Refinishing Your Satin Finish

Started by Greg Curtis, November 01, 2008, 02:42:21 PM

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Emailed Larrivee about putting a gloss on a satin finish guitar and got an answer back from Greg Warner which effectively said that buffing it out to a gloss would make the guitar more susceptible to damage from climate changes. He said 80% of the repairs he does are from damage due to climate changes. It would also void the warranty on the finish of the guitar. Do it at your own risk.
Greg
Gibson J45 Custom
Larrivee L-03R
Fishman Loudbox Artist Amp
May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead...

I can understand voiding the finish warranty. I'm no expert, but likely few coats on the satin guitars, because they aren't buffed to a gloss. So buffing into the wood could happen.

I have, though, buffed out my Epiphone Masterbilt AJ. Looks so much better.

I can't understand how buffing a guitar out "would make the guitar more susceptible to damage from climate changes."

Thanks, Greg! Interesting.
Dave
'12 L-03RW Italian Spruce (Wildwood)

Quote from: dave42 on November 01, 2008, 11:39:53 PM
I can't understand how buffing a guitar out "would make the guitar more susceptible to damage from climate changes."

When you buff a satin finish, you are removing some of the finish. The thinner finish does not offer as much protection to the wood.

Jim

But wouldn't using a good polish and carnuba wax give some sort of protection from the elements.
Greg
Gibson J45 Custom
Larrivee L-03R
Fishman Loudbox Artist Amp
May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead...

Quote from: jwsamuel on November 02, 2008, 08:27:10 AM
When you buff a satin finish, you are removing some of the finish. The thinner finish does not offer as much protection to the wood.

Jim

This would make sense if humidity can pass through the finish but I didn't think it could.

Quotesusceptible to damage from climate changes

Not to stir any dust, but it's only finished on the outside... The inside gets 'climate changes' all the time. Just a thought.  :smile:

But yes, protection on the outside from elements, sweat, drink spills, etc.. is good.  :smile:
Dave
'12 L-03RW Italian Spruce (Wildwood)

Quote from: dave42 on November 02, 2008, 07:58:06 PM
Not to stir any dust, but it's only finished on the outside... The inside gets 'climate changes' all the time. Just a thought.  :smile:



Good point, but the outside finish does make a difference concerning humidity. It's only about half the surface area that can absorb moisture when the guitar is finished. Some builders do put a thin coat of shellac on the inside.

it would also depend on how you went about buffing it. I've seen jobs done professionally where they used sandpapers and buffing arbors.

I used polish and a lot of elbow grease, and got very nice, (not very dramatic,) results. Just a bit of a sheen and clearer wood grain. I've finished Fender-style guitars using nitrocellulose and polyurethane and can't see how hand-rubbing would take off any finish, especially one that has been cured for a long time.

I actually think satin finishes look really good on an acoustic guitar. But if you need to use the guitar in the studio before you've had time to significantly wear the finish naturally, it's probably a good idea to do at least some polishing to get rid of the dreaded "swish" sound.
2008 Larrivee LV-03R
Ibanez Prestige Artstar AS-193 Semi-hollow
1979 Benedetto/Tobias Oval-Hole Archtop
Fender Deluxe Reverb
Phil Jones AAD Cub-100
L.R. Baggs M1, Para and iBeam
K&K Pure and Ultra Pure and Pure XLR preamp
ADK Mics for recording, EV and Shure for gigs
And a bunch of other stuff I need to sort out...

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