Taking a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish down to a VOS low lustre?

grumphh_the_banned_one

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This technique usually makes your guitar an instant relic, it probably dulls your gloss finish as well:

Gibson-crush[1].jpg
 

blouie

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My 2020 R0 is a VOS finish, the back is fully glossy as a new guitar the front has a hazy look. Because of the back I really doubt it doesn't have the same number of clear coats as a non VOS guitar. The guitar does have a very strong smell of carnauba wax - my guess is that they applied the wax but didn't polish all the way to pure shine.

Comparing to an 80's Les Paul that I have, the 80's, although it is in incredible condition it has a "dull" look to it but you can tell that it is because of handling and years of light surface scratches (it's definitely a very different look to the R0 which is a "haze"). Either way, I think if I got both guitars professionally buffed, they would look brand new.

You may want to try carnauba wax - less permanent if you are not happy.
 

Spudvader

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Some 1200-1500 grit sandpaper and polish compound. With the polish compound you have a little more control of the amount of shine/VOS you would like
 

JoeyPII

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I've been thinking about lightly aging my Vintera '50s Tele by softening the gloss with Scotchbrite and maybe aging the metal bits with vinegar.
Should look in the road worn Vintera’. They have a nitro finish, only about a $100 more than the poly finish and well worth it if that’s important to you
 

Coachmoe

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I had a Strat done in nitro then reliced with finish checking. The final step was to buff with a wheel that was used to buff necks after fret work. The buffing wheel has residue in it from the fret jobs which darken the finish cracks. The entire body was buffed and the buffing knocked the shine down. The result was a VOS style finish. I watched the entire process being done. I also own a 2004 VOS R9 and the results are spot on.
 

Satellitedog

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I never liked anything that's excessively shiny. How would one go about taking a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish on a Les Paul? Or would that be criminal?

View attachment 564073 down to a VOS level low lustre?

Go search the luthiers' corner of Mylespaul for threads about finishing guitars, you may find the answer with patience, or you can just ask, there are many knowledgeable experts over there.
 

Rwill682

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I never liked anything that's excessively shiny. How would one go about taking a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish on a Les Paul? Or would that be criminal?

View attachment 564073 down to a VOS level low lustre?
[/QUOTE]


Try 0000 steel wool, very lightly. Don't do it too much until you see how it works. You can always buff out if you don't like it As long as you tread lightly.
 

DBDM

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It is entirely true that the cost of a gloss nitro finish plus the combination of binding costs as much as the rest of the guitar in finished production. Remember that a LP Standard only "costs" a few hundred dollars to make. So anyone arguing that the finish only "costs" $50 (or whatever you wish to say) is true. But labor is roughly double that. Want to know the cost of materials and labor of a LP? Take the price Gibson sells to dealers and cut that price in 1/2 Gibson sells (depending on volume) guitars to dealers for roughly half of the dealer sales price. Roughly half of that is materials plus cost. Big stores like GC purchase most Gibson Standards in the $1k range (the more you buy, the less you pay). Labor plus materials are roughly half of that. So we are talking raw cost of materials and Labor at about $250-400 ish. Most of that is finish and curing time (curing time is NOT free). Most of the gloss finish cures for about 3 weeks at Gibson. If you go to the factory you will see many guitars overhead, on a track, moving around. hundreds and hundreds. around 3 weeks worth of the gloss guitars of every color and style. Again, this is not free. Binding and the continuous scraping is REALLY not free. (work the binding and apply it, glue and strap it, scrape, paint it, scrape, clearcoat, scrape, final inspection, scrape any imperfections.....scraping the binding is very very expensive. This is the difference in the cost of the Studio vs the Standard. Satin finish dries in min-hours. Gloss takes 3 weeks. No binding=no scraping.

To the original question--leave it in a sunny window and play the shit out of it.
 
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efstop

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Should look in the road worn Vintera’. They have a nitro finish, only about a $100 more than the poly finish and well worth it if that’s important to you
I almost traded my Vintera for a Road Worn less than a month after I bought it. I would have gotten full credit for it, but I bought it because I wanted Sonic Blue. The difference in Canada right now is $260, about the same it was then. I have decided that I'd rather have the Road Worn '50s than the Chrissie Hynde version as that one is another $580 more than the Road Worn.
 

Pauly Paul

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Well I saw this subject and couldn’t help myself.
I usually frequent this group but rarely if ever respond.
I’m a guy with 40 years plus as an auto refinisher and sales rep for a major paint manufacture.
I say, IF you MUST do this. Use the 3M , “WHITE” scotch brite pad. Using light straight strokes.
The Gray pad is slightly more coarse than the white.
The red will tear up your guitar with deep and un-even scratches.
Next, protect all the hardware and anything else you don’t want scratched up with masking tape.
Lastly, “DO NOT”, scuff your guitars surface by moving in small circles.
That type of technique will put circular scratches everywhere that you may be unhappy with.
Best advice,
Find something to sample this on before you attempt it on the actual guitar.
Also,
Unless you are experienced in this sort of sanding, STAY AWAY from using water On your guitar.
Cheers
 

Barefoot

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In the car refinishing section of my Wallyworld they have a finishing pad that is something like 3000 grit. This worked for me.
 

moreles

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This post has so much BS in it
That's for sure, IMO and in my experience. I can only speak personally, but IMO the industrial, production-line dulled finish effects are a thing unto themselves and are rarely accomplished the way true luster is developed on an initially-gloss finish. I'm not going to give a finishing lecture, and yes, there are usually several methods of achieving a result, and yes, modern nitro is not traditional nitro, but what works for me is, as one other poster mentioned, extremely fine sandpaper lubricated with water and detergent and used with a circular motion. You can get truly beautiful results this way. You can also ruin your guitar this way. It takes touch, patience, skill, and discipline, and few DIYers have these qualities not because they are hard to acquire -- pratice -- but because they are instantly destroyed by impulse, loss of focus, rushing, or any carelkess touch. I will use anywhere from 800 to 1500 grit to start and then work steadily towards 2000 to 3500 depending on the effect I want, and I'll use polishing compounds as well. I love an almost unnoticeable knockdown that diminishes glint and gains luster. Factories and other production-oriented shops don't do this because it's labor, and takes skill and costs money. So they spray some crap, or try to sucker people into thinking that satin finishes are a good alternative. Once those crap treatments start to wear, things look like hell -- so fake!
 

Musha Ring

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It is entirely true that the cost of a gloss nitro finish plus the combination of binding costs as much as the rest of the guitar in finished production. Remember that a LP Standard only "costs" a few hundred dollars to make. So anyone arguing that the finish only "costs" $50 (or whatever you wish to say) is true. But labor is roughly double that. Want to know the cost of materials and labor of a LP? Take the price Gibson sells to dealers and cut that price in 1/2 Gibson sells (depending on volume) guitars to dealers for roughly half of the dealer sales price. Roughly half of that is materials plus cost. Big stores like GC purchase most Gibson Standards in the $1k range (the more you buy, the less you pay). Labor plus materials are roughly half of that. So we are talking raw cost of materials and Labor at about $250-400 ish. Most of that is finish and curing time (curing time is NOT free). Most of the gloss finish cures for about 3 weeks at Gibson. If you go to the factory you will see many guitars overhead, on a track, moving around. hundreds and hundreds. around 3 weeks worth of the gloss guitars of every color and style. Again, this is not free. Binding and the continuous scraping is REALLY not free. (work the binding and apply it, glue and strap it, scrape, paint it, scrape, clearcoat, scrape, final inspection, scrape any imperfections.....scraping the binding is very very expensive. This is the difference in the cost of the Studio vs the Standard. Satin finish dries in min-hours. Gloss takes 3 weeks. No binding=no scraping.

To the original question--leave it in a sunny window and play the shit out of it.

This is all true. And yeah, the curing time is days, not hours. Your instrument taking up valuable space in Gibson's warehouse/shop isn't free. That space requires heating, lighting, ventilation, maintenance, etc. That's all factored into the cost.
 

bum

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For what it's worth, after 5 years of gigging with it my VoS 335 has a pretty much standard looking shiny finish now.
So, in my experience, whatever you do will be reversed in time anyway if you play it.
 

Axis39

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Soft cloth and some fine rubbing compound.... Go over the guitar like you think it would be effected if played.

In other words, wiggle around where the knobs are, around where an arm would rub on the upper bout. Rub it around where the palm would rest on the bridge and surrounding finish.

Old guitars are not evenly dull/shiny. Handling over the years is uneven... Even wear looks goofy.

You also don't want to go too heavy, too quickly. Again, looks goofy.

I would suggest using a white pad as the heaviest attack. I would look into some of the scratch removers or rubbing compounds available at a good automotive paint supplier.
 

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