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Refinishing Acoustic Spruse Top


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Ok..Here is another amateur refinishing question. I know you guys are going to say stop, and run for the hills, but I am determined to see where this goes. I am currently working on a inexpensive (won't care if it turns out a disaster...) guitar. I need some sanding tips to get the finish off, and if there is a way of treating and protecting the wood without embarking on that toxic spraying process.Also how far into the wood is the decaling around the soundhole. Will I need to replace it. All honest and helpfull replies appreciated.

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Woohoo! First to reply...We need pics and more information. What is the finish? Decaling is a sort of a sticker glued onto something, so probably you mean something else. I´m not sure if it´s the right term, but maybe you mean the rosette? Is it necessary to remove all finish? I have a project acoustic, not worth much thankfully, but I decided not to get rid of the finish, because I´m sure I´ll screw it up. That said, maybe this guitar is the perfect excuse to learn some harder things, like retopping a guitar. BTW, my guitar is an Ovation copy.

Edited by MexicanBreed
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A flat scraper may be the easiest way to remove the finish, followed by very gentle sanding with 400/600 grit paper, sanding with the grain. Then you will be able to tell what the rosette is actually made of. If you are very lucky, it may be a proper inlay, in which case you shouldn't need to remove it. If it is a sticker, then naptha or something similar should help to remove it without too much difficulty.

You could try an oil finish if you don't want to mess around with toxic fumes :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

A word to the wise... if you oil-finish it, you may want to seal the spruce with shellac first. I was advised to do that when I tru-oiled an acoustic build, because the top will (allegedly) soak up the finish and get too heavy respond well to the strings.

Of course, if it's a plywood guitar, it may not make much difference. :D

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