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Nitro Or Poly Refinish On My Les Paul?


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Howdy folks B)

As the title states, i'm currently debating whether to have my LP refished in nitro cellulose or poly. I've had a few goes at building guitars myself and finshing has never been my strong point. Haven't got the patience :D As she's my pride and joy, i've decided to send her in to have the job done professionally.

Ive heard the downsides to nitro, that being it fades over time (is that really a bad thing? :o) and also chips and marks very easily. On the other hand i have the option of Poly which isnt exactly authentic to Gibson but is a lot harder wearing.

Any thoughts are very much welcomed on the matter :D

P.S. This is what she looks like atm


Sad i know :D Please don't ask about the sanding on the top, only that the guitar used to belong to my younger brother :/

And heres the finish i'm going for, being plain top n all.


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I'd probably apt to go with what's already there. Best that I know, the finish you are shooting for would be a nitro finish, and it would be a shame to get all the way to the end, withy Poly, only to find out it isn't what you thought it would be. Since you already have nitro, and the guitar finish you are copying is nitro, you already have a pretty good basis as to what it's gonna come out like.

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I'd go nitro, wear and tear looks good on guitars anyway so for me personally that wouldn't be a problem. There are some things to look out for when using nitro though. First of which you probably already know of is not putting it on a stand where it is in direct contact with the rubber/foam stuff on the stand as this will stain the wood. Plus a littler known finish killer, bug repelent(sp.) will eat away nitro.

In the end it's up to what you want though. An authentic finish or a better protecting finish.

BTW. What's up with the sanding :D

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Nitro all the way. Easy to spray and won't KILL you like poly. Unless you are going to have it taken to a paint shop where they specialize in poly then I would say nitro. IMO the gloss is awesome when finally buffed out and you can get nitro fairly cheap if you buy it by the quart rather than using like 10+ deft spray cans.

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I'm sure she'll turn out great. If you don't mind me asking, where are you having it sprayed? A local shop or a luthier of some sort?

BTW. Are you planning to put on reflector knobs on her like in that pic you posted? And how about the pup-covers?

Edited by Maurits
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