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Protecting an autograph

gbravo

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
269
I've got a 2005 EJ strat that I was lucky enough to have signed by the man himself (EJ) on the back of the headstock. Is there any way to put some kind of protective coating on it that won't smear the signature, but won't screw up the finish? I still use the guitar a lot, but I want to make sure the autograph never gets rubbed off either...
 
Messages
2,310
I've seen people use cut out sheets of clear plastic with a sticky coating on one side... but you might want to consider a lacquer over the top...

M
 

Structo

Member
Messages
9,556
Be careful many clear coats can dissolve ink, like Sharpie inks.

I would definitely make a test using the same ink on a similar surface before trying it on your guitar.
Aren't EJ Strats clear coated with nitro lacquer?
Another thing to be careful about is if it affects the lacquer.

For example I know that alcohol can dissolve sharpie ink.
 
Messages
122
There are certain pens that won't work well to cover - many are best left alone. I've had the back of one of my guitar's headstock signed with a special type of sharpie meant for signing art, it's best not touched. As long as it wouldn't smear, I wouldn't put anything over it. Test it on something - if no smear, no worries. If it ain't broken, why fix it. If it does smear? I'd get some gloss put over it, bring it to a luthier or something. Best of luck and congrats for the autograph!
 

Mike Duncan

Staff member
Messages
7,436
Jimmie Vaughan signed the back of headstock on my SRV Strat in '97 and it hasn't faded at all. Treated it with nothing.
 

gbravo

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
269
It was signed with a regular sharpie. He signed it about 2 years ago...doesn't look like it's fading, but I want to keep it that way.
 

Stike

Member
Messages
14,058
I've seen people use cut out sheets of clear plastic with a sticky coating on one side... but you might want to consider a lacquer over the top...

M
Clear self adhesive pickguard material cut to size would be best.

Be careful many clear coats can dissolve ink, like Sharpie inks.

I would definitely make a test using the same ink on a similar surface before trying it on your guitar.
Aren't EJ Strats clear coated with nitro lacquer?
Another thing to be careful about is if it affects the lacquer.

For example I know that alcohol can dissolve sharpie ink.
The EJ necks are nitro. so you could spray over the existing finish and get some chemical adhesion but he solvents in just about any finish can wreak havoc on Sharpie ink though. If this was on a neck with a catalyzed finish like a urethane or polyester you'd have to sand it to get new finish to adhere (once cured there is no chemical adhesion with cat. finishes) effectively ruining the autograph.
 

jimshine

Member
Messages
1,594
Before doing anything like this, seriously consider how long you honestly plan on keeping it.

On the back of the head it should not see any wear and tear.

If you ever plan on selling it, and you clear coated it, expect to take a hit on the price. Signatures do not add value. Clearcoated signatures require work to remove so you limit the interested buying pool to the handful that appreciate the signature, and a bunch of people only interested if it is cheap.

I remove autographs for people quite often. So long as it is on an area seldom touched, it should be just fine as is.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,605
There are certain pens that won't work well to cover - many are best left alone. I've had the back of one of my guitar's headstock signed with a special type of sharpie meant for signing art, it's best not touched.
Jimmie Vaughan signed the back of headstock on my SRV Strat in '97 and it hasn't faded at all. Treated it with nothing.
So long as it is on an area seldom touched, it should be just fine as is.
:agree

I wouldn't do anything to it.

There's no reason to touch the back of the headstock so it should not smear or wear.

Dean Zelinsky signed the back of the headstock of my '06 Korina Explorer before it left the Dean Custom Shop and it still looks just like the day I received it.

Doing anything to it will decrease, not increase, the value.
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
I've had back plate signatures signed in a gold fine point sharpie and I use a spray polyurethane that works well and protects. I'd assume it would also work on a headstock sig.
 

Deadduck

Member
Messages
627
I have a Seagull S6 that was signed on the back in Sharpie by a couple of bands about 8 years ago. I asked around and wound up spraying some clear lacquer over it since the Seagull is nitro finished. Didn't affect the signatures and has preserved them well.
 

Nuclearfishin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
929
Lacquer will ruin a sharpie signature. The best option is to use a lacquer pen when they sign it, but that train has already left the station. I would just leave it alone now. The back of the headstock shouldn't get any wear.
 

straycat113

Member
Messages
2,926
I disagree in this case of the autograph hurting the resale value of the guitar, if anything it would probably give it a slight boost. Yes- most of the time a buyer does not like an autograph on a guitar, but considering the Strat is an EJ model which there are a ton of and it was signed by him there are enough EJ fans that would pay a little extra for it.
 
Messages
122
I disagree in this case of the autograph hurting the resale value of the guitar, if anything it would probably give it a slight boost. Yes- most of the time a buyer does not like an autograph on a guitar, but considering the Strat is an EJ model which there are a ton of and it was signed by him there are enough EJ fans that would pay a little extra for it.
:agree
If you have a random person sign a guitar, it's likely it wouldn't add to the price, but EJ signing an EJ guitar? Price up. JM signing a JM guitar? Price up. Clapton signing a Clapton? Price up. etc.
 




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