Aging/Softening a "Hard" Finish: Toning down gloss?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by richnota, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. richnota


    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    just got a lovely Fiesta Red body from Warmoth. Only problem is that it is a bit too shiny (Super, high gloss).

    I'm not looking to "relic" the bass, just tone it down.

    How would you do this?
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    When I am rubbing-out a gloss or semi-gloss finish to a satin sheen, the first step after leveling is to use four-ought (0000) steel wool (aka wire wool) well-lubricated with Howard Feed-n-Wax, Wool Lube, or a comparable product. For my money, Liberon brand steel wool is the best you can buy.

    Use a high-quality light shining parallel to the surface you're rubbing-out so you'll be able to clearly see the condition of the surface and visualize the effect your efforts are having; you're trying to achieve a sheen or surface texture that's consistent across every square inch of the instrument.

    Hold the steel wool flat and use gentle, consistent, pressure; try not to apply point pressure, especially along sharp corners and edges, lest you cut through the finish. Stop frequently to wipe down the surface with a clean, lint-free, cloth and examine your work closely.

    If you haven't done this before, start on the back so you can perfect your technique before you attempt to rub out the parts everyone else will see.

    Good luck!
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Love Howard Feed-n-Wax.

  4. richnota


    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    thanks. what a great name for a product....howard feed and wax.
  5. Does this look good on poly sunburst's? I've been thinking the perfect relic look would just be to take the gloss off.
  6. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Do a test patch on the back. If you don't like it, you can always rub-out the finish to a higher sheen level - provided you have the skills. Of course, it should be noted that some finishes are easier to abrade than others; rubbing-out shellac or nitrocellulose lacquer is markedly easier than rubbing out a finish that contains urethane, acrylic, or phenolic resins.

    For anyone interested in finishing, the best path is always to conduct experiments on test samples; learn the idiosyncrasies of each finish and perfect your technique before you try it on your instrument.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 30, 2021

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