Help! I botched my poly-u guitar finish on a strat body

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by spiffyroutine, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. spiffyroutine

    spiffyroutine Member

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    So I have a fender lead II that had a couple scratches in some places, so I decided (in a moment of sheer brilliance of course) to wet sand those places with about 600 grit. Of course the body is now relatively smooth, but the finish is now milky and clouded in the sanded spots (it's a poly-u finish).

    Now I am completely aware of the terrible sins I've committed here and need to know how the crap I can fix this without trying to hunt down someone to repair the finish for me. Any help/suggestions would be terribly appreciated.

    I'll post some pictures in just a little.
     
  2. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Go over the area with 800, then 1000, then 1200 grit wet paper - go all the way to 1600 & 2000 grit if you can find it. (Go easy!). You can get the fine papers at good auto parts stores. After that use a good polishing compound (NOT rubbing compound - it is too coarse). The turtle wax white polishing compound from auto parts stores works fine - take your time & use a soft cloth with it (microfiber or a well worn T-shirt). If you get the scratches from the previous grit out each time you up grits you will be fine. The polishing compound will get you ready for a good guitar polish. All is not lost!!
     
  3. spiffyroutine

    spiffyroutine Member

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    9fingers - You're heroic, thank you! I shall do so immediately!
     
  4. Cadbar

    Cadbar Member

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    He took the words right out of my mouth!

    BUT, I would stay away from the devil that is Turtle Wax. If you can find a auto refinishing/paint supply store (pretty much the shop that all the body shops get thier stuff from), you will be able to find the real fine sandpaper, and 3M and/or Meguires Profesional line compounds. After the wetsanding, I would probably use some 3M SMR 2.0 (swirl mark remover, which is just a very light rubbing compound). Followed by some 3M Finnesse It, followed by some 3M Imperial Handglaze.
     
  5. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    Yes, the 3M products are better if you can find them. Also, the Micromesh pads from Stew Mac are wonderful & will take you almost to a polished surface by themselves. In my previous post I was going for stuff that was pretty easy to find & will do the job. Any of the above, used with patience, will do a fine job.
     
  6. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I use erasers for sanding blocks - so long as what you're using is not bigger than 1-1/2" square and flat. You'll want to cut pieces of paper to wrap around the block then soak those in water over night - it's worth it. REmember - let the paper do the work - don't use elbow grease - you can't bully a finish - new, or old ;) After you get to 2000 grit you can switch to a polishing compound. 3M Finess-it II is great if you don't have a buffer.
     
  7. spiffyroutine

    spiffyroutine Member

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    Thanks for all the help everyone - I expected nothing less from the excellent crew surrounding The Gear Page. I'll keep this thing updated once I get a moment to pony-up and nail this stuff.
     
  8. spiffyroutine

    spiffyroutine Member

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    So I got ahold of the sandpaper, and some 3M Finish compound - and it worked excellently! The finish is back and shining, and the woodgrain is prettier than ever.

    You can still see a very minimal grade of the scratches when you hold it to bright light - but that's such a small price to pay considering I didn't have to get the thing refinished.

    Thanks to everyone for these great suggestions - something tells me this thread might help someone else out who's perhaps suffering my same troubles.
     
  9. Vibrator

    Vibrator Active Member

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    ...and he lived happily ever after.
     

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