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Thread: Distressing - finish question

  1. #1
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Distressing - finish question

    What's the normal process of distressing the finish - do you spray with gloss, then sand with what exactly? Spray with satin? I get the process of making the mando look old, but not sure how one would deal with the finish itself.

  2. #2
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distressing - finish question

    First of all, make all the "mistakes" you can...
    Spray a very thin coat over a very thick coat, then repeat about 20 times...
    The layers will fight each other, and check like crazy...

    Spray one brand of lacquer over another brand, for the same reason...

    If you hear of a friend who has had problems with lacquer because of severe checking, offer to trade them out of the stuff...

    When you're done, let it sit for a few months before proceeding--that will let the stuff cure to the point of checkability...
    After that amount of time, stick it in the freezer, then hit it with a heat gun to see if it's ready to go off...
    It'll let you know...

    Dent and nick the finish before checking--this gives it something to check off of...
    On solid instruments, I like to hit the surface with a sock full of keys, quarters, spark plugs, etc...gives the dents the appearance of randomness...
    On acoustic instruments, press the sock into the finish...much safer...
    I also like a fine gravel pathway for getting wear on the sides--just be careful...roll the instrument on the gravel, and it'll dent in a very pleasing way...

    In terms of dulling the finish, I like to take it to the gloss the finish wants to be, then work it back...
    Magic Erasers work well to knock down the gloss...

    When you're happy with the way everything looks, go get some fine mud somewhere, and rub it into the cracks. Let it dry, and then rub it off...
    This gives it "that" look...

    Then give it to a careless friend for a week or so to really homogenize the wear...
    ...or do that last step yourself...
    ...careless pick scratches, case latch "whoopsies", and scraping around the f-holes are good additions...

    Most of all, have fun and remember that you're attempting to do 100 years of wear in 3-4 months...

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  4. #3
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distressing - finish question

    There's a series of youtube vids with Tom Murphy from a few years back worth looking at. Some of the stuff he personally did with Les Pauls was pretty cool.


  5. #4
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    Default Re: Distressing - finish question

    It is very hard to make this look right. Look at pictures of worn instruments and look at how they are worn. Practice on scaps.

  6. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Distressing - finish question

    Quote Originally Posted by Spruce View Post
    ...Then give it to a careless friend for a week or so to really homogenize the wear....
    I like your style

    If anyone is interested in seeing some great distressing and you happen to be on Facebook check out Bruce's E-Stamp Guitar Reproductions.

    https://www.facebook.com/E-Stamp-Gui...3690323024336/
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Spruce 

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