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What to do with paint chip on a guitar?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by DeltaOneEight, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. DeltaOneEight

    DeltaOneEight Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 29, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering what the best solution was on fixing paint chips on the body? My MIM strat has a poly coating and I didn't know what I should do. Should I sand it down?

    I'm a complete newbie so any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks everyone :D
  2. geetar

    geetar Strat-O-Master

    Dec 7, 2010
    hmm i assmued it would be nitro when i read this.

    not sure what to do for poly, not much you can do. id just leave it be. you now own a reliced guitar ;)
  3. jimmiraz

    jimmiraz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 3, 2010
    Buffalo NY
    Depending on the color and size of the chip, nail polish can be a good cheep fix.
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  5. sneakypete

    sneakypete Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 5, 2009
    I don`t know, I`ve never seen a home made repair to paint chips that looked convincing...get a few more and call it a relic.
  6. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Strat-O-Master

    Sep 10, 2010
    Dallas TX
    +1. If you're lucky, the chip will be in an area that's all one color, for example, the black ridge at the edge of a sunburst.

    Bring the guitar with you to your local cosmetics counter, that way you can compare the color side by side with the color of the guitar.

    Just as with regular paint, the trick is multiple coats, and then sand between each coat. I used 400 grit sandpaper.

    If you sand and then apply a fresh coat every night, most chips can be made nearly invisible after about a week.

    The first time I did this, I was surprised how well it turned out. I've since done it to a couple more guitars, and I think I get a little better every time.
  7. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Strat-O-Master

    Dec 10, 2008
    Mount Airy & Grifton NC
    Might try some Testors or other model paint (hobby shop) if it's a color that matches. Put a little in, let it dry - it will shrink some. Keep building it up til you're happy with it.

    Sanding it down is just going to make a larger repair area. Got any pics so we can get a better idea?

  8. thaus

    thaus Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 6, 2007
    London Canada
    Model paint can be used. If it's a deeper chip, you may want to use wood-filler and sand. Poly is hard to repair.
  9. mutato

    mutato Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 10, 2007
    Yeah, it's going to be hard to fix. The coating is usually super thick. Like almost an 1/8th of an inch thick! Is it down to the wood? The best you can do is make it less visible with touch up paint. Think of it like a chip on the front of your car. I try and touch them up with the provided paint that comes with the car. It hides the chip, but NEVER blends perfectly. It is what it is.
  10. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Mar 11, 2010
    Norman, OK
    I agree with model paint and finernail polish. An automotive paint store could match your color, but it would not be cheap.

    You could also just leave it, and have a naturally reliced guitar.
  11. midifarm

    midifarm Commercial Suspension

    Jan 31, 2009

    I've heard clear nail polish will work well.
  12. stradovarious

    stradovarious Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 14, 2010
    guitar worth more now, it is a relic.

    Seriously, those dings add character IMO. You should see my 3 classicals. One is worth over 25k EASY, one very wealthy guy offered me twice that; it is signed inside by one of the World's greatest classical guitarsits, who is also a friend of mine. a 1966 Jose Ramirez, initials "A.M." (one of the half dozen original builders, all since passed). If you saw this guitar or my other two hanging on the wall at guitar store, you wouldn't pay ten bucks for them if you didn't know what they were. Beat to heck. Dings and cracks everywhere- WHO CARES? Look at a Googled photo of the General Kyd Stradivari violin, now once again on the market and available for purchase; the opening bid is 8 million dollars and it will sell for more than that, this much is certain. It is beat to heck. After all, what kind of a worthless warrior has no battle scars?
  13. Telliot

    Telliot Strat-O-Master

    Jan 18, 2011
    Laguna Hills, CA
    Usually, the repair ends up a bigger eyesore than the original blemish--I don't think I've ever seen a convincing job. Think of it as your first door ding. Now go enjoy your broken-in guitar. :)
  14. ShaneRingo

    ShaneRingo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 28, 2011
    they are badges of honor, aren't they? ;)

    a couple of my favorite guitars are marred by some dents or paint chips,
    but I'm just gonna live with 'em. some of my guitars are pretty hammered
    looking as well, and not just the CS Relics.

    I have one Jimmie Vaughan that's still pretty much as I purchased it brand
    new, and it's only that way 'cuz I haven't really gigged with it much.

    if you want to do paint touch-ups, I'm with the folks who recommend nail
    polish or model paint. a skilled luthier or repair person could also do it so
    that you'd never know there was ever a chip, but that would also cost the
    most of any available option. if you're confident and patient, you can most
    likely do an acceptable job yourself as both JayFreddy and 66musicmaster
    have suggested.
  15. michaell

    michaell Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 6, 2011
    on the bus
    Get a note book and log each nick, ding etc. Show this to your grandchildren! :)
    While it's not fun to see these marks on a brand new guitar, eventually you will not even notice them.
  16. chipbutty24

    chipbutty24 Strat-Talker

    Jul 10, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Leave it alone. It will look worse if you fix them. Instead of ding or chip, I like to call them mojo or character. Think SRV, EC or Jimi ever worried about dings? It's the real secret to great tone ;)
  17. DeltaOneEight

    DeltaOneEight Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 29, 2010
    haha thanks for the comments guys

    I got the guitar used, so it came with the dings and marks on it. I'm not too concerned at all about it, I was just wondering if there was a way to help prevent it from getting worst. The chips is down to the wood, but isn't too noticeable.

    I guess its hard to get attached to a guitar when I didn't like the tone at all when I got it. Its basically has just been sitting on a guitar stand for about half a year. I'm hoping this will change when I get some new pups.

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone completely remove the outer poly coating? Cause to me, it just seems like a giant candy shell coating. I can see the alder body from the chip. Now its making me wonder what a naked strat would look like lol
  18. Poppster

    Poppster Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    +1. :cool:
  19. Outlier73

    Outlier73 Strat-O-Master

    Jul 31, 2009
    Rhode Island
    yes I stripped the poly coating off of my 82 start back in the 90's. It was difficult to do but I did it with sand paper. I don't think I changed the contour of the body at all but you have to be careful of that. Chemical Strippers might be better. I don't know what will take off Poly but I'm sure you'll get some good advice on that here. (if not check out the guitar re-ranch message board.)

    If you want natural than you have to stip down to the wood and remove all of the undercoat. If you want to repaint a different color, you don't have to remove everything - maybe just the clear coat and you can use the existing finish as a solid base coat.
  20. MyCoalstrat

    MyCoalstrat Strat-Talk Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Fremont CA
    Battle scar dont worry too much of chips and ding. Just play the guitar
  21. mcmacguy

    mcmacguy Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 5, 2010
    I disagree. I don't like paint missing on my car or guitars, and it can be fixed. Check out the nail polish and find a match -apply it sparingly.

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