the same way as we stiff the guitar. That is, we will start in the middle of the back of the guitar and apply the shellac mixture in a straight line from the heel to the tail. Circular patterns are used less often and are a method to correct problem areas. The object of glazing is simply to fill scratches left by the final leveling (sanding). Lets proceed as follows . . . You can make the thin glazing cut of shellac by simply adding several parts of alcohol to 1 part of shellac that you have been using up until now. Install a clean muneca cover and add a few drops (about 3 or 4 drops) of the 2 pound shellac. Add an equal amount of alcohol to the muneca and a drop of olive oil. Again as always, smack against the back of your hand to distribute the mix. Now, in a straight line press the muneca firmly starting from the heel and go to the tail of the guitar. Remember to glide on and off the guitar.
Having adequate light will greatly help in gauging your progress.
Repeat this pattern working from the middle to the edges of the guitar always watching for the cloud. Repeat this on the top, sides, and neck of the guitar. If you discover any defects while glazing the guitar use a very fine 1200 grit wet or dry sandpaper to level the area and continue to glaze the guitar. Remember to glaze the corners of the guitar and take extra care around the perimeter. This glazing procedure serves three purposes. First, it tends to smooth any ridging while filling the micro-scratches left from the final leveling. Second, the very thin cut of shellac tends to polish the instrument to a higher gloss while adding additional shellac to the guitar. Third, since more pressure is used, it tends to harden the finish. Many expert French polishers will add additional body coats after the final leveling and then use a liquid abrasive/polishing compound in place of using the glaze coat method that we use. You do, however, run the risk of actually polishing through the finish to the wood. An abrasive such as automotive rubbing compound will remove the very thin shellac finish. We have tried both methods and agree that the glazing method leaves a much richer and deeper finish without the risk of ruining a great deal of work. Once the glazing procedure is completed, inspect the work to locate any dull areas or defects. Lightly sand defects with 1200 grit wet or dry sandpaper and add additional glaze coats to the entire area. Dull areas are probably a result of the finish being too thin or of scratches not fully filled (glazed). If you discover a defect in the side of the guitar, sand and re-glaze the entire side. The same should be done on the top, back, neck and any other area that requires attention. When the final glaze coats are dry (about 4 days) we can now polish out the guitar. Polishing This is the simplest part of French polishing. First, go over the entire instrument with Meguiar's #7 Show Car glaze. Once again, if you discover a thin or dull area, add additional glaze coats. You will need to wait at least two days after any glazing process before you can use the Meguiar's and complete the project.
Again, good light is a must. Note the smears of oil on the surface that is being glazed. The Meguiar's #7 will remove this residue easily.
If you discover a slightly dull area or tiny scratch at during the #7 process you can attempt to correct the problem with Meguiar's #9 Swirl Remover. Be careful since this product contains a fine abrasive. The idea is to polish out a defect rather than fill it with more glaze sessions. This will only work if there is enough finish present to allow for abrasive polishing. Keep in mind that many times dull areas are a result of the finish being too thin. Abrasive polishing will only worsen this type of problem. On the other hand- a thin, dull area will need to be re-glazed with more sessions anyway so the abrasive polishing with Meguiar's #9 may be worth a try.