Anybody ever take the gloss finish off a neck?


May 14, 2008
And they are the ones picking bits of metal out of their pickups...

Steel wool should never be within 6 feet of a guitar. There is no need any more.

Amen! I learned that the hard way a long time ago, before there were Scotch Brite pads. If you must, cover your pickups with masking tape.


You've gotta get up!, to get down!
Silver Member
May 5, 2020
It only works for a little while, the shine soon comes back.
I guess I won't do that then.

My satin neck isn't half as bad, in the Summer.

In the Summertime, what do you do to prevent bugs from landing on your neck, whilst playing outside?

Thrup'ny Bit

Grand Master Curmudgeon
May 21, 2010
In the Summertime, what do you do to prevent bugs from landing on your neck, whilst playing outside?



May 14, 2008
In the Summertime, what do you do to prevent bugs from landing on your neck, whilst playing outside?

Kill them all. Or work on your dramatic stage moves so they can't land. (If they're Murder Hornets, say your prayers.)
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Senior Stratmaster
Feb 16, 2018
I did the Scotch Brite pad thing on an EJ nitro-finished neck which never hardened-- it was fine for a while, but the unpleasant crumblies kept on returning. After 13 years, I finally got fed up and used denatured alcohol (a mild solvent) to remove it from the playing surface. I think Fender put a satin poly finish underneath because I didn't need to seal it and it didn't absorb dirt or oils. Not as pretty, but screw resale value-- I bought it to play it.

View attachment 467892
"I bought it to play it" such a novel idea at times around here...

Wayne Adams

Aug 12, 2011
I have, yes. Took the gloss finish off my '78 Musicmaster, since i ruined the resale value years ago anyway. Used a scraper VERY lightly, then 500-grit sandpaper, then 2500-grit sandpaper. Finished up with tung oil, several coats with superfine steel wool in between coats. Same finish I have on my Tele and Strat except they were done that way to start with. Those are the three I use the most, the others I'll leave as they are.


Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014

800 to 1000 grit sandpaper from the local hardware or automotive store.

... and don't sand down to wood. All you need to do is cut the gloss.

That way, when you decide to sell the guitar (and you will eventually, yes even you and even that guitar) you just use higher sandpaper grits and work up to polish it back to gloss.
No one wants to buy a damaged guitar, they may love relics but they want to buy a pristine guitar to relic themselves.

+1 keep steel wool away from all guitars. Even 'masking tape' the pickups does not protect them as the metal filings are all around like on your shirt sleeves and the workbench. Just. don't. do. it.



Feb 20, 2019
Tampa Bay
In other words, can I just sand this off?
Yes, sort of. But it will polish back up with hand wear over time. For a satin feel, I'd go with grey Scotchbrite pads (auto finish suppliers will have them). The green ones for pots and pans are a little coarse for what you want, but as mentioned above, an old worn one may get you there. Alternately, 1000 grit wet or dry paper will be close.


Senior Stratmaster
Jan 7, 2020
I'm thinking of doing the very same thing (worn scourer trick)

Whilst I can live with it during the cooler months of the year, summertime the palm of my hand and the neck of my guitar don't get on. Too sticky.
It just feels too plasticky. It’s a great neck and I think the build quality is really nice on the guitar as a whole. For some reason the gloss just makes it feel cheaper than it should.


Senior Stratmaster
Oct 19, 2019
Yeah silicone/synthetics get a bad rap. Great stuff imo. Turtle wax Ice here. Great for everything save the fretboard. Its also kept my new( 3 years old now) white kitchen cabinets spotless too. Nothing sticks to them, lol.


Richard McKay

I take a green scotch bright to the neck every time I restring. Works well. My dirty blond has the finish sanded completely off. I didn't like it when I first did it but at the Dale Wilson at the Fender Custom Shop told me to take a piece of burlap and burnish it (sand it) with that for a while. Now I love it. But I probably couldn't re-sell it as easily.


Strat-Talk Member
Oct 24, 2017
Scotchbrite pad works great. I have a Reverend Sensei Jr that I really enjoy, but the summer I got it the finish was really sticky. Takes only about five or six swipes and it smooths it right out. On that one, I do find that the sticky gloss does come back when the humidity is high, but two or three Scotchbrite swipes cuts it right back down again.


Jan 27, 2016
A gentle touch with a grey 3M pad from Home Depot will take the shine off without removing the finish. A good guitar polish will bring back the shine if you decide to sell.