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

Going from satin to gloss nitro finish

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Duke42, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Duke42

    Duke42 TDPRI Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    Hello all, new to the forum and posted this on the wrong thread, I think, as I didn't get much input. So re-posting here as it's a more technical question.

    I just bought a "Wildwood 10" '62 Telecaster Custom from Wildwood Guitars in CO. This particular WW10 is not a relic, it's NOS, so theoretically it looks like a brand new '62 TC right off the production line. My only complaint is the neck finish, which is a medium tint satin nitro instead of a traditional gloss.

    My question is can you overspray a satin nitro finish with gloss, maybe slightly more tinted, nitro? Can a satin finish be brought up to gloss without cutting right through it to bare wood, destroying the headstock decal, etc., or would you have to strip and refinish totally?

    Thanks for your thoughts; I've enjoyed reading the forum.

  2. Finck

    Finck Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2017
    São Paulo - Brazil
    I think you can just try to polish the satin finish first...
  3. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Meister

    Dec 10, 2016
    Tip of the Mitt
    You can polish satin to a gloss.

    Idk enough about finishing/refinishing to advise on the nitro top coat.

    Thats quite the guitar to be modding....

    Wouldn't it have been easier/cheaper to just build or buy the guitar with the features you want? Modding a wildwood custom with a diliberate neck finish seems like an uphill battle.

    American original 62, nitro?

    American vintage 62, nitro?

    Mij tl-62, poly

    Squier cvc, poly

    All have gloss necks iirc.
  4. Duke42

    Duke42 TDPRI Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    It probably would have been simpler, yes, to buy something else or build. But to be honest, I did not realize the neck finish was satin until the purchase was already made (online) and the guitar was received. From the pictures online, I assumed it was gloss. Not sure why Wildwood spec'd these with satin neck finishes. To me, a slightly more tinted gloss would look better and more authentic.

    The other thing was the neck profile - I love beefy necks, and this one is .95 at the first fret, so that was a big factor in why I chose this one, in particular.

    Not to digress, but it's a funny thing - while I am absolutely impressed with Wildwood's customer service, I have not owned a Fender Custom Shop guitar in many years (late '90s), and I'm a bit disappointed with this guitar. For starters, the bridge plate was mounted slightly crooked, which I've somewhat corrected by loosening the screws, repositioning, then re-tightening (almost, but not perfect). The I noticed one of the tuning key shafts was not straight. Turns out the Kluson housing was bent somehow, allowing the tuning key arm to wander sideways, not being held in place properly. I fixed this by tapping the metal back into proper alignment. Then I noticed the strings were obviously not centered on the neck, which required the old trick of loosening the neck bolts and repositioning the neck to get proper alignment. To top it all off, the satin neck finish which I'm a bit disappointed with is sticky too (Ha!).

    It's a beautiful guitar, and I have no intention of sending it back (for one thing, I'm living/working in Saudi Arabia, and the hassle would be epic!), but it does make me think stuff coming out of the Custom Shop does not live up to what I remember Custom Shop quality being years ago. Someone didn't do a very good Quality Control check on this guitar. It's nothing egregious, or that I can't fix, but it doesn't make me feel real good about the premium I paid for it either.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  5. Old Tele Hack

    Old Tele Hack Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    W/R/T going from satin to a gloss neck? IMHO, the guitars I have w/glossy necks seem to get "stickier" than the satin finished necks. You can polish your satin finish neck, and that would likely alleviate any "new finish" roughness that may translate into a sticky feeling.
    Amby likes this.
  6. Amby

    Amby Tele-Holic

    I prefer the feel of an satin neck (or lightly sanded).
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  7. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

    Aug 20, 2007
    Most people seems to prefere satin and sanding of finish. I added gloss finish to my Squier custom II neck. But that was a 300 dollar guitar.
  8. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    Yes you can buff out the satin nitro to a gloss. Keep in mind that satin finishes usually have some "flattener" or very very fine powder disbursed in the coating to scatter light and give that soft surface look. You can make the surface smooth and shiny but won't eliminate any cloudiness from the flatteners. I have buffed several necks from satin to gloss, but most manufacturers are using some kind of polyester for necks (Martin, Taylor, for example). On a nitro neck (Gibson or most likely your custom shop model) it's perfectly acceptable to buff it out.

    how you do it depends on your equipment. Fastest way to do it without burning through is at a buffing station like they use at the factory. I have the 14" wheel contraption from StewMac and it was worth saving up for. But you could do it by hand with some polishing compound. Try Menzerna PO19E first. I think Stewmac has some colortone house-brand version of that. Another option is a set of sample MicroMesh foam-backed pads (they're about 1-1/2" square). Spritz a little Gibson (or other favorite) pump polish (or soapy water or naptha) on the micromesh and work your way up through the grits. The lubricant will keep the abrasive pads from clogging (or else they're turn white very quickly and will stop cutting).
    tessting1two likes this.
  9. Duke42

    Duke42 TDPRI Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    Thanks very much - very helpful info!
  10. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Holic

    Aug 12, 2016
    I have a satin nitro neck from Warmoth on one of my Telecasters. It has polished to gloss just by my hand moving over it as I play it. This of course won't do anything for the headstock area, but it seems to me that it is the least "invasive" way to solve the problem over the rest of the neck.

    Sorry to hear about the other little details that were not perfect. It sounds like a really nice guitar, I hope you end up happy with it.
  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2011
    You can polish the satin to a gloss, or you can overcoat with gloss.

    You can do the same with poly (I polished up the stock matte neck of my MIM Strat).
  12. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2014
    Arivaca AZ
    If you are concerned with looks you can re lacquer. I feel just play it enough and the back of the neck will gloss on its own.
  13. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

    Aug 20, 2017
    Federal Way, Washington
    A satin finish can certainly be buffed to a gloss. My friend did it on a satin cherry finish Gibson ES335, and it looks beautiful! My Tele (see my avatar), partscaster has a 2013 Fender American Standard neck, which has the best of both has a satin finish on the back, with a glossy fingerboard, and headstock face. My MIM Tele Standard came that way too. I love the look, and it's slick and non-sticky on the back.
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