With the stain where I wanted it it was time to get ready to spray.

I started by using some grain filler on the headstock to fill in those gaps, this went pretty easy.  I used some spare plastic to apply and scrape smooth.  I then sanded with 400 grit and repeated twice.  After this dried I decided to darken the headstock a bit with some brown stain, I was really happy about this choice as it let the inlay show a bit better.

I was concerned about spraying for two reasons.  1) I was using aerosol spray, so much of the stuff I have read was specific to using a spray gun. 2) I don't have a spray booth, I would have to do this outside, which means dust, pollen, and weather. As with many things in this build in my 1 bedroom apartment, I had to take what I could get so I stopped stressing and started spraying.

I put a hook in the roof of my porch and one in my closet, I figured if I built a mandolin I could handle some spackle.  I bent a wire hanger to hold the mandolin.  The plan was to spray outside, let it cure for a hour or so until not as smelly and dangerous then move to my closet for the rest of the cure time. 

I used Colortone Aerosol Nitrocellulose Sanding Sealer and Clear Varnish.  I would soak the cans in hot water for 10 minutes before use and shake for at-least 1 minute before spraying. My spray schedule consisted of the following;

 - 3 Coats of sanding sealer with 4 hours between coats
 - Wait 24 hours
 - Level sand the sealer with 400 grit
 - 3 Coats of varnish with 4 hours between coats
 - Wait 24 hours
 - Scuff sand the dust and whatnot off of the varnish, level land any sags or drips
 - Repeat the varnish process until 12 coats are applied.
I had to do much less level sanding than expected, the heated lacquer went on even and thin which made me very happy.  After a handful of coats I was feeling much better about my anxieties and just slowly worked the process.
I have to say, it was quite exciting to see this thing getting some shine (and to be able to handle it without staining my hands) and I was pretty happy with the end result.  I hope I have a thick enough layer to support the finish sanding and buffing in a few weeks.

Now it is time for this thing to rest for a few weeks and it will be time to polish it all to hopefully a mirror finish.

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