How well do satin finishes age?

Spambot

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I’ve always loved satin finishes on my guitars and was thinking of doing a M2M LP Custom in satin black. Anyone have some pictures of how Gibson’s satin ages over time, especially after significant play? Any concerns?
 

Oranjeaap

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They wear much faster.
Gibson offers satin finishes on their cheapest models, I don't think doing a M2M in satin makes much sense because you'll pay top dollar for what is basicly their lowest quality finish.
 

shark

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and bec they are satin they offer zero protection for your guitars wood.

good nitro take a bump and not get to the wood

a good bump on the satin you got a good dent now to go with it

I hate satin finishes on anything guitar related
 

mudface

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I have a couple of Trad-Pros with satin backs....they're not satin anymore.

Even a thick satin nitro top coat finish will eventually become glossy as it wears...... It didn't take long at all....just rubbing against my clothes did it.....the neck became glossy very quickly.

On a ebony top i would assume it would polish unevenly it look rather poor,...that's just my opinion.

It's the "faded" type satin finishes that are very thin and wear to wood quickly.
 

Phil W

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They're difficult to maintain because standard polish will ruin them (by turning the polished area glossy) and friction wear has the same effect.
 

Gibsonrocknroll

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I have two 2005 Gibson les Paul Standard Faded models. When I purchased them I polished the top and headstock with Virtuoso Polish. It gave the guitar a finish like a vintage Gibson les Paul. The tops on mine are fine after 16 years.
56F54B17-5DCF-42DF-92FE-6A667E128C0D.jpeg
 
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efstop

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My 2014 LPMM has a satin finish, and after polishing it as much as I can, I haven't come close to going through the paint.
NOTE: all the black plastics were banished.

 
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TheWelder

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Satin finishes wear more quickly than gloss and ding easily, but to me that is part of the charm. They can be polished up to a semi-gloss, almost VOS-like shine with some rubbing compound and elbow grease. It won't add any additional protection, but they sure look nice.
 

Gibsonrocknroll

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Satin finishes wear more quickly than gloss and ding easily, but to me that is part of the charm. They can be polished up to a semi-gloss, almost VOS-like shine with some rubbing compound and elbow grease. It won't add any additional protection, but they sure look nice.
This.
 

redcoats1976

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no problems with my 2017 tribute GT.i polished it with meguiers and a buffer,looks good...
 

mudface

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I don’t believe the OP wants a glossy finish..... he wants a flat/satin finish on his Made to Measure Les Paul Custom... he wants to avoid a glossy finish.

My experience is the Flat/Satin finish can easily become glossy with simple wear..... not good if you want to keep it satin.

My ebony SG was Satin.... it has become glossy. My two satin back Les Paul Trad-Pros now have glossy backs. Without any additional polishing, just with friction with my clothes and skin from normal playing.
 
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Gfunk_Minor

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My Satin Honey Burst is 10 years old now. It gets played two to three times a week for a couple hours each time.
It's been gigged about 20 times. I took the pick guard off as soon as I got it and you can see a little bit of "gloss" where the pick guard should be. But, other than that, as you can see, the finish is in very good shape.
2011c-min.jpg
 

mudface

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Here are some pics that show the glossy to satin transition on my 2012 SG and my 2011 Trad-Pro.

This on the body of my SG

A572ABE1-2C0A-418B-A84B-3369218C669D.jpeg


The neck has polished to gloss from just playing and the back of the headstock is still satin.
773B0930-CD5C-49E2-AFCB-B9BF723C6080.jpeg


The same on my Trad-Pro

4759B4DA-61C6-4519-AE04-7624B95042B2.jpeg
 

ARandall

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There is no absolute depth for any satin finish to be. The cheap worn/faded models are deliberately sprayed thinner (and often with no grainfiller so they do wear through quickly (as well as be cheaper to put on).

But just because one finish is thin doesn't mean every one has to be. You can simply use an additive in the last coat and make any nitro finish satin....so trying to make out that Gibson is only capable of doing 1 type of satin finish is simply incorrect.

But its correct to say that its harder/impossible to maintain a constant texture once the guitar is in use. Whereas gloss can have scratches polished out fairly easily, a satin finish would be inferior as it aged.
 

Standard

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If the lighting is decent outside tomorrow I'll snap you a pic of my 335 satin. I've had it about 6 years, and well, it isn't satin anymore. The back of the neck looks like a normal gloss neck, where my forearm hits and where I anchor my fingers under the bridge pickup is definitely semi gloss at least.

So to answer your question, not well. Unless you never play it it will eventually (quickly) look like someone was set loose with a buffing wheel and a gallon of moonshine.
 

Spambot

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Here are some pics that show the glossy to satin transition on my 2012 SG and my 2011 Trad-Pro.

This on the body of my SG

View attachment 549914

The neck has polished to gloss from just playing and the back of the headstock is still satin.
View attachment 549912

The same on my Trad-Pro

View attachment 549913
Maybe I’m crazy but I love the look of that SG neck. I want my guitars to look played because I’ve played them; I always get sad when I see a 20 year old LP with zero wear.
 
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Musha Ring

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Guess I'm in the minority, I prefer satin finishes in ways. I think they look great as they wear, the guitar can feel a little more resonant, and they give off a vintage kinda vibe.

Sure, they require a little more maintenance to keep them consistent as they age, but guitars should receive regular maintenance anyways. A good going over with some Virtuoso and you're all set.
 

TheWelder

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I guess it would depend on what the OP means by 'how well' do they age.

If by well you mean do they maintain their factory fresh satin sheen after moderate use? If so, then no, they won't hold up well.

If by well you mean do they develop a nice aged look with shiny patina, wear marks, battle scars, dings? If so, then yes, they wear very well.
 

PlainAllman

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I just recently got a 21 LP Special tribute. I really prefer a satin finish. I am interested to see how it ages but I’m not too worried about. I really just love the feel of the neck and the monster tone. It’s an awesome guitar in a very simple an reasonably affordable package.
 

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