Covering up burn marks

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Huey666, Oct 5, 2021.

  1. Full-Tilt-Tele

    Full-Tilt-Tele Tele-Meister

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    That's a 'Hell' of a problem you have there... Here's a suggestion; Believe or not, I've used 'Naval Jel' to bleach out stains on wood before... Try it on a small area on the back side, just to see what happens. For me, it worked like a charm.
     
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  2. Bearston

    Bearston TDPRI Member

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    I'm happy to see that you play/listen with your ears/feel to find a good git. My favourite over my G, F and M gits, is my $47, 70's El Degas copy of a 70's Strat, which plays, feels and sounds like love. It totally inspires me. One doesn't need to spend $1,000's for a killer guitar.

    You don't want to use sandpaper for testing purposes, it's much too aggressive (even over 600 grit) and will take a lot of work to eventually get a smooth divot-less finish. Try 0000 steel wool, it's not aggressive, but will remove junk without deep scratches to sand out. Otherwise, I would enjoy it as is, like the wart on the end of my nose. Nothing like an individual birthmark (like grain) to identify your individual favourite. Let us know how it turns out w/fotos, Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
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  3. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    Nice guitar! The marks look WAY better than any sticker. I think stickers on guitars are a crime and an eyesore. You might try using bleach in the way that pros remove the dirt from a guitar that's been played too long with no finish, that gray that won't sand off. I don't know how to do it but you could find out.
     
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  4. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Here's what I think: That is a sand-through, not a burn mark. It's an area that went down to the bare wood and was darkened by whatever clear is currently on it. I've marked up your original photo; the areas outlined in red seem to have more of the original finish (maybe just a sealer coat?) and the areas outlined in blue have none. That supports the idea that it was sanded of rather than removed with a chemical stripper or a heat gun. (I missed marking the spot on the other horn that's just barely darker; whoever was sanding it stopped short of making the same mistake they did on the first one.)

    2F82DB0A-AAA0-43EC-B940-BCA9E6A8B2DA.jpeg

    I think your best option for cleaning up the guitar's look is a reverse blond or Desert Sand burst: something really close to the natural color of the wood that's pretty much opaque around the edges and transparent in the center to show off the grain. Late 50s Teles often have this finish; you can find photos in the Vintage section of the forum. It would be pretty easy to do, and scraping the binding wouldn't be much hassle either, since the finish would be close enough in color to the binding that the line could be imperfect without being noticeable.
     
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  5. lazyeight

    lazyeight TDPRI Member

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    Yes. The only way to completely erase it would be to use an opaque finish. You might be able to hide it in a sunburst, but it would push the 'darkness' down on the horn, further than typical.
     
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  6. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    If you're willing to pay someone to touch it up, a pro could indeed just hide the spots with a little airbrushing. A good finisher should be able to match the sheen of the surrounding area with ease and not have to spray the whole top, although a thin coat of clear could also address that issue.

    You could try it yourself, but the chances of success are slim. If you do, spray through holes unevenly torn from paper held just above the guitar's surface
     
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  7. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Friend of Leo's

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    Is there any finish on it right now at all? Or is it bare wood?

    If its bare wood, drag a damp cloth across the area. The bare wood will get wet and darken. If there's still finish in that area, it will reject the water and stay dry and unchanged.

    You could also very lightly drag a strip of 1000 grit across the area. Just a drag, you don't want to remove material. Start an inch below and end an inch above. Just drag it across. If there's still finish on that spot then it will give you different dust vs the wood.

    I don't think you can find a solution until you know what the problem is. OTOH, maybe just take it to whoever is doing the refinish. They'll have lots of experience and be better able to judge. The can also discuss some sort of bleaching, airbrush blending, or a dark edged burst to cover it based on what they see and their skills. I think that's all that really matters at the end of the day.
     
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  8. reedrainey

    reedrainey TDPRI Member

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    I agree with stratisfied, Speedy454 and Lies&Distortion. DON'T sand either area. This looks like an over-exuberant previous owner's fault when he stripped the original finish off. It's not likely to be the factory's screw-up, as they know too well how thin those ply areas are to begin with. These guitars are hand-sanded, always; and never with a machine sander, even a palm. Just look at the edge of the F-hole where it's also showing and see if you can tell where the sanding went too far...think that's what you're going to end up with as a conclusion. I've never seen a wood grain glitch at source fault in a case like this. Notice how rounded the spots are? There's the tell-tale to identify this as over-sanding. I had an Epiphone Regent I modded and refinished in the early 60's that had an original blonde finish and I re-did it in a glitter-infused candy apple red and saw how thin those veneers really are. No over-sanding is the rule, and observe the edge of an F-hole to see why. If it had been a shaded burst to start with, I'd never have tackled it to start with, as you do have to be extremely careful with a raised piece of plywood. If someone used a 150- to 220-grit paper to remove the finish in certain thicker areas, this might've been the culprit. Much safer to start with a 320-grit no-load paper on such a ply. Look especially at the F-hole "discoloration"; can you envision someone hand-sanding in a straight-line sand over the hole? This is how I think this has happened. But even if this were a finish stain, which I highly doubt, it's very likely to have soaked through the first ply, though it probably wouldn't have gone into the second layer due to the interstitial layer of glue. If you have the talent of stratisfied, you might attempt his suggestion to air-brush it over, as he suggested, but if you're a novice, DON'T try that! That approach definitely takes the finesse of an experienced air-brusher. If you have a local guy with that experience, I think that would be what I would do with it, or else do a two- or three-color burst as dogmeat suggested. Too much has already been done to this finish, so don't make it worse.
     
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  9. Huey666

    Huey666 Tele-Meister

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    thank you, that’s really good to know that the nitro lacquer can be put over the clear coat of poly without having to sand it - enough damage appears to have already been done by sanding (possibly) and it will also save me money as i’ll be getting it done professionally.


    yes, there is a layer of finish on there now. I can tell because it feels a lot smoother than the wood inside the f-holes. Whether it is the original sealer/undercoat that came with the guitar when it was new or if the previous owner stripped everything off and re-applied the sealer I don’t know. I do know the fill finish was red because there are a couple of tiny bits of red paint on the neck and the headstock.

    But yeah, if there is a way to remove the stain with an airbrush or similar as some people have suggested then that would obviously save money on finishing, but right now im leaning towards getting it done in sunburst once and for all - maybe something like this: EA432BC6-B2D9-4D23-B5FF-DACDCA80AFC3.jpeg
     
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  10. Huey666

    Huey666 Tele-Meister

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    yep, this is my thinking too, I’m very much a novice! And I absolutely love the playability of this guitar so I really don’t want to wreck it with more crappy DIY
     
  11. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Friend of Leo's

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    Also look at "teardrop" burst. It covers the horns heavy and the body light. Much like what you posted ^.
     
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  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think it's sand through but I would not sand it to remove it. If it's finished with poly I'd try an overspray of some color. If it's bare wood I'd try bleaching, and if bleaching didn't work I try covering it with a wash of paint and then faux "graining" with darker paint
     
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  13. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    If you do a sunburst like that, the finisher can just lighten that first to even it out, and it should be fine. I's an extra few minutes' work and shouldn't affect the price.
     
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  14. Huey666

    Huey666 Tele-Meister

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    yeah, ive been looking at a lot of those - its a shame really because my favourite look for a riviera is a very light burst or just the blond john lennon look, but I really don’t like the stain so I’ve got to go darker. Ideally I’d like to avoid the old fashioned 50s teardrop look and keep the dark border as close tonthe edges as possible, but I guess I’ll just have to see what the guy who does the finish can do for me! Am sure it will look fine whatever.
     
  15. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Here's what I mean by a "reverse blonde burst." Make the opaque part wider, maybe closer to the wood color, and it would look fabulous on that guitar.
    112C9898-FF7E-468D-B992-44CDA2084486.jpeg
     
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  16. MusicBill

    MusicBill TDPRI Member

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    Try the air brush thing, it may work out
     
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  17. Tele Plucker

    Tele Plucker Tele-Meister

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    If it’s a stain perhaps some acetone or similar product would help. IMHO, you might want to check some wood working sites for a possible solution. Most folks are quite helpful. Good luck.
     
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  18. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    The real answer to your original question is that you should not do anything to the guitar prior to taking it to be refinished. The person doing that job will know exactly how to address it, and it would not be helpful for you to try to "prep" the guitar first.

    I know I forgot that it was going to a pro as I read the many comments that followed the OP, so I'm sure others have too. In light of that, the suggestions and guesswork here are all moot.

    Of course people love to discuss this sort of thing, and that's what we come here for, so I'm sure it will continue.
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Both Gibson and Fender have used sunbursts to hide less than perfect wood. I'm getting ready to build an archtop this winter and purposely ordered an AA top because I plan to burst it. If its really bad paint it solid color.
     
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  20. MikiLoving

    MikiLoving TDPRI Member

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