New horse in the stable, but what does one do about this?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by YaDaddy, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. YaDaddy

    YaDaddy Electromatic

    Mar 16, 2020
    Marietta, GA
    Just got this G5655T-CB in Rosa Red to go with my Georgia Green example. Just one more to go to complete the trio! I absolutely love this model. It’s prolly my favorite Gretsch at this point and I don’t even really care for double jets that much, but this one just has something about it. I got a great deal on it and was expecting the finish scratching, but whoa that’s a lot of finish scratching! My 6 year old daughter even remarked at it on first glance. In all fairness Dad doesn’t own many guitars that fall below next to new, so she’s not familiar with the whole relic thing. None of the wear got into the paint. It’s all in the clear coat.

    So the question to the kind members here is: What do you do to fix scratches like this?
    It’s got to be a hand wrought fix. I don’t have any buffing machinery and I don’t want to put more than the low 10s of dollars into this. It’s not that bad and I don’t want to destroy my good deal by pouring a bunch of money into it.

    My initial web search had me considering Color Tone scratch remover and Eternashine. Anybody have any experience with these or others they can recommend?

    I’ve also got to get the correct Gretsch strap buttons back on there, so are there choices there? I think I’ve noticed some variation on the Gretsch strap buttons and I want the correct ones.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    (Pardon the fluorescent light glare in the photos. It’s the only way I could get pics of the finish wear.)

    E275F828-DB29-4027-886D-D6FF51726344.jpeg A702E3F8-EDA7-4634-880B-5737113D0434.jpeg 6D439627-01F7-4904-9A73-AF07B9C78531.jpeg D616E444-2323-4FD6-95DE-258530FD4A4C.jpeg
    Sid Nitzerglobin and benjwri like this.
  2. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Send it to a pro. Color matching will be the hardest part and making it all blend once fixed. A little nick isn't so bad but there is a fair amount right in one area through the color. I have never understood how someone could scratch the top up so bad especially on a guitar whose strings are that far above the top.
  3. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    I am thinking lots of Rock Star jewelry! Bracelets and huge rings!
    Telechamp and Bertotti like this.
  4. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    If it were mine, Stewmac has guitar polishes in a different “grits”, I have the medium and fine. I would use those to polish the scratch area. Unfortunately it won’t eliminate or completely remove them but it will smooth the surface and that would be acceptable for me.
    wabash slim likes this.
  5. YaDaddy

    YaDaddy Electromatic

    Mar 16, 2020
    Marietta, GA
    None of the scratching is in the paint. It’s all in the clear coat. Sending it to a pro is out of the question. It’s not that bad and the money for a pro would erase my good deal.

    This has to be an elbow grease, towel and solution fix.

    Any non pro ideas?
  6. Probably not a popular solution, but stickers?

    I have gotten some decent scratches out with a guitar finish compound. It was probably just a compound that someone put in a different container and said its for guitars. It was two steps. Compound and be careful how far down you got, then a polish wax kind of thing. If i can find the stuff i will post a picture. A guy had it listed on gretsch talk a few years back.
  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    At least you didn't pay to have the scratches added in as a relic. The Stew Mac polishes should work for you.

    What strap buttons are on it now? I put Straplocks on most every electric guitar I have. Had one Gretsch strap button fall off. I managed to save the guitar from hitting the floor, but, once was enough. Lesson learned.
  8. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Meguiar’s Swirl remover
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    I experienced that the standard Gibson guitar polish works miracles. With a bit endurance you can handpolish those blemishes off the surface as long as they are not too deep.
  10. YaDaddy

    YaDaddy Electromatic

    Mar 16, 2020
    Marietta, GA
    Just some plain Jane buttons. Yeah they’re practical, but I don’t play out live anywhere. Just recording at home. My guitars are more functional works of art to me, so I want to get this one back as close to original as possible before I start changing the pick guard and truss rod cover. LOL

    wabash slim likes this.
  11. YaDaddy

    YaDaddy Electromatic

    Mar 16, 2020
    Marietta, GA
    I don’t know if this stuff is legit or not but this is about as much money as I want to spend and about as much work as I wanna do:

  12. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Well, you need a hand drill and 3M Finesse it brown, then 3 M Finesse It white Marine polish. The stuff ain't cheap. The brown is very fine grit, the white is super polish. If it wasnt so bad I would say just the White. This foam pad from Stew Mac is a game changer. It will buff in literally seconds. I had one guitar top I repaired and could not get to match up the gloss interface no matter what. The foam wheel did it in 15 seconds. I had tried various schemes for days, including Finesse It by hand.
    benjwri likes this.
  13. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  14. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Looks good to me, I’d leave it alone.

    I’ve repaired poly chips, scratches and such, and my first time, the first time to do anything really, usually sucks. I wouldn’t want all those high visible areas be my first victim.

    If it were nitro lacquer, well hell I’d just spray another coat on and buff it out in 4 weeks. I use polishing compound, then finish off with 3M finesse it. You could use that like others mentioned, but it will not get out deep scratches, which I’m sure you have. You’ll make only some disappear. You won’t know how deep those scratches go until you start wet sanding with 200 grit, and you’ll see all that pretty gloss go away. Then it’s a long long road back to shine again, provided you didn’t sand back to a color coat...And blending? Not fun or easy.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  15. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    Wet sand with 600 or 800 grit, respray with clear.
    jdr1014 likes this.
  16. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Easiest and quickest solution right here.
    Sid Nitzerglobin and Ricochet like this.
  17. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Progressive sanding all the way from (600?) to mirror polish, all of which you can get from Stew Mac. If you want to do a really spiffy job of it that doesn't stand out, you'll have to remove all your hardware (maybe pickups too) down to a bare top. Then do the whole top while mostly concentrating on the bad areas. That will blend it all in well. Go to Stew Mac for the stuff you need.

    Me? I like wear. Honest wear is the way to go, but I'll take the relic treatment too.
  18. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Those pictures are a bit misleading because to me it looks as if the scratches are through the color. So in reality it is just surface scratches reflecting the light and only affect the top clear coat? Then if that’s the case the other guys have already covered it. You could get a micro mesh kit for polishing. I used to work for them the kits are top rate. Go slow be careful it is far to easy to go clean through a clear coat into the color coat.
  19. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    If it was mine, I would probably use some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound followed by their Ultimate Polish. Use a bit of care with the compound and it should end up looking like a pro job. I'd apply it with a sponge applicator on a random orbit sander, low speed.
  20. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    Yes it's legit. I've ordered it twice. It's very good. I once removed a very deep finish scratch from a headstock. It took 3 or more applications, but it worked like a charm.

    Please note: many good suggestions and products above, but none of us can predict exactly what will work in your case. Guitar polish products are not good at identifying their "grit". Sandpaper grit is clearly marked. Automotive polishes are clearly marked. So you may have to try a few different ones until you find the perfect one.

    Note those automotive polishes work just as well. I have a box full of them due to a project with deep surface cracks.
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