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Poly on headstock but finish in nitro?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by clive shakedown, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. clive shakedown

    clive shakedown

    Dec 6, 2013
    Hi there.
    I am currently refinishing a Westbury bass, 1980 ish.

    all going well but I have a question, the headstock has MOP inlays, and is factory finished in poly over the whole headstock including the MOP, I want to lightly rub the scratches out of the headstock, and then spray a clear nitro on to it.
    would this work or would I have a bad reaction?

  2. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Not a good idea to mix finishes like that. Could cause new finish to peel.
  3. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    You shouldn't have any problem doing this. The old finish is stable (poly or whatever it is) and the nitro will not affect it. Light coats, allow for curing, emery sand and buff.
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars


    The nitro will not affect the poly at all
  5. clive shakedown

    clive shakedown

    Dec 6, 2013
    Thanks for the advice, on the subject of surface prep, especially since there is MOP involved, should the poly be abraded before applying the clear nitro?
    I ask because I guess the MOP should be as shiny as possible under the nitro?

    or would that mean the nitro won't "stick"

    Thanks to everyone for the help.
  6. Flump


    Feb 20, 2012
    Absolutely you should sand the poly under the nitro. The nitro will be adhering via a mechanical bond to the poly as opposed to melting into old lacquer and it really needs that scuffing to bond to it. Don't worry about the MOP being shiny as the nitro will fill in the the gaps you create by sanding.

    You seem to be failry new at it though so I would suggest not sanding with anything less than 600-800 grit before you spray the nitro.