View Full Version : High gloss finish

04-09-2019, 05:57 PM
Is there any need to protect high gloss finish from oils on your arm when it is resting on the bout of your ukulele?
Will it be harmed or is it best to wear clothing to cover your arm?
I have a high gloss finish Martin.
Thanks in advance for any advice.

04-09-2019, 06:12 PM
Not unless you've got bug spray or suntan lotion on. Otherwise just wipe it down with a soft cloth after use.

04-09-2019, 07:02 PM
The only high gloss Martin I can think of is the Martin 5k uke. Pics or it didn’t happen. Just kidding. I’m lazy and do not care for smear marks on my glossy ukes. sometimes there’s a layer of murky dirt oil at the edge where the stumming arm rests, I will wipe off with a damp soft cloth and immediately wipe dry. HTH.

04-09-2019, 08:28 PM
Yes, it is a Martin 5K since you asked.

04-09-2019, 08:48 PM
One of the ukulele manufacturers/luthiers said that sweat contains oils and salts. The salts in particular can damage a finish over time if they are not wiped off. A lint free cloth after you play is usually enough. But a lightly damp cloth will usually clean away any salts if a buildup occurs.

If the finish is a nitrocellulous gloss lacquer, I'd check to make sure that water won't hurt it, including sweat. I believe Martin recommends following their guitar care guidelines. But, for a 5K, I think I would contact a customer service representative and ask them for their recommended care procedures. Or ask them to put you in touch with a Martin Tech for advice. That's what the reps are there for. To help Martin owners with any issues. If you belong to the Martin Owners Club you have another avenue to consult with.

Post some sound files if you get the chance. Would love to hear it.

04-09-2019, 09:58 PM
I can say from experience that nitrocellulose lacquer is subject to sweat damage... Two of my guitars, a 1965 Jose Ramirez and an early 90s Douglas Ching have nitrocellulose lacquer and, yep, they've gone bald on the necks and where my right forearm touched. Not as delicate as French polish but wearing a long sleeve shirt (or compression sleeve) and wiping off after playing extends their life but eventually the nitrocellulose gives out. Save for not playing, nothing you can do to stop the wear. I consider the scars and bald spots a badge of honor...

04-10-2019, 01:56 AM
Yes, it is a Martin 5K since you asked.

And that’s a dream soprano for me. Lovely uke.