PRS finish question

DrPCR

Member
Messages
598
Hi all, I have a couple of PRS, that on close inspection there are tiny tiny white dots that are under the clear coat or in the clear coat. You can't feel them like bumps, the finish is smooth, but under it are these little tiny white dots that are like pin head size. I thought at first I had hit something, but after finding them in a few PRS, I'm wondering what it is?
Hi anyone seen this on their PRS?

thanks
 

raz

Member
Messages
743
I think I've seen this on older PRS guitars...do they look like small bubbles or pinpricks? Kinda like something got splattered on the guitar and caused the problem?

I've been told by luthiers that certain people's perspiration can react with the finish and cause this. I've also heard that playing while smoking a cigarette can lead to this.

I know that MILD rubbing compound can take it out, but you risk harming the value of the guitar by mucking with the factory buffing marks. For that matter, anytime you use an abrasive, even a very, very mild one, you risk potential damage to the finish.

R
A
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DrPCR

Member
Messages
598
thank you so much! I don't smoke or couldn't have sweated all over the guitar. I've gigged with them in smokey bars? so that may be it? although its only on 2 of my PRS, and others have been in the same situation and nothing on their tops. They are early 90s PRS. Funny thing, I can't feel them and they don't seem to be on the surface. So I don't know how you could even buff them out?

thanks for the info!
 

CS'56

Member
Messages
1,256
I don't know what it is but I don't think sweat or smoke would do that to a urethane finish
 

scott

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,926
Sounds like it might be air bubbles in the finish......or sometimes when you are sanding urathane between coats it does that. Especially if it is really hot out. It gets kind of rubbery and can leave little white dots(like pin pricks). When the rest of the topcoats are sprayed it doesnt burn into the other coats leaving the white dots under the finish. its a real pain in the ass. Its also hard to see sometimes so maybe it just slipped thru the cracks.






www.heatleyguitars.com
 

raz

Member
Messages
743
The ones I've seen looked like air bubbles, and you couldn't really feel them in the finish, maybe just barely, but they were very, very obvious. So obvious that there's no way in hell PRS would have let one ship like that. They had to form later, either as a result of defects in the finish or by something interacting with it. I know what Mark's saying about poly...it's a tough SOB of a finish. The luthiers I've discussed it with could only speculate on the cause.

But this I know: on a friend's guitar, we took some of the Meguiars stuff that is recommended for poly finishes on guitars. Took some elbow grease, but they came out.

I have also seen PRS guitars, like the blue one that I had, where there seemed to be spots that formed under the clear, as if they were by some interaction between the stain and the clear. They were essentially the color of the blue stain, and the Meguiars didn't touch them. So they were obviously under the clear.

I'll also note that I've only seen this on older PRSi. So maybe PRS had some finish quality problems in the early days. But if you've got an older instrument, going after it with rubbing compound could negatively impact its (likely increasing) value. Forewarned is forearmed.


R
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DrPCR

Member
Messages
598
Mine look like they are way under the finish. Not a lot of them, but a few. Don't think they will come out with rubbing compound. I'm with scott, think they were like that out of the factory, shocking but probably.

Besides Scott is a luthier and I know he knows about this stuff.

Thanks for the info everyone though.
 

paintguy

Long Hair Hippy Freak
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,280
Just came across this. Very interesting!!!

I also have to believe they were there when the guitar was delivered.

Almost all white dots like that are related to some kind of solvent trapping. Could be due to numerous reasons. Too much clear too soon, without enough flash times. Too heavy of coats, trapped solvents or moisture etc.....

Sounds like a factory defect and could possibly be sanded and buffed out (or not).

Either way, I don't think compound will do anything to help, and I think the warranty is out of date.

Good luck anyway.

Larry
 

DrPCR

Member
Messages
598
THanks all, I think it is a factory defect. I never notice them since they are so small. No biggies, doesn't affect the guitars. One of them is a private stock, so I'm surprise it came out like that from the private stock team, I'm sure its still under warranty and I can send it to PRS for an evaluation. Problem is the guitar is a tone machine, and I don't want them messing with it just to fix some very minor and small dots that can hardly be seen.
 

paintguy

Long Hair Hippy Freak
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,280
I think your right in leaving it as is. If you dig the guitar, and it doesn't bother you too much, don't mess with it.

I can tell you most likely they would have to strip and refinish the whole top just to fix it.

I got to say I like your way of thinking!!!

Larry
 

paintguy

Long Hair Hippy Freak
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,280
Nope, don't paint guitars for a living. I sell automotive paint to dealer and independent body shops.

I also sell and/ or have sold to quite a few guitar custom shops.( Yamaha, Esp, Ibanez, Wilkins, Schecter, Sandoval, Performance, Thorn, James Trussart, Mcswain etc....

I have painted enough guitars (as well as cars, motorcycles,furniture, antiques, and just about anything you can paint).

So, yes!!! I have done numerous refinish jobs. I don't look for it though, it just kinda happens.

Larry
 

DrPCR

Member
Messages
598
Hey I gotta save up! Definately next time I'm in your neck of the woods, I'm going to hammer out a guitar with you.

Oh you talking about the other thread?
 




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