White stains on a black guitar
Q: I have a black Yamaha FG 411 acoustic
guitar. Of late, there are these white stains which have appeared
all over the body (front and back) of the guitar, which just won't
Can you please suggest a way of successufully removing
these horrifying stains off my guitar?
A: The finish on your guitar is catalyzed.
It's like an epoxy coating.
There is a wash coat
to seal the wood, then Black color coats and then a clear top coat.
Nothing sticks to this
type of finish very well. Sweat
stains would be white but would wipe off with water.
The old nitrocellulose lacquers turned white when people
spilled alcohol on them. The
only thing that I can think of which would make a white stain on
top of your finish, and would be hard to remove, would be a Superglue
haze. Scratches and
cracks in this type of finish are patched with cyanoacrolate, Superglue.
As the glue dries a
mist will condense on the finish near the repair.
The police use this property of superglue to find fingerprints
at crime scenes. If
this is your problem, the surface should feel slightly rough.
You should be able to raise a shine with McGuire's #7 buffing
is more likely in the finish or under the finish.
If you took a knife and scratched your guitar the scratch
would appear white. There could be lots of tiny scratches looking
like a white stain. These
also could be buffed out but you would have to start with a heavier
buffing compound and work down to #7. Lastly, there could be a bad
joint between the black coat and the top coat. Fixing that would
definitely exceed the value of the guitar.
The guitar would have to be refinished.
Black is a very hard color to match (actually all colors
are essentially impossible to match) so the whole guitar would need
to be refinished. Removing
the old finish involves removing some of the wood that it's soaked
into. In your case this
is the top ply of your plywood back and sides.
The grain in the next ply down goes the other direction.
Don't go there.
If this is your problem, learn to love your stains or sell
the guitar to someone who can.
Get your eye right down to your guitar in very good light.
Use a magnifying glass
even. You should be
able to see if your facing door #1 door #2 or door #3.