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Help: strange marks on finish?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ilikepie, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. ilikepie


    Jul 23, 2003

    I noticed some strange blemishes on the finish of my new bass yesterday (nitro finish). The marks are only visible from certain angles (lighting related) and are located towards the back half of the body. I don’t think it is checking because the clear coat is smooth and no cracks can be felt or seen in the blemished area. Also if it was checking wouldn’t the entire body have these marks?

    Any ideas what this is and will it ever go away, e.g. when the finish checks or yellows?

    EDIT: FWIW the marks cannot be seen from any angle in low lighting and they almost look like condensation between the colour and clear coat :confused:

    Sorry for the photo quality, but it was difficult to take shots so that the blemishes would show.

    From this and most other angles the marks are not visible

    The marks...

  2. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    To me it looks like the wood wasn't properly dried before the finish was applied. Moisture coming up through the finish can do some wierd stuff to guitty's.
  3. I've seen some weird stuff in paint finishes - Hell, I've put some of it there myself!

    This looks like a condition we've seen at work where we have painted something, packed it, then found that the plastic wrapping and the new paint reacted to each other and left ghost impressions in the paint. It stems from the paint "outgassing" as it cures and that vapor can soften other materials in close proximity to the paint surface leaving marks like you've illustrated.

    IMO moisture from "inside" the body will usually make a well defined, almost bubblelike flaw. If it's moisture trapped during spraying, it's usually just a cloudy finish. Yours doesn't look like either. Here's how to tell if the finish is delaminating from the body. Find a straightpin and get the body in the light like your second pic so that you can see the blemishes. Take the straight pin and touch it to the blotch - don't pierce it, just push it down. Does the area around the pinpoint distort and reflect a little crater? Does it appear when pressing the pin down and disappear when you let up? If it does, that would indicated that the spots are actually voids between the finish and body. If it doesn't, then it's likely the situation I described above and might be able to be buffed out.

    Luckily, you've got a white insrument and this phenom is so subtle that it isn't very visible at all.
  4. I've just looked over your pics again and I'm absolutely positive now.

    I bet that when the bass arrived to you, it was packed with bubble wrap around the instrument and the bubble wrap was turned bubble side towards the bass?

    The scale of the pic in #2 threw me for a little bit. But those round marks are the indentical marks from bubble wrap. Once I realised how close up the shot was it was perfectly apparent.

    My diagnosis above is exactly what this is - marks from the bubble wrap caused by the curing of the finish. This happened during shipment and is the fault of the shipper. It should be compensable in my book.

    Remember, to avoid this with your own new instruments, always let your finishes cure to where you can't smell them at all. This is about the best way to assure that a finish is hard enough AND stable enough to be wrapped for shipment.
  5. ilikepie


    Jul 23, 2003
    Thanks for the reply Hambone, i think this must be what happened. You mentioned that it may be be possible to buff it out, do you think this is worth a try...could you give me a little bit more detail about this too, thanks?