Chip in lacquer sunburst...

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Engine Swap, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    135
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
    Help - I "reliced" my finish by bumping into a wall while walking around the house.

    Bummed, but I would like to keep the finish from chipping more and possibly apply an acceptable touchup.

    What are my options, other than a black sharpie? Seems like a tricky location.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    945
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Location:
    Tip of the Mitt
    Laquer is GOING to chip...


    If you don't like that (largely the reason for nitro) I would suggest a poly guitar.
     
    Steve Holt and MilwMark like this.
  3. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    190
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Have it repaired by a luthier/tech
     
    rolandson likes this.
  4. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    135
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
    Can you explain what you mean by "largely the reason for nitro"?
     
  5. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    945
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Location:
    Tip of the Mitt

    Nitro laquer is a very flawed finishing medium. Most industries used nitro at one time, once something better came around they all moved on from nitro very quickly.

    It typically very thin/shrinks/checks/chips/has low tolerance for bumps/low tolerance for humidity and temperature changes/etc.

    It's use in guitars is entrenched in vintage enthusiasts desire for a period correct finish.

    All of those quirks (problems) I listed are also the reason guitarists like it. It becomes old/weathered/used/broken in/etc.

    Typically speaking a nitro finish looks better dinged up than a more robust finish does (poly/etc.)

    The harder/more stable finished tend to look like busted plastic or shattered glass while nitro looks chipped or flaked.
     
    BramptonRob1958 likes this.
  6. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    135
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
    Any DIY repair suggestions? This is the DIY finishing forum - right?
     
    modavis99 likes this.
  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,346
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Use plain black nail polish to touch up a nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Lucky that it was on a single colored section of the burst.

    You can get finer results by thinning the nail pointing a bit, and using a model brush instead of the in-cap brush.
     
    Blue Bill, teletimetx and Engine Swap like this.
  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,769
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    If you do it yourself, be prepared to conclude the fix looks and feels worse than the chip.
     
    Matthias, artdecade and ElJay370 like this.
  9. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    135
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
    Is guess this isn't really a DIY forum. Lame.
     
    Steve Holt likes this.
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,769
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Really? @EsquireOK gave you a DIY fix. Others gave you context for reasonable expectations before you dive in. What did you want?
     
    artdecade and '51 geezer like this.
  11. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Posts:
    292
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2018
    Location:
    amherst
     
  12. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,071
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Here's two photos showing an amateur repair job using nail polish. The chip involved is not near the size of what you have. The best idea is to practice on scrap first, then goop up your own precious guitar.

    Before:
    June 2017 download 088.JPG


    After:

    June 2017 download 092.JPG

    the color match was pretty good. the blob effect, not so much, but I tell myself I was only trying to prevent additional chipping. Just for reference, this is the back side of a James Burton standard MIM tele. Could probably shave a little of the extra with a razor, but why?

    Practice on scrap, first.
     
    Engine Swap likes this.
  13. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,935
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    Some practice on your manners might help.
     
  14. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,218
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Twangsylvania 6-5000
    You did DIY the chip by slapping your guitar into a wall. The rest of us are telling you that is easier to live with that than the mess you will get from trying to fix it. Guitars are tools.
     
    Fendereedo and MilwMark like this.
  15. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    373
    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Location:
    PNW
    Dear misinformed, Most of the custom cabinet industry still use lacquer as do Gibson Guitars. I've built thousands of pieces of furniture and cabinets along with several guitars finished in lacquer older than you and still looking great.
     
    Rufus and Engine Swap like this.
  16. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    976
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Location:
    Cascadia
    It can be repaired.

    Depending upon the skills of the restoration artist, the results will fall within...
    invisible, unable to detect the work was ever necessary - to - a preschool finger painting exercise.

    If you choose to do it yourself, study the art of "old style" photograph retouching (silver gelatin and color dye prints) while also learning wood finishing.

    For about a year, maybe two.
     
    muudcat, Engine Swap and artdecade like this.
  17. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    894
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    It is a DIY forum.

    You have two choices.

    - Live with it. Guitars are tools. And like any tool, evidence of regular use will become apparent over time. It adds character. A chip says "Oh wow..I must've bumped it into something. I guess I was rocking too hard to notice."

    - Or you can wick some water thin super glue into the cracked areas of finish to prevent flaking/spreading. Color in the exposed area with a Sharpie or a paint pen to make it less conspicuous. Build up successive layers of clear nail polish over it until you've built up an area higher than the surrounding finish. Let dry completely. Go up through successive grits of sandpaper starting with 800, working your way up to 1200. Buff to a high gloss. With any luck you won't have scuffed up the surrounding finish too much or sanded/buffed through other nearby areas.

    Sound fun?

    When you're done the guitar will very likely not look much better. It absolutely won't look like the chip never happened.

    The finish on a modern production solid body electric guitar is a complex multi-step process involving materials, tools, and techniques that take time, skill, experience, and money to achieve.

    Because of this, it would actually be easier to refinish the entire guitar than to try and make little chips like that disappear.

    Not trying to discourage you, just speaking from experience.
     
  18. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    945
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Location:
    Tip of the Mitt
    I'm not sure how this is a gotcha?

    First of all, I'm talking about nitrocellulose lacquer. Not pre or post cat or acrylic lacquers.

    I was very clear that guitar manufactures still use nitro lacquer.. and yes that includes gibson...

    I've installed cabinets as part of my occupation for a long time, I've never once ran into or used a cabinet with nitro lacquer finish so I suppose YMMV.

    Also, I never said it's not used at all, I said by and large it's been moved away from by major industries for more robust/durable mediums. I honestly don't see how that's even an argument.

    I personally like nitro lacquer but I also know what to expect from it.

    Also, I would wager a piece of furniture that is finished in nitro and is subject to the same use a guitar will look like hell before too long. (on tour, in and out of buses, knocking against cymbals, etc.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  19. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    976
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Location:
    Cascadia
    go to ...
    https://www.reranch.com

    the site is full of information.
     
  20. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,846
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Bargersville/Indianapolis, Indiana
    I'll be a renegade voice here as a builder who buys & uses nitro on every build. I use it because it is a great finish to work with, that produces a great finish. Those guitar factories that don't use it do so out of mass production schedules and epa.

    The repair won't be perfect self done, but it can turn out decent and not showing like a white cow in a black angus herd.

    The black fingernail polish suggestion is the easiest for someone new to it. Grab a couple shades as not all black is the same.
    Put a little of each on a test piece to check the color likeness.

    Build your polish one layer at a time and let it dry in between. Resist the urge to just globe it on or it will prolong drying, or end up like other's have. Once you get it built up flush, let it set for a week, it won't look perfect but you are allowing time for it to shrink. After a week layer on a couple more layers until slightly high. Let it set a fee days or more.

    Take 800 grit wet sand paper and lightly on the spot only as much as necessary. I would recommend taping around the areas with a margin of the original finish showing to know when you have sanded enough. Move to 1000 grit, 1500, 2000. Buff with meguiars medium, then 2.0 scratch remover or similar.



    Eric
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
    Engine Swap and TelenTubes like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.