View Full Version : Re finish on Mele Uke

06-24-2018, 05:53 AM
Was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to strip and re stain the body top of a Mele concert cedar top uke. Currently it has many pick marks and areas where the finish is messed up.

06-24-2018, 07:19 PM
Patina. It's called patina.

If you can't be dissuaded the ways of finishing a uke are many and various, from wipe on tung oil and truoil to canned nitrocellulose finishes.
Removing the old finish varies from acraping to sanding to paint stripping solvents. All with high risk of damaging the instrument.
Spot retouching is another option.

06-25-2018, 08:51 AM
I used to own a mahogany topped Mele, made around 10 years ago. That had an ultra thin polyester finish which I wore through in one spot. I managed a drop fill CA glue repair, but it wasn't an exact match visually. And I wouldn't use CA on cedar because it might react with the cedar to make yellow or green stains.

If yours has the same finish, the option I'd take is to scrape the finish from the top (somehow avoiding chipping it where it meets the sides), then apply clear shellac to build up a reasonable finish, and end up with Tru Oil on the top. Probably 6-10 hours work over two weeks to do a good job, and the pick marks would stay.

But I'd only do this if the top was truly horrid so I couldn't make it worse. I'd run a real risk of making it look worse, and I've finished 50+ ukes. If you haven't done this before, I wouldn't risk it!