Help to restore glossy finish on telecaster

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Placid Blue, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    So I got really high one time and decided to start removing the glossy finish on my squier classic vibe telecaster with a green plastic scouring pad to make it look matte. Now I realise it was a stupid idea. I did about half of the back of the guitar body.

    Does anyone know if it is possible to restore the glossy finish on it by polishing it or something? How would I go about it?
     

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  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You could polish it back up using wet micromesh pads and then swirl remover, polish and a buffing wheel or drill attachment. Just work through the grades of micromesh starting at the same grade the scouring pad was wet sanding until it's glossy, then move to the swirl remover, buffing compound and polish. It will probably end up being shinier that when you first got it. That finish is thick so no fear of sanding or polishing through the finish.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  3. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Depends on how much clear coat you have left. Do you have super large polishing/ buffing wheel like the one Stew Mac sells?

    3m machine polish compound should be used.
     
  4. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Funny
     
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  5. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    A good quality cleaner wax (Meguirs for example) and if that doesn't do it, go with the polishing compound (Turtle Wax has a good one) followed by a carnuba waxing. I have even seen people that swear by the "Nu-Finish" product, but I have never tried it.
     
  6. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    Hey thanks I'll look into those products.

    Do you think it would be worth getting a guitar repair person to do it for me?
     
  7. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Meister Platinum Supporter

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    No.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    From your pic it doesn't look too bad. 3M Finesse It will do it. With one of these it's super fast: Like a minute!
    But it can be done by hand. I had an archtop I repaired a deep nick in. I just could not get it to blend in glossy after staining, filling with epoxy. Tried wet sandpaper to 2000 grit, tried polishing compound. Tried 3M Finesse It by hand. It still didnt gloss up to match in the repair area and surrounding part. With this foam pad on a drill motor + 3M Finesse It, it was done in literally 15 seconds!
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's ok, in 1970 I got high and cut a hole in my '69 M75 Bluesbird for a third/center pickup! Like those LP Black Beauties! I still keep looking for that guitar now days....
     
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  10. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    Ok I'll try the 3M Finesse It and the pad. Looks like I'll need to borrow a drill from someone.:)

    Do you know the exact pad it is you used on the drill?
     
  11. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    if you have access to an auto parts store like O'Reilly's or Autozone, you can go there and get the polishes, sandpaper, and foam wheels that you need.
     
  12. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Someplaces even have "kits" of wet/dry sandpaper with grits like 400-600-800-1000-1200-1500 all in one pack...a sheet of each.
     
  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    There are about 100 different methods fo doing this, and the results will depend on how deep the scratches are. If you got through the clear coats and down to the color coats it will not be possible to restore the gloss without refinishing.

    It's a polyester system and the best you can hope for is being able to buff the clear coat to a high gloss without burnishing it all the way down to the color coats.

    I would suggest that no matter what material you use start wit the *finest* version and see what results you get. If you start with a rough grit you may burn through it in seconds!!! So work backwards until you start to see some results - then go back a grit or two to finer versions.

    One warning - don't use dry sandpaper rougher than 1000or so (again, due to the burn-through danger) and DO NOT use "rubbing compound", which is a very coarse grit paste I've seen it remove chrome plating!
     
  14. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    Thanks. I only used a plastic scouring pad, so I think the scratching is very shallow and only to the very top layer of the finish. How can I know if I have gone through the clear coats to the colour coats? How thick is the clear coat?
     
  15. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    If you are wet sanding and go through the clear, you will see the color in the liquid slurry between the sandpaper and surface. Normally, it will be white/gray from the particles of clear coat. Yours will turn yellowish if you are sanding the color.
     
  16. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    When it comes to finish work (which this qualifies) then I'd say if you can afford it, Yes. Exclamation point. Exclamation point. Exclamation point.

    But as was described here, all you are really doing is taking a finish with millions of deep channels cut into it and sanding that finish down so that those channels are either very shallow or nonexistent. You are turning a mountain range into a flat calm sea. It is tedious, messy and mistake prone work. But it can be done by a careful and diligent amateur.
     
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  17. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    ...everything that‘s said before. But before using a machine with an unexperienced hand I would use micromesh pads from 1500-12000 and all inbetweens. If your matte finish is only in the clear coat you‘ll get the shiny poly look back.
     
  18. Placid Blue

    Placid Blue TDPRI Member

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    Ok thanks. So as I understand it, I should use the micromesh pads going from the most to least abrasive until it is totally smooth, and then buff it with 3M Finesse It with a buffing pad attached to a drill?
     
  19. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    That’s what I would do, yes.
     
  20. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    Wet 1500 grit until all the scotchbrite scratches are gone, then Maguire's polish followed by Maguire's swirl remover on a foam pad with your drill. Stew Mac sells a kit, but you can get that stuff cheaper at an auto parts store. If necessary, add a coat or two of clear & repeat the polishing pricess.
     
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