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Buffing out Scotch Brite scratches in AmStd P

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JimmyM, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The black 09 AmStd Precision I just got is a total player that I've fallen in love with, but one of the many previous owners attacked it with a Scotch Brite pad. The arm and beer gut contour and the side up there are scratched pretty good, as well as a smaller spot under the strings. I'd like to buff it out but I don't have an electric buffer. Is this something I'd need to fix with a buffer or can it be done by hand? Would anyone care to expound on the best way to do it? Appreciate it!
  2. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I always use Turtle wax rubbing compound and
    polishing compound. Just do it by hand with a
    cloth. The rubbing compound takes the
    scratches out and the polishing compound
    brings back the gloss.

    I've heard folks say not use car polish, but many
    have used it with success, including me,

  3. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    If they're just prevalent but shallow, use toothpaste (clean w/ water), and follow that w/ the end of a cut banana, then the peel, then Windex.

    Yes, I'm serious.

  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Can you explain the end of a cut banana? Where do I cut it? What end? And what side of the peel do I rub it with? I don't have Turtle Wax but I have toothpaste, Windex and bananas.
  5. precijazz

    precijazz I want a name when I lose.

    Aug 31, 2011
  6. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I have used Turtle Wax Scratch Out many times. It's clear coat safe. Works great, can't recommend it enough. I traded for an expensive and beautiful Carvin guitar that the owner's kid had really done a number on. There was no pickguard and the are below the E string was completely cloudy. It took quite a while but I brought it back to excellent and sold it for a tidy profit.
  7. +1 on using rubbing compound and wax.
  8. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    Cut a banana in half and peel it. Rub the flat end of the cut, peeled banana on the scratched surface, but not so hard that you mush it. Next, wrap the peel around your finger, inside out (yellow side in), and rub; follow w/ a clean paper towel to remove banana residue. Use medium pressure in a circular motion for a ~few minutes. "Buff" w/ Windex to bring up the shine.

    The toothpaste (any and all) is more abrasive than the banana and should probably be done first.

    BTW- The banana trick (minus the Windex) can be used on silver and even leather shoes (instead of polish); and toothpaste or the toothpaste/banana combo can be used to clear up cloudy headlights.

    Enjoy! ;)

  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN

    Auto paint products work best for these Types of things. Meguires makes a scratch remover specifically for instruments. If the guy really took a scotch brite pad to it, it's unlikely you'll remove them completely.
  10. Tom Cat

    Tom Cat

    Jun 4, 2011
    I brought the finish back on a 70's P with Flitz and alot of elbow grease. It's a mild rubbing compound with Carnuba wax, very pleased with the results.
    If your bass is severely scratched up Flitz won't do it. You could try wet sanding with 400, 600, 1000 first then use the Flitz. Either way your arm will get a work out.
  11. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I assume the finish is polyurethane. If nitro, this would still work.

    I just repaired some very deep scratches in the polyurethane finish on an Ibanez Artcore, and this is what I used:


    Use a little water with them.

    Finish with one of the liquid polishes used to restore automotive headlights.

    (I used automotive polishing compound, (NOT rubbing compound), and it looks fine).

    If you work your way through the grits properly, you can get a very fine finish.

    I bought them to make an ebony thumb rest, and it buffed it out to a high gloss using only the pads, and no liquid stuff, like for car headlights.

    The scratches were very deep, but the poly was thick, so it worked better than I thought it would.

    My new Fenders have a clear poly finish, and it looks pretty thick, so I bet you have a lot to work with before going through the clear.

    The shine of a poly finish is the result of the finish flowing out and curing without buffing, so you probably can't buff poly to match the original flowed out finish.

    I'm no expert on finishing, but I think nitro can be repaired, and poly can't.

    I just bought a used Gibson SG with a faded cherry nitro finish and the neck finish was sticky, and no amount of cleaning would make it feel right. I thought there was a failure of the nitro to cure. Turns out the body chemistry of some people eats nitro. I assume that is why the guy sold it. I used the micro-mesh pads to remove most of the damaged finish on the back of the neck, and now it's great, and looks like a well loved, and often played guitar. If I wanted, I could refinish it so that you would never know. If it was poly, the whole guitar would have to be refinished.

    I think Stew Mac sells them, but I picked them up in the local Rockler store for under twenty bucks, and have used them on two guitars, and to make some ebony, and composite thumb rests, and they show no sign of wear.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Appreciate the advice, everyone! May not have been a Scotch Brite pad, but it looks like it. Looks like surface only at least, though.
  13. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
  14. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Poly or nitro, doesn't matter just use automotive polishing and then follow up with automotive wax. I had to do this to a few basses earlier in the year, one nitro and 2 poly, used the same stuff with AMAZING results, you honestly cannot tell there was any kind of scratch unless you look extremely close and know where to look. Oh and a lint-free chamois. Really regretted not doing it earlier to some of the basses as it was so easy. I am pretty sure I bought Mequiar's (?) scratch-x or something like that.
  15. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Meguiar's makes Scratch-X and Swirl-X which are just two different grades of compound with Scratch-X being the more aggressive. 3M's versions are called FinesseIt.
  16. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
  17. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Poly, or nitro, you'll do some cleaning as you do this

    Don't use alcohol on nitro!

    On nitro, you can use naphtha. (lighter fluid, hand warmer fluid for us in the north woods), just don't over do it. (You want "VM. & P. Naphtha" by the way).

    Polyurethane is impervious to a many non-abrasive cleaners and solvents. Glass cleaner, (or a half drop of dish soap) works great as you sand out the blemished area with any abrasive. Don't use acetone unless you want to dissolve it.

    You have to plan how to blend your repair with the existing undamaged poly finish.

    JLX, I'll have to look up Buflex. Micro Mesh is good stuff.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Thanks again, guys! Just got home from the road. Will look up stuff tomorrow.
  19. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it'll be a very tough poly finish; you can rub bananas on it til they cart you away to the asylum without touching the scratches :rolleyes:

    depending on how deep the swirls or scratches are, a real pedestal buffer might make them go away in short order; otherwise, it's micro-mesh, followed by that pedestal buffer.
  20. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    This, except I use clean cotton rags...

    - georgestrings

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