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Thread: Can I Put A Gloss Finish Over A Satin Finish?

  1. #1
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    Default Can I Put A Gloss Finish Over A Satin Finish?

    I have a uke with a satin finish. I'd like it to be glossy. Can I put the finish on there myself or is that going to kill the sound? I heard it might.

  2. #2
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    You have to be more specific about what kind of finish. For some finishes the difference is just in the amount of polishing. If you want a different kind of finish you may have to sand the old one off first.

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  4. #4
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    I've done it to a couple of Larrivee satin finish guitars, with good results, getting a shiny finish, not full deep gloss, but very nice. Most importantly, it removed the swishing sound that you get when your hand/arm contacts the satin finishe while strumming. Basically, you sand lightly with 0000 steel wool, then apply auto polish and buff till you get the glossy finish you want, using a few coats..

    Here's a thread on it
    http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/ind...?topic=12830.0
    John

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    Thanks for the replies

  6. #6
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    I used Brasso to buff the satin to gloss on my Ohana baritone, just the body, leaving the neck satin. I didn't use wire wool, though I have on a couple of instruments and it seems a similar result with or without, to me. There is a quite faint 'orange peel' effect as opposed to the mirror finish of a factory gloss finish but I now really like the homespun job more.

    Can't really tell from the picture but open-pored woods don't cooperate - did this to a cheap parlour guitar once and it looked disgusting, like it had been sweated on for a few years.

    Meguiars guitar polish is the more expensive route to the same result but if I do this job again I'll try Brasso first before spending the extra.

    I don't find the job fun and don't look forward to doing it again - there is a temptation to book a last minute dental appointment to get out of it half way.

    Lastly, it is quite a hassle working round the bridge and where the fingerboard meets the body - pieces of sponge seemed to do this best, maybe because you're pushing at it and it compresses to reach into those crannies better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    I've done it to a couple of Larrivee satin finish guitars, with good results, getting a shiny finish, not full deep gloss, but very nice. Most importantly, it removed the swishing sound that you get when your hand/arm contacts the satin finishe while strumming. Basically, you sand lightly with 0000 steel wool, then apply auto polish and buff till you get the glossy finish you want, using a few coats..

    Here's a thread on it
    http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/ind...?topic=12830.0
    When I mentioned using a fine 0000 steel wool to clean fretboards and frets I was told that their shop uses only plastic sheet abrasives, like a scrubbing pad to do it because steel wool loses minute metal particles when used. And those particles can get attracted to the magnets in the pickups on electric ukes. And possibly get into other electronics, such as preamp controls, in acoustic/electric ukes.

    I have rubbed the matte finish on my Martin 1T IZ with a cotton cloth and essentially buffing it down to a more satin finish. Your arm and clothes will do pretty much the same over time. I just hastened it along.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 06-16-2021 at 04:33 PM.
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  8. #8
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    I have lightly sanded and french polished ukuleles and also porefilled a satin mahogany body with superglue, sanded and french polished. Only to be able to use suctioncup holders.
    Mahimahi MS-35W Soprano Willow
    Mahimahi MC-35W Concerto Willow
    Mahimahi MT-35W Tenore Willow
    Geso GC-85 Concert
    Geso GT-85 Tenor
    Martin HSO Soprano 2004
    Reno RU-210 Soprano
    Everplay LA8-21 soprano thinbody deadwood
    Makala MK-C Concert
    Harley Benton Banjolele BJ-15
    Martin T-15 Tiple 1956
    Just Povlsen Uke 790, 1947
    Cordoba Mini M Guitalele in A
    Cordoba Mini M Guitalele in E

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by donboody View Post
    I have a uke with a satin finish. I'd like it to be glossy. Can I put the finish on there myself or is that going to kill the sound? I heard it might.
    I have done it a couple of times and it doesn't really affect the sound. It's a lot of work and I'm not sure I would recommend it. I didn't do any sanding. I just used virtuoso guitar polish and just rubbed in circles. You will have to remove the strings, turners, and tape up all areas that you don't want to polish (fretboard, bridge, maybe the neck). It takes a lot of time and you will have to keep rubbing in small circles with the polish (just a dab each time) till the satin finish starts to shine. It might take like 10 mins to get a small 1-inch area to start to gloss over. Your fingers will start to get tired after a while.

    It takes a while to do the whole uke. I would say a few to several hours to do finish the whole uke. Really just depends on how long your arm and fingers last due to fatigue. I would break it up into a couple of days. I haven't been able to get a very high gloss but it gets glossy. The tight corners are harder to do like around the bridge, fretboard, and where the neck joins the body.

    There is a couple of older forum posts here on UU of people doing it. Also on AGF (acoustic guitar forum). I tried to do a quick search but couldn't find the posts. I did a bunch of research before doing it. Folks recommend doing it by hand and not use a machine. This way you don't get down to the raw wood. The finish (satin or gloss) is a protective coating.

    Again I don't know if I would recommend it. Its a lot of work and doesn't look as glossy or as clean as a gloss-coated ukulele. But it does look nicer if you are into the gloss look. It also brings out the character of the wood.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by deznuchs; 06-18-2021 at 10:09 PM.

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