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Gibson nitro finish problems

KeLynne

Member
Messages
952
OK, so I have a 2014 les Paul classic in seafoam green (the one in my avatar) and the nitro finish is very soft. Almost too soft if you will. I try and take care of my guitars but this one seems to be collecting too many weird indentations in the finish on the back (not buckle rash) and especially on the neck. It lives in a padded ata case when I'm not playing it. Today I discovered that there's a very noticeable chip where I rest my thumb, right behind the 2nd fret. This is very bothersome to run my hand over while playing and has me worried that over time this particular chip will get bigger as time goes on. Is this a Gibson qc issue or is the nitro they use on the USA models very soft? Also, would this be a relatively inexpensive fix should I want to have the indentations and chips filled?

Updated: 10/15 I received my guitar back refinished with all the issues (even the non warranty ones) taken care of due to the nature of the "repair". Guitar looks brand new again. Love it.
 
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Neo

Member
Messages
383
Those little dents could be the finish sinking into the grain of the mahogany.

But you say you even see the dents on the back of the neck, and I've never seen a glossy Gibson where the finish sinks into the grain on the neck; they usually spray tons of nitro there to make it look as smooth as glass.

Pics?
 

KeLynne

Member
Messages
952
@Neo There are indentations that won't show up in these pics that are on the neck. And the last 2 pics appear to be a bubble or something under the finish as well.
 
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Neo

Member
Messages
383
Okay, looks like the wood wasn't prepped correctly for finishing and maybe that's why the nitro is lifting and pitting. I've seen these types of defects on polyurethane coated guitars too. In my experience, the problem will get worse and you'll see more of these defects manifest.

I think that you should email these pics to Gibson and hope that this is covered by the warranty. Just remember that the company has the option of sending you a replacement instead of fixing your guitar, as has been documented a few times here.

Do you love how it sounds and plays, or would you be okay with getting a brand new one from the factory?
 
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KeLynne

Member
Messages
952
Okay, looks like the wood wasn't prepped correctly for finishing and maybe that's why the nitro is lifting and putting. I've seen these types of defects on polyurethane coated guitars too.

I think that you should email these pics to Gibson and hope that this is covered by the warranty. Just remember that the company has the option of sending you a replacement instead of refinishing it, as has been documented a few times here.

Do you love how it sounds and plays, or would you be okay with getting a brand new one from the factory?
I am in love with how it sounds. I wouldn't be too keen on getting a replacement though because of these defects. It was a birthday gift from my husband. I emailed Gibson Customer service and sent these pics. Waiting to hear back.
 

Neo

Member
Messages
383
Good luck! I was going to recommend having a local "Gibson Authorized Service center"/repair shop look at it, but given how difficult nitro is to apply correctly, I'm not sure if Gibson would even allow the shop to
attempt a repair on their dime.
 

Bradleyonmic

Member
Messages
1,196
That's a tough situation. I get attached to my guitars, and especially a gift like that. However, I would want to be protected in case a piece the size of your face just flakes off one day. I don't know. Please post what they respond with. It looks as though the wood wasn't dried sufficiently, or a mixture of laquer was off.
 

Kestrel

Member
Messages
1,693
That's a pitfall of nitro finished guitars. The finish can get blemished or damaged easily. Everything from guitar stands, straps, perspiration, hand/body lotions, or contact with anything made of vinyl or nylon can leave it's mark on the finish. Stick with poly finished guitars if you want to keep them nice and shiny looking. Regardless, if you play guitar regularly you're inevitably going to mar the finish. Scars add character. Besides, you love the guitar. It has sentimental value to you, so I say live with it and play the heck out of the guitar.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
is it common for nitro finishes to be sticky? I've had VERY different experiences with nitro finishes: from very glossy and no sticky, to really sticky when the weather is humid. Any way to get rid of the stickiness or return nitro to high gloss???

Or does the nitro just need to harden up over a period of 10 years or so for it to become non sticky at all? I had a 90s Les Paul historic which had one of the smoothest and glossy nitro finishes I've seen. And it had been played A LOT.
 

ELmiguel

Senior Member
Messages
3,673
Do you wear rings on your left hand? The first picture on the left looks like a ring ding to me. I take my wedding ring off when I play my guitars.
 

Kestrel

Member
Messages
1,693
is it common for nitro finishes to be sticky? I've had VERY different experiences with nitro finishes: from very glossy and no sticky, to really sticky when the weather is humid. Any way to get rid of the stickiness or return nitro to high gloss???

Or does the nitro just need to harden up over a period of 10 years or so for it to become non sticky at all? I had a 90s Les Paul historic which had one of the smoothest and glossy nitro finishes I've seen. And it had been played A LOT.
The finish on my Standard SG wasn't sticky at all, but I have a Fender Jaguar in nitro that still has somewhat of a sticky finish even after months of steady playing. I really like that guitar, so I live with it. I simply wipe it down after playing and put it back in it's case, so I reckon that in time it'll become less of an issue as the finish wears.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
I don't know if wear has that much to do with stickyness, my old Gibson historic from 98 wasn's really "worn" as far as ths finish is concerned, but it was very hard and glossy. Not even a hint of stickyness. I think it would've just aged and sunken in.... at the time, I pretty much took this for granted, but it was great. I don't have this guitar anymore....
 

KeLynne

Member
Messages
952
Do you wear rings on your left hand? The first picture on the left looks like a ring ding to me. I take my wedding ring off when I play my guitars.
Yeah but my wedding ring is never anywhere that part of the neck. That first pick is where my thumb rests and I don't wear a thumb ring.
 




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