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May 10, 2021 - 9:08:21 PM



23 posts since 4/17/2021

Recently in the archives, I read about clear nitro-cellulose nail polish being used for small finish repairs.
I've got some Sally Hanson "Hard as Nails"; and I'm all set to try this on my old May Bell.
A glue repair left a slight gap in the finish that I'd like to fill with the polish. Actually, kind of over-fill; and then sand/polish smooth between and after several coats.
I've got the polish, and 400, 600, 800, & 1000 grit wet/dry paper ready.
Has anyone tried this with success? Any tips/warnings for me before I try it?

Thank you,
Les Delinski

May 10, 2021 - 10:25:58 PM

94 posts since 2/16/2008

I have repaired guitars many times with nail polish. works great.

May 10, 2021 - 11:59:04 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)


24693 posts since 6/25/2005

Make sure it’s nitro and not acrylic.

May 11, 2021 - 5:28:56 AM
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22371 posts since 7/6/2005

I just use nitro from a spray can. I spritz a little in the can top and use a fine sable brush to drop-fill and level.

Edited by - beegee on 05/11/2021 05:29:21

May 11, 2021 - 8:57:13 AM

68 posts since 4/14/2021

Not on musical instruments. I've used clear nail polish to repair stone chips in show car and motorcycle paint. Put color in the chip, then top it with clear nail polish, bulid it up, then block sand to from 600 to 2000 grit till flat. Buff. Works great. Looks like a faint water spot if looked at closely.

I'd imagine it would work just as well on an instrument with a gloss finish

May 11, 2021 - 10:11:43 AM
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922 posts since 11/8/2014

I've done this using Bob's method, then bought a gallon of the Deft lacquer, and use that now. It seems to have a bit more solids in it than the Deft in the can, but that may be because of the carrier in the aerosol. It works great; I used it on a Gibson peghead to fill in some crazing, and although it took quite a few applications and sanding between them, in the end the finish was as good as original unless you looked closely at an angle. Filled well around the MOP also.  One thing I would check first on a small spot.  Sometimes I found (I've used this method several times) the lacquer is going to cause the original finish to wrinkle.  This makes it a lot more work to undertake and get a good final finish.  If the finish does wrinkle when the lacquer is applied (try a very small obscure spot), I found that if I am careful, I can just fill the crack several times with the lacquer, drying between applications, and as long as there is not a lot of lacquer on the original finish outside the crack, the finish can be leveled and polished to a good final finish.  

Edited by - rmcdow on 05/11/2021 10:15:43

May 11, 2021 - 11:53:18 PM

Bart Veerman


4949 posts since 1/5/2005
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If I'm reading the responses correctly then nail polish can be used regardless of the kind of finish?

Any way/tricks to identify the current type of finish?

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