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DENT in my guitar

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I have an epiphone les paul std, there is a dent in the body of the guitar from a mic falling on it. The dent is not a scratch; it’s just like a compacted part. Its less that 1mm deep and is between the two pickups. Is there a good technique for smoothing it out or poping it up? The colour is Heritage Cherry Sunburst which makes it a polished surface.

I have heard the method where you use a damp cloth on the spot and steam it out by placing a soldering iron or clothes iron on the damp cloth and the steam will raise the dent out. but i think this can only be used on bare wood. Will his work or will it wreck the finish?

How do i kill the dent?

Matt. :D

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I have used the steam out technique successfully many times on barewood, but I think you are correct don't use on finished wood. The finish is there among other things to stop moisture getting in and out of the wood so trying to dampen the wood is not going to work. You could end up melting the finish with a hot iron and making a mess.

Also I think be wary of removing a bit of finish and then steaming, the moisture could get under the finish and cause it to blister.

It would probably be better to fill the ding with some clear filler of some sort. I think Jeremy of LGM is the best for advice in this area.


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I have done a successful repair in almost this exact same scenario, except it was behind the bridge.

This will only work if the finish is natural where the dent is though, not colored like on the edge.

What I did was to first take a 1/16" drill bit and start a small hole in the laquer finish on the top (this works on gibson because it is laquer) There were no cracks in the finish so all I wanted to do was remove the dent. Once I had just an impression in the laquer I then ground the end of my drill bit flat, no more point. The reason for this is you want to go through ONLY the laquer, if you hit the wood you will leave a mark that won't dissappear. It sounds difficult, but you can feel when the bit breaks through the laquer and touches the wood. After the hole is in there, I took a syringe with some hot water (the hotter the better) and held the needle tight against the wood through the hole but not actually puncturing the wood. Slowly let the wood absorb some of the water and then use the iron with a paper towel. Don't use a soldering iron on laquer, it's to hot and will damage the finish. It took a while, but eventurally the dent was gone. Then wait a few days to let the moisture escape from the wood through that hole. Then just drop some laquer into the hole until it's just slightly above the surface, sand it back and polish it. It's not a quick fix, but in the end it was invisible.

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It sounds difficult, but you can feel when the bit breaks through the laquer and touches the wood.

You might be able to feel it. But as for us mere mortals...........

............I'd break out the stickers :D

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Due to the color of that guitar, I wouldn't do the drill method, you won't match the color if you hit the wood or if they've put any tint into the clear. I would just try filling the dent with laquer (drop it in, it will melt into the original finish) until it's higher than the original surface and then sand it with 2000 grit and buff it out.

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na, you can't actually see it in the photo, i just posted it so everyone could see the finish on the guitar.

yeah, I think I may just leave it, for the trouble that it takes to fix I wont worry.

But I will save everyone’s ideas and if I got to resell it I may try and fix it.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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