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Can I use clear fingernail polish to fix this?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by WilburBufferson, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    Even in a heavily padded Mono bag, my brand new Gibson LP Junior suffered a little oopsy yesterday. Some of the finish chipped off the headstock. This wouldn't have happened with my modern Telecaster, but oh well.

    I read somewhere here that clear fingernail polish is lacquer. Can anyone tell me if I can use this to fill in the missing finish? I would tape the area off, build up the layers and run through sandpaper grits to get the surface smooth again, finishing with polish.

    Or what would you do?

    20200131_085342.jpg 20200131_085406.jpg 20200131_085541.jpg
     
  2. Texicaster

    Texicaster Friend of Leo's

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  3. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Nothing. Really.

    Yes, fingernail polish works. But don't expect a perfect result. Levelling and polishing is really tricky. You will probably do more harm than good.

    Another way to look at it: I would buy this guitar for a used price, and wouldn't be bothered by this little ding. I wouldn't buy a guitar with an amateur filling/polishing on the headstock (and probably not even if it was a pro refinishing).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
  4. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Friend of Leo's

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    As lowcaster says, it will work but not be very pretty. I did it on the lower bout of a Tele with a fair sized chip but mainly to seal the ding and cover the bare wood. The contour was never going to be right.

    After a while you forget it and just play.
     
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  5. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    The corners on 3x3 headstocks are always going to get dinged up over time. If you fix this one you’ll just get another down the road.

    So I’d just leave it alone and play it if it were me.

    As others have said, the fix would be visible anyways if you just use clear. To get that back to new look would be more work than it’s worth, IMHO.
     
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  6. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Leave it. At least you can see how minor it is. Once you repair something like that, it will always show and then anybody who sees it is left wondering how bad it was before the repair.
     
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  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    My American Tele came with a couple of big dings like that. I Crazy Glued the edges to keep them from chipping and getting bigger. Still looks the same though.
     
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  8. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Super glue works well to fill. It isn't black though.

    Trick is to make a little dam out of blue masking tape along the edge. Layer it in, say a drop every 12 hours.

    For something that small you can level it with a fingernail file. You might want to mask the edge of the original finish so you don't touch that.

    Once you get the contour right finish it with black nail polish. Wet sand and polish that.

    Difficulty with fingernail polish is it builds thickness very slowly.
     
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  9. Toadtele

    Toadtele Tele-Afflicted

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    I’d leave it. Not the best instrument for practicing finish repairs.
     
  10. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 Tele-Meister

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    Nicks like that can be repaired with lacquer burn-in sticks by someone with experience who knows what they are doing, otherwise best left alone.
     
  11. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can buy small nitro touch up bottles. I would just drop fill it with some clear nitro and tidy it up with micro mesh and polish.
     
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  12. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Friend of Leo's

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    MUCHXS, I realize that the finish looks black from the photo, but in person it looks a series of clear coats. Was there a specific reason why you suggested black?
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    You say its a "new" LP Jr - do you know the finish is lacquer? If it is then drop filling with lacquer or nail polish can work well and be almost invisible. If it is not lacquer (and I serious doubt it is) then lacquer or nail polish may not bond with the finish and may give problems both now and in the future.

    Modern catalyzed poly finishes can be drop filled with CA and CA can be tinted if necessary. It is tricky, particularly scraping the repair back level and polishing, but again it can be done. A product that is highly recommended is Gluboost - its basically just CA but they make a whole range of products for coloring it and have good instructions on their web page

    https://gluboost.com/

    btw - you can test your finish to see if its lacquer. Take a tuner off, put a drop of lacquer thinner (nail polish remover) on within the foot print of the tuner. If it softens the finish is lacquer. If it has no effect its some modern miracle finish.
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I would:
    - put a piece of wax paper over it with a flat backing and clamp tight. maybe a small piece of wood for the backer.
    -Then feed in epoxy ($6-7 at the hardware store, self mixing) from the side to fill it slightly more than level with the side of the headstock. A plastic syringe would be nice.
    -Let it harden.
    -When you remove the block/clamp/wax paper it will be flat on top. The clear epoxy will reflect the black backing and look black.
    -Sanding the side careful will be easy because it's the side and just a slightly raised bit projecting out to sand.
     
  15. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    ZomboMeme 31012020104054.jpg
     
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  16. dickey

    dickey Friend of Leo's

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    Leave it that way & ask more for it when you go to sell since it's relic'ed now.
     
  17. bayside

    bayside Tele-Meister

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    If it was my guitar I would flow something on there to prevent further chipping or pealing. Super glue would flow the best under the damage. Clear acrylic nail polish would also work. Apply in small amounts. It won't be good looking but it will stop further peeling. In my experience. Schmee also has a good idea.
     
  18. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    The way I see it, you only have two viable options:

    A) Leave it alone and live with it.
    B) Fix it so that it's 100% invisible.

    Anything in between wouldn't be an improvement, and will do more to hurt the value of the guitar.
     
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  19. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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  20. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Leave it alone! Believe me it will look worse when your done messing with it (repairing it) than the way it looks now.

    Surprised the head didn't snap off. Must be a "real" Gibson.

    Seriously, that is some incredible macro photography, no one can see that well believe it, it will go unnoticed unless it peals or gets whacked again.
     
    Bowen likes this.
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