Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Can orange peel be buffed out of a nitro finish?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by jguitarman, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. jguitarman

    jguitarman Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 14, 2003
    No CA
    I am looking at possibly buying a 2007 Les Paul Standard. The finish has a slight orange peel and I'm wanting to know if it could be buffed out. It is a lacquer finish so maybe there's hope?

  2. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

    Dec 3, 2014
    Toowoomba, Australia
    I've done it on a badlyorange-peeled nitro-finished acoustic. I used 1000 grit followed by 2000 grit abrasive paper, wet to level it. I polished with a locally made-metal polish, Ferro Reflection, by hand and using a Stewmac foam buffing pad in an electric drill. I've also watched the Stewmac pad being used by a pro luthier/repairer, so I'm confident that it is OK.

  3. BadMojo

    BadMojo Tele-Meister

    Sep 17, 2017

    Wet sand starting around 800 or 1000 grit depending on how bad it is. Work your way up to 2000 then polish with a rubbing compound.

    You can use a foam pad on a drill to get a high gloss finish. Or you can just do it by hand to get the aged look.

    Make sure each time you sand you get all the shiny spots out before moving on to the next grit.

  4. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    Go slowly. A ten year-old nitro finish will have shrunk back to become thinner than a new finish.
    BadMojo likes this.

  5. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA

    Is it a STOCK guitar with orange peel? If so you must be describing VERY light inconsistencies. Gibson applies thin finishes and if stock do NOT try to smooth it.

    You might go right through it. Unless you know exactly how much material was applied trying to remove someone else's orange peel is a losing proposition. There might be one or two badly applied coats - even with a buffer you could go through the finish in seconds.

    And buffing is out. Orange peel requires sanding unless you have solid experience with large cotton buffing wheels and solid stick-type buffing compounds.

    Orange peel - if significant - is a defective finish. It shouldn't ever happen to begin with. If a lacquer is applied correctly it should be able to go to the buffer directly.

    The type of "orange peel" you sometimes see on lacquer or car finishes, though, is not something that's removable. It is what it is.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.