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Tips on fixing scratches on the main body

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Birdmad Girl, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Birdmad Girl

    Birdmad Girl

    May 27, 2008
    Hi all.

    I've been a bit of a twit and am hoping that someone here can advise me on how I can rectify the situation.

    I changed the strings on my bass this afternoon, and whilst the strings were off decided to polish all the finger prints off the body. Not realising that window/glass cleaner was abrasive, and what with it being all I could find in the cleaning cupboard, I decided to use that to remove the prints. Unfortunately the cloth I used that was supposed to be a clean one was quite rough (my landlord insists on washing cloths continuously rather than buying them new), and now I can see small scratch marks on the body of my prized bass. :-(

    I am devastated I've been such an idiot and really need to fix this.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to remove light scratches from the body of guitars? Or is it totally un-fixable?


    Thanks in advance.
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You have a better chance of actually making the problem worse if you don't know what you're doing. Are you anywhere near a qualified tech? You can probably get away with using a mild rubbing compound such as 3M's Finesse-It II. Follow the directions and either rub-out by hand or with a "rag" polishing wheel on a Dremel. Caution: its really easy to abrade the clear coat with pressure and heat build-up.

    Instruments get scratched with time and use....live with it.

  3. M5Yates


    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Go to the car finish care section of Wal*Mart (or Autozone, Pep Boys or what ever you have in London) and buy Scratch-X polish, Zymol wax & a pack of micro-fiber towels.
    That should get it back to looking new.

    I use 3M Finesse-It II, but with an electric polisher.
    It's too much work to get good results by hand.
  4. The basic idea is that to remove scratches, you must first use polish - which is actually a mild abrasive that removes a tiny amount of the finish, including the scratches. After you've polished out the scratches, THEN wax it.
  5. Birdmad Girl

    Birdmad Girl

    May 27, 2008
    Thanks very much for the helpful replies.

    I'll definitely give it a go with the polish and the micro fibre towels and see what happens. :)
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I had a little spare time on my hands so I dropped by PEP Boys and picked up some Scratch-X, Zymol, and micro-fiber towels. I treated the bass back (historically a problem area) twice with the Scratch-X but have to use the Zymol. I found the polish minimizes only the most superficial scratches / swirls on clearcoat finishes; it had virtually no effect on the deeper, more pronounced blemishes. I'm neither surprised nor disappointed....I have a whole closet of polishes, rubbing compounds, waxes, etc. which I've subjected to the same test(s). Have you ever seen how they buff out the finish coats at the factories? They use huge buffing wheels and some high grade of polishing "rouge" to remove any surface imperfections.


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