View Full Version : glossy retreats to satin??

11-03-2017, 09:41 AM
On ebay I contacted a uke seller to ask him to let me know when he had a certain style of tenor in stock, with a satin finish. He replied & sent me a picture of a uke that met my specifications EXCEPT it is glossy finish. He said that, if I agreed to buy it, he would have his tech polish it to a satin finish.

I know the finish that I like but am clueless when it comes to the technical details of applying finishes to ukuleles. Ergo:

QUESTION: Will polishing a glossy finish to revert it to satin finish give the same identical result as would have been the case if the uke had been finished satin in the FIRST place?

Peace Train
11-03-2017, 11:42 AM
You might want to ask this in the luthier's lounge, but in my experience you wouldn't be "polishing" a gloss finish to make it satin. That would just make it even shinier. You'd need to lightly scuff the finish with a light abrasive (like steel wool) to make it less glossy and create a satin-type finish. Or you could apply a new finish over the current one...but why do that? A satin finish uses an additive mixed into the gloss to make it less shiny.

11-03-2017, 11:48 AM
It's not whether it's satin or glossy, it's the thickness of the finish that matters. I would think at the very least, buffing a gloss finish to a satin one would make them more or less equal if in fact the glossy finish is in fact actually thicker. Just my thoughts on the matter. If the maker is known, query them about the thickness of their finishes.

11-03-2017, 02:07 PM
I don't think polishing is the right word. I have taken gloss finishes down by using a high grit of sandpaper before. Then they look satin. So, yes it can be done and would pretty much be the same I'd say.
I took a guitar from gloss to satin then back to gloss one time when I sold it. It's all in the finish polishing or not.

11-03-2017, 10:29 PM
I don't think polishing is the right word. I have taken gloss finishes down by using a high grit of sandpaper before. Then they look satin....That makes sense to me, too.

11-03-2017, 10:57 PM
Another question to ask would be what type of finish it is. Kanilea, for example, is using the same UV cured finish for gloss and satin now, but sands/buffs it differently. Other manufacturers may use totally different methods (or substances) for gloss and satin, so it couldn't just be buffed to look and feel the same.

11-04-2017, 02:45 AM
I have both satin and glossy ukuleles and IMHO the difference is lost when one is playing and enjoying the instrument. Over the years a glossy instrument becomes less glossy. I have instruments that go back to the 1930s and I love the well used look. The important thing though is the sound and playability.

11-04-2017, 03:14 AM
I generally like satin finishes, but (at least on guitars) have found that they transmit more finger noise, like a swishing sound when strumming, while gloss does not do that. That's one reason some guitar guys polish their satin instruments up to a gloss, using various auto care products, like Meguiar's scratch remover, etc.