Is Gibson's satin finish thicker than gloss?

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by JoeBguitar, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. JoeBguitar

    JoeBguitar Senior Member

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    I know sometimes a satin finish is really just an unbuffed finish and therefore even thicker than a gloss. Does anyone know?
     
  2. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    It's got to be thinner. Has to be. Fewer steps. Lower cost.


    It isn't just a finish that never got the final shiny-buff, is it?
     
  3. JoeBguitar

    JoeBguitar Senior Member

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    Don't know!!! That's why I asked! LOL
     
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  4. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    Now you have me all curious, too.
     
  5. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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  6. JoeBguitar

    JoeBguitar Senior Member

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  7. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    You're prolly right.
     
  8. skynyrdwillriseagain

    skynyrdwillriseagain Member

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    The neck on my satin sg is getting pretty glossy, I think my hand polished it. That being said I think it's a bit thinner than my other ones.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  9. gball

    gball Senior Member

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    No it's thinner. The color on a gloss guitar is put down first and is about as thick as the satins, then they are sprayed with clear gloss which is what is multiple layers and polished between layers. The gloss finishes are much, much thicker.
     
  10. Jackangus

    Jackangus Senior Member

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    definitely thinner. The slightest bump can scratch and dent my satin finish.
    I have to be real careful.
     
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  11. efstop

    efstop Senior Member

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    I found that by polishing most of the satin off, the finish doesn't mark as easily. On my '14 LPMM, the finish looked more like chalk, and felt like it. I rubbed it down some and ended up with a barely glossy, darker finish.
     
  12. Les Paul Newb

    Les Paul Newb Senior Member

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    Look on Gibson spec pages. A gloss finish is 7-9mm and a satin/faded is 3-4.

    I think that's it.
     
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  13. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    [​IMG]



    Edit: I hope @Les Paul Newb's post is missing some decimal points. 9mm finish?! These aren't Epiphones, we're talking about. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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  14. BrainMan

    BrainMan Senior Member

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    I had a 2016 les paul standard faded that was listed as a satin finish but I guarantee that it was just as thick as a full gloss finish. For some reason they made the first run of these 2016 standard fadeds with a full thickness finish but then switched to the thinner normal faded finish
     
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  15. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Satin lacquer or poly is not simply unbuffed, unpolished finish. It is manufactured differently. Just go to the hardware store and you'll see they are separate products. That being said, the way guitar makers are choosing to use satin finishes (to save time and money) is to apply them (often) over unfilled, open pore wood, and to lay down fewer coats. This results in a thinner finish that is also cheaper (less lacquer used, no filler). The thinness is appealing to many; personally, I hate the open pore surface, but some like that, too. The notion that satin finishes are somehow vintage is just a superficial but incorrect judgment. Vintage finishes go from original high gloss to a worn luster resulting from the accumulation of a zillion microscopic scratches over time. This is not at all the same thing as satin material, and only in really broad terms do they look similar. To anyone who knows finishes, a satin finish is not at all similar to a vintage finish. Vintage finishes were applied over pore-filled wood, and have outgassed into great thinness. People can like whatever they want, but calling a satin finish "vintage" in style is a sucker move.
     
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  16. Les Paul Newb

    Les Paul Newb Senior Member

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    Agreed. But to be clear, the nitro finishes of the 50s were thinner than today's, werent they? I know that wasn't referenced in your post, it's just a related question.
     
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  17. sk8rat

    sk8rat Senior Member

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    my les paul has a satin back and neck and a gloss top. the satin finish on the body is way thinner and very delicate.

    it is also worth noting that the satin finish on the neck does seem to be thicker than on the body, on my guitar at least.
     
  18. Axis39

    Axis39 Senior Member

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    I believe it is mils, not mms.

    A mil is 1/1000 of an inch. A mm is 1/1000 of a meter (or metre for the Europeans amongst us).

    An inch being 1/12 of a foot, a meter being somewhere between 3 and 4 feet... Well, a bit of a difference!
     
  19. JoeBguitar

    JoeBguitar Senior Member

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    To me, the satin on a satin back (like a Trad Pro) or like the finish on a "faded" Standard seems much thicker than the satin on a lower-end faded model guitar. That's why I thought maybe it was just an unbuffed finish.
     
  20. Gibsonrocknroll

    Gibsonrocknroll Senior Member

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    I have two 2005 les paul standard faded. The finish is very thin. If you were to press your finger nail with some pressure onto the top it would leave a dent mark.
     

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