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Thread: Your opinion of flat finish?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Waterford, WI
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    411

    Default Your opinion of flat finish?

    I'm just curious what peoples opinions are on ukes with a flat finish.
    To me, sometimes high gloss finish takes away from the beauty of the wood. In certain lighting conditions, all you see is the reflection of the lights, rather than the beauty of the wood.

    I'm in the middle of making a tenor scale uke out of some of the most gorgeous walnut I've ever seen. I'm thinking about puting a flat finish on this one, but I'm wondering if I am making it harder to sell by not putting a gloss finish on it.

    So, what are your opinions; flat or gloss?


    ~Fred

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Michigan
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    237

    Default

    What about a middle of the road satin finish? I agree with you that a flat finish shows the wood. I personally don't like a high gloss finish. I have a Cordoba uke that I would call a satin finish and I really like that. A walnut uke....I'd like to see pics of that when you are done. Best of luck on whatever you decide to do!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ogden UT
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    2,705

    Default

    I love flat/matte finishes. My Martin guitar, my custom uke, and even my cheapo throw around Makala tenor all have matte finishes. I agree about the gloss taking away from the beauty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    San Diego
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    Default

    I could not agree more finkdaddy!!! The more gloss the worse for me. I love a clean matt or light satin finish where all you see is the beautiful wood...not your own reflection. I stay clear of shiny gloss and blingy inlays.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Waterford, WI
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    Default

    Thanks, guys!
    That is very encouraging. I believe I will definately try a matte finish on this uke and I promise I'll post it up when it's finished.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    San Diego
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    Default

    Very wise choice. I can't wait to see it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    8,119

    Default

    I agree that a gloss finish can be distracting, but it sure is beautiful on Tamara's Kamaka. I have a Kala that's a matte finish, and it's nothing to look at, but my Kala that has a satin (what painters call semi-gloss) that I like much, much better. The satin shows off the mahogany, and gives just the right amount of bling to my uke. Gloss finishes show everything, fingerprints, french fry grease, cat's pawprints, you name it!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Poway, CA
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    Default

    I"ll throw a little kink into this thread. I personally like a glossy finish and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I feel that the gloss brings and as well enhances the grain pattern of the wood...and again that is just my opinion. For whatever reason, I have always had a bit of buyers remorse whenever I've spend $ on a ukulele costing over $1k. That being said, I do have a Compass Rose as well as a Koolau both tenors that are in the satin finish. AND they sound great.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default

    What's the difference between Flat, Matte, Satin, Semi-Gloss, and Gloss finishes? Is there a term for finishes that feel like smooth plastic vs. textured? Sorry if off-topic.
    Kala KA-MT Tenor w/ Worth Browns, 9.30.10 ~ 4.13.13
    KoAloha Red-Label Mango Tenor w/ Worth Clears, 4.23.13
    Koa Pili Koko Deluxe Acacia Concert w/ Worth Clears, 2.12.14

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,772

    Default

    Just a couple of thought:

    1. Might you test the various finishes you are considering on some scraps of the walnut to get an idea of how they will appear?

    2. If you start with a gloss finish and don't like it, you can always rub it out.

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