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Acoustic guitar finish is rubbing off, turning shiny and sticky, how do I prevent this from happening anymore?

In certain areas of my acoustic mahogany guitar [where my arm/body normally touches the guitar, mostly over and under the sound hole] it has turned shiny and sticky.

How do I stop this from happening?

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2 Responses to “Acoustic guitar finish is rubbing off, turning shiny and sticky, how do I prevent this from happening anymore?”

  1. TommyMc said:

    It sounds like your guitar has a lacquer finish. Although widely used on upscale and vintage instruments, lacquer has some undesirable qualities… can be softened by common solvents. Sometimes the oils in your hand are enough to soften the lacquer. I have a friend who softened the neck of his Martin D-18 at an outdoor gig from the bug spray on his hands. Try to make sure your hands are clean before playing the guitar…especially if you’ve used any hand lotions. Also be careful when using guitar stands with vinyl padding….the outgassing from the vinyl will also soften your finish.

    As far as I know, there is no cure for your softened finish except removal. I’ve included a couple of links about finishes…one pertaining to guitars and one about restoring antique furniture.

    The article about guitars suggests you remove the damaged finish and refinish with a different material.

    The furniture restoration article recommends you remove the damaged finish and apply Liberon Black Bison wax

    I’m sorry I don’t know of a miracle cure….I think the best way you can prevent any more damage is with a combination of protective wax and clean hands. Wear long sleeves so your bare arm doesn’t soften the finish where it lays on the body. Also protect your guitar from rapid changes in temperature to prevent the finish from cracking. Good luck

  2. Cecily Noullet said:

    Should I start a blog or website for addiction/recovery related information?


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