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View Full Version : Help! I've turned my matte ukulele glossy!



Coleton33Music
08-05-2012, 08:00 PM
Hello UUers,

I just bought a Ashbury AU-40 S soprano ukulele at the end of June 2012, it has a matte finish and near the playing area (upper bout) and on the back of the neck, the finish has turned somewhat glossy. I may post photos if anyone needs a look.

I'm not sure what to do. I sorta like the glossy look. But I think I want it to go back to the original finish. Could my sweat be some sort of varnish??? O.o

I am thinking of getting a pickguard, a clear plastic one. But what would I have to do to change it back. I've tried cleaning it, but that doesn't seem to be working.

This is all caused by playing. I use my ring or middle finger to do tremolo very often. Could that be it?

Please Help,
Coleton

Ps. heres a image of a stock ashbury au-40s
http://www.goughanddavy.co.uk/product_desc.php?id=1010

EDIT:
Heres a photo of the front of the ukulele. The picture doesn't show how glossy it is. http://i1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg608/Coleton33Music/P8060010.jpg

Freeda
08-05-2012, 08:31 PM
It happens. Try wiping it down when you are done playing. ;)

RichM
08-05-2012, 09:07 PM
It's fairly inevitable. When you play it, you're essentially buffing the finish. Most matte finished instruments will develop shiny spots where you come in contact with them over time.

AndrewKuker
08-05-2012, 11:58 PM
Scotch brite scuff pad. Grey or Maroon. Depending on finish. To be safe the grey (gray?) is not as abrasive and the maroon can come after if not dull enough for you.

mm stan
08-06-2012, 12:23 AM
just probally your body oils...no big thing..

bazmaz
08-06-2012, 12:31 AM
Your playing is effectively polishing the finish. I see it as a sign that you are playing your ukulele lots and would stick with it. A uke should not be a showpiece - it will get bashed, dented, polished - it's a good thing!

PhilUSAFRet
08-06-2012, 02:25 AM
I don't care for a matte finish and am polishing all of mine, at least to a low, satin gloss.

coolkayaker1
08-06-2012, 03:23 AM
It's not a problem..,unless you wish to sell it someday. No one wants a uke that looks like a pair of old gym socks.

So, I guess it's yours for life. ;)

Sporin
08-06-2012, 03:42 AM
Your playing is effectively polishing the finish. I see it as a sign that you are playing your ukulele lots and would stick with it. A uke should not be a showpiece - it will get bashed, dented, polished - it's a good thing!


I agree 100%! If my ukuleles start looking like Willie Nelson's guitar I'll be pretty darn happy because it will mean I'm playing them a LOT. :)

mm stan
08-06-2012, 04:08 AM
You know when I use Nu finish and give it at least 4 coats..I notice the the polish fills the wood pores and I'd swear my ukes sound a whole lot better afterwards
maybe it is containing the sound within the body....who knows..

1931jim
08-06-2012, 04:14 AM
I have an old oak wooden arm desk chair for years. It has a nice manufactured groove in the seat for my skinny bum but over the years the ends of the two arms have taken on the most beautiful patina or glossy finish. It just means that I have had it for 50 years and enjoy sitting in it.
I think it is a sign of love of playing if your instrument develops a gloss or patina.

OldePhart
08-06-2012, 08:20 AM
It's not a problem..,unless you wish to sell it someday. No one wants a uke that looks like a pair of old gym socks.

So, I guess it's yours for life. ;)

Heh, heh. I'm in the other camp. If I was buying a used matte-finished uke I'd rather see those shiny spots that meant it got played a lot. Usually a pristine "hangar queen" is in that shape because it wasn't good enough to hold previous owner(s)' interest. Same thing for fine scratches and light wear on a gloss uke or the slight depressions that form on some fingerboards after years of love. As long as the wear isn't enough to adversely affect playability, or the result of obvious abuse, then wear marks are a good thing in my book.

mikelz777
08-06-2012, 08:47 AM
Such glossy or wear marks only add a special character to the uke and makes it uniquely yours. In my book, it adds rather than subtracts from the look. It shows the love of and the use of the instrument. I love the term "hanger queen" posted above and I share the same opinion, if it looks pristine and new than it probably wasn't good enough to hold the owner's interest enough for them to play it. A uke isn't meant to be put in a showcase and admired for it's pristine looks, it's meant to be played and some minor wear is to be expected.

bodhran
08-06-2012, 09:01 AM
Rory Gallagher's guitar........................
41248

mm stan
08-06-2012, 09:26 AM
I know when I get a new car...I am so careful...and about several years later and several scratches...I still worry but not as much....go figure...
but I am not that way with ukes...ha ha those may be my badges of honor....LOL

Coleton33Music
08-06-2012, 10:12 AM
Well thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I think I'll keep the gloss on. And if the day comes that I want to sell it, scotch brite pads will come in handy if the new owner doesn't want that. But that won't be for a while.

Does anyone want to see photos of the ukulele?

-Coleton

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
08-06-2012, 10:36 AM
Does anyone want to see photos of the ukulele?

-Coleton
The answer to this question at UU is always yes.

And when I see someone with a matte uke that's getting shiny on the neck and lower bout I think, "He/she loves to play that uke. Cool."

mikelz777
08-06-2012, 10:54 AM
Well thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I think I'll keep the gloss on. And if the day comes that I want to sell it, scotch brite pads will come in handy if the new owner doesn't want that. But that won't be for a while.

Does anyone want to see photos of the ukulele?

-Coleton

Don't listen to the poster who stated or implied that you wouldn't be able to sell it. Buyers of used instruments aren't being very realistic if they are expecting like new or pristine condition. If the day comes that you choose to sell it, provide good pictures, provide an accurate description and sell it as is. Let the buyer decide what, if anything, is needed to be done with the appearance or finish.

Also, yes to pics. You've got me curious now.

G Hill
08-06-2012, 03:09 PM
its just 'playing wear and tear' it won't devalue your uke one bit. imho it looks kinda cool.
Don't touch it you'll do more damage than good
cheers
Gary

OldePhart
08-06-2012, 03:09 PM
Such glossy or wear marks only add a special character to the uke and makes it uniquely yours. In my book, it adds rather than subtracts from the look. It shows the love of and the use of the instrument. I love the term "hanger queen" posted above and I share the same opinion, if it looks pristine and new than it probably wasn't good enough to hold the owner's interest enough for them to play it. A uke isn't meant to be put in a showcase and admired for it's pristine looks, it's meant to be played and some minor wear is to be expected.

Heh, heh. I got a kick out of this reply and the changed spelling of hangar queen. "Hangar" (with an a) is the correct spelling for an aircraft hangar which is where I got the expression from (in the Air Force "hangar queens" were equipment that sat in the hangar and got cannabilized for parts to keep other planes flying). Then I realized...when talking of ukes "hanger" (with an e) queen is actually a better usage - as in hung on a wall and forgotten!
:rofl:

John

mangorockfish
08-06-2012, 03:30 PM
There's a guy, Willie something or other that has this really "played" guitar that sounds great. I don'think he cares what it looks like, but when it gets packed up, I bet it gets more care than any of the other instruments in the show. Nelson, that's it, Willie Nelson.

OldePhart
08-06-2012, 03:34 PM
There's a guy, Willy something or other that has this really "played" guitar that sounds great. I don'think he cares what it looks like, but when it gets packed up, I bet it gets more care than any of the other instruments in the show. Nelson, that's it, Willy Nelson.

Heh, heh. I remember seeing some footage where a guy near the front row at a Willie Nelson concert called out that he had the same model, even the same year, guitar as Willie but it was in pristine condition and he wanted to swap straight up for Willie's. Nelson just laughed and the camera cut away real quick so I think he may have flown a bird in the guys direction... LOL

If you've ever seen a closeup of that guitar though it's pretty crazy. There's about a four-inch hole in the top and you can see the bracing underneath.

mangorockfish
08-06-2012, 03:41 PM
Heh, heh. I remember seeing some footage where a guy near the front row at a Willie Nelson concert called out that he had the same model, even the same year, guitar as Willie but it was in pristine condition and he wanted to swap straight up for Willie's. Nelson just laughed and the camera cut away real quick so I think he may have flown a bird in the guys direction... LOL

If you've ever seen a closeup of that guitar though it's pretty crazy. There's about a four-inch hole in the top and you can see the bracing underneath.

Surely Willie wouldn't do something like that.

Sporin
08-06-2012, 05:07 PM
Willie Nelson's guitar "Trigger" is an American Icon in my opinion.
http://stillisstillmoving.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/img891.jpg
http://starcasm.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/FNP_BFH_0184471.jpg

coolkayaker1
08-06-2012, 05:19 PM
I think it's humorous the replies on here for those that say they like wear and scratches on a used instrument.

Let me just say, original poster, that their attitude is not the general opinion of UU Marketplace, where every little micro-spec is quantified and scrutinized by the vast majority of buyers. I have never seen a uke increase, or even retain, it's value when the owner mentions that it has glossy spots from forearm wear.

Every time one of these thread comes up, and it is often, everyone always -- always-- chimes in about loving an instrument and playing it and enjoying it and don't worry about it and blah blah, and every time on any marketplace, it's wanting a full itinerary of every nick and scratch on the thing from a pot'l buyer.

Don;t worry, the disconnect is on every marketplace--used cars, kayaks, camping gear, etc. Everyone wants you to love it, but deduct for every blemish at sale time. Perhaps it's human nature.

I would not use Scotch-brite on the satin uke. It will (a) scratch it, and (b) not get your body oils out of it.

OldePhart
08-06-2012, 05:21 PM
Surely Willie wouldn't do something like that.

I wouldn't put it past him doing it in jest...particularly if the guy was a regular at his concerts or otherwise known to him.

mikelz777
08-06-2012, 05:39 PM
Heh, heh. I got a kick out of this reply and the changed spelling of hangar queen. "Hangar" (with an a) is the correct spelling for an aircraft hangar which is where I got the expression from (in the Air Force "hangar queens" were equipment that sat in the hangar and got cannabilized for parts to keep other planes flying). Then I realized...when talking of ukes "hanger" (with an e) queen is actually a better usage - as in hung on a wall and forgotten!
:rofl:

John

I wish I could admit it was intentional but it was actually my mistake. :o I didn't read very carefully and thought you had written "hanger" and was tickled by the term thinking it was a uke being hung up and never played for fear of marring it in some way.

OldePhart
08-06-2012, 05:39 PM
I think it's humorous the replies on here for those that say they like wear and scratches on a used instrument.

Let me just say, original poster, that their attitude is not the general opinion of UU Marketplace, where every little micro-spec is quantified and scrutinized by the vast majority of buyers. I have never seen a uke increase, or even retain, it's value when the owner mentions that it has glossy spots from forearm wear.


I think maybe you're overlooking two things. One, there's a huge difference between wear from tons of play (shininess, scuffs on the lower bout of glossy ukes, etc.) and from carelessness - dings, amateur modifications, and so on. I check the Marketplace daily and it's pretty rare to see the "good" wear because a lot of what goes through there is pretty recent stuff. I'd hazard a wild guess that probably somewhere around 75-80% of what's listed in the marketplace are ukes that are fairly low end, less than a year old, or both.

When we...well, when I...talk about not being bothered by "honest" wear I'm talking about a uke that is old enough for some "honest" wear to be expected and I don't even look at most ukes unless they're something that is likely to be a uke I'd want to play a lot - i.e. not near the bottom of the heap. :) If I was looking at less expensive ukes then I'd still rather have one that shows it was played a lot but I'd not be very inclined to pay anywhere near "new" price regardless of condition. On the other hand, I only "saved" about $50 over the cost of a new one when I bought my year-old KoAloha longneck soprano. It had a very little bit of discoloration on the fretboard in the first postiion from being played for a year but honestly I probably would have been less inclined to buy it at any price if it hadn't shown any signs of being used. It's been two years and it now has even more discoloration on the fretboard...I prefer to call it "patina" :)

I think probably one of the saddest things I've ever seen is a uke or guitar that is 40 years old, has had several owners, may or may not have age cracks and crackled finish, but shows no honest play wear. That tells me it sat in the case, or hung on the wall, or got stuffed in a box in the attic or basement - but never "engaged" a human being to want to play it.
John

Pondoro
08-06-2012, 06:23 PM
Play the uke. Don't sell it. Then you do not have to worry about the shiny spots hurting the value.

bodhran
08-06-2012, 09:19 PM
Play the uke. Don't sell it. Then you do not have to worry about the shiny spots hurting the value.

Well said Sir!

bobmyers
08-07-2012, 03:28 AM
Hey Phil,
What do you use to polish the matte finish, I'd like to do mine as well?
Bob Myers

Sporin
08-07-2012, 03:56 AM
I think it's humorous the replies on here for those that say they like wear and scratches on a used instrument.

Let me just say, original poster, that their attitude is not the general opinion of UU Marketplace, where every little micro-spec is quantified and scrutinized by the vast majority of buyers. I have never seen a uke increase, or even retain, it's value when the owner mentions that it has glossy spots from forearm wear.

Every time one of these thread comes up, and it is often, everyone always -- always-- chimes in about loving an instrument and playing it and enjoying it and don't worry about it and blah blah, and every time on any marketplace, it's wanting a full itinerary of every nick and scratch on the thing from a pot'l buyer.

Don;t worry, the disconnect is on every marketplace--used cars, kayaks, camping gear, etc. Everyone wants you to love it, but deduct for every blemish at sale time. Perhaps it's human nature.

:D There is definitley a lot of truth to that! That said, I still don't care if my uke shows wear because I play it so much, and I do accept that it's resale value would get picked down because of that.

delray48209
08-07-2012, 07:48 AM
As the old saying goes, "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

wendellfiddler
08-07-2012, 03:45 PM
It's not a problem..,unless you wish to sell it someday. No one wants a uke that looks like a pair of old gym socks.

So, I guess it's yours for life. ;)

Hah! Let's see, how much would you pay for a vintage Martin tenor with some playing wear?

At any rate, if you care about the gloss/matte differential, all the more reason to buff out the entire finish so you won't have that problem. I've also found that matte finishes tend to hold grime from your body more than gloss, which is easier to wipe clean.

dt

hmgberg
08-07-2012, 04:02 PM
It's not a problem..,unless you wish to sell it someday. No one wants a uke that looks like a pair of old gym socks.

So, I guess it's yours for life. ;)

If it looks like the kind of socks that have the 3 bold red stripes at the calf, I might be interested.