Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hofner Colorama II restoration project (part 18) - rescuing a ruined finish

Well, it happens. You have a lovely finish on your guitar and then you drop it, chip it, scratch it, or whatever. In my case I got a bit overly energetic while polishing it and this happened:

It probably didn’t help that the lacquer hadn’t completely cured so was still a little bit soft. I’m sure there’s a term for this, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is. The long and sort of it is that I friction burned it, causing the lacquer to melt and shift.

First things first, I decide to scrape off the raised lacquer with one of my favourite new tools, the razor blade:

This leaves us with the following:

Next, I carefully sand away any remaining effects left by the original melting using 400 grit paper wrapped around a wine bottle cork:

This leaves us with this (you know that expression about things getting worse before they get better?)

Next, we go over it with 600 grit paper, again wrapped around a cork (800 grit would be better if you can get your hands on some):

Leaving us with the following:

Now I decide to go with wet sanding (you could do this on the earlier stages if you wish too), using 1200 grit paper:

Now it’s starting to not look so scary:

And lastly, as far as sandpaper’s concerned, I wet sand it with 2000 grit sandpaper:

Leaving us with this:

Luckily I had enough lacquer on there that even after all the sanding, I never broke through to the paint. Had I done so, I’d need to do a bit of painting/lacquering and a little bit more sanding to get to this stage, but it would still be perfectly do-able.

Finally, it’s a case of using the rubbing compound to get the shine back (being a little less zealous this time around):

And the final result. It’s almost like it never happened:

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