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Buffing Polyurethane Finish On An Epiphone Les Paul

DarthTangYang

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
5
Hello!

I hope this is the right place for a post like this. Since I don't own a Gibson but an Epiphone this looked like the best place for my questions.

I have a black Epiphone Les Paul Studio from 2001 (Korean made) and I'm in the process of upgrading pots and pickups. And while I have it dismantled I figured I might also try and fix all those very fine scratches and swirls in the finish (polyurethane) that has been accumulated over the years. I'm just not sure how. I've looked around on YouTube and different websites and people seem to use a buffing wheel and some kind of buffing compound for this. I'm just not sure what kind of buffing wheel I should get. Are there like different "grits" for buffing wheels and if so which should I look for? And what kind of buffing compound? I don't want to mess up the finish more than it already is. To be clear, the scratches are not deep but super fine and basically everywhere on the body.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
515
You can use products made for rubbing, polishing and finishing cars. With some time and elbow grease, you’ll get a nice shiny result. You don’t need a wheel. In fact those inexperienced with buffing wheels, risk burning the finish. Start by hand with polishing pads and see if it does the job. :)
 

rockabilly69

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,659
Hello!

I hope this is the right place for a post like this. Since I don't own a Gibson but an Epiphone this looked like the best place for my questions.

I have a black Epiphone Les Paul Studio from 2001 (Korean made) and I'm in the process of upgrading pots and pickups. And while I have it dismantled I figured I might also try and fix all those very fine scratches and swirls in the finish (polyurethane) that has been accumulated over the years. I'm just not sure how. I've looked around on YouTube and different websites and people seem to use a buffing wheel and some kind of buffing compound for this. I'm just not sure what kind of buffing wheel I should get. Are there like different "grits" for buffing wheels and if so which should I look for? And what kind of buffing compound? I don't want to mess up the finish more than it already is. To be clear, the scratches are not deep but super fine and basically everywhere on the body.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
This stuff works wonders on Poly, and you don't need a wheel! I can't count the times I've really cleaned up both nitro and poly finishes with it. https://www.amazon.com/Players-Guitar-Scratch-Remover-Eternashine/dp/B008NRF8R2
 

DarthTangYang

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
5
Would have been great, but it's no longer available on either Amazon in the US, UK or Germany. I live in Sweden so to order it from across the pond wouldn't really be an option anyway. I also checked other stores in Germany and the UK who have offered it and still have pages dedicated to this product on their websites but they all say "currently unavailable". So perhaps it's been discontinued.
 

DarthTangYang

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
5
I did manage to find someone who sells in on E-bay in the UK but with shipping included it comes to a whopping $58!!
 

rockabilly69

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,659
I did manage to find someone who sells in on E-bay in the UK but with shipping included it comes to a whopping $58!!
Here is their current webpage, and it's showing available...

 

DarthTangYang

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
5
Here is their current webpage, and it's showing available...

Yes, true. But like I said, ordering anything from across the pond is always very expensive. Weirdly enough it's somehow cheaper for me to order it all the way from the US than from the UK, but still, it's $40 with shipping included. Then I have to pay VAT once it arrives here in Sweden which is 25% of the total cost for both the product itself and shipping. So the total cost ends at around $50.

I'll have to try and find something a bit cheaper, a bit more readily available here in Europe.
 

rockabilly69

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,659
Yes, true. But like I said, ordering anything from across the pond is always very expensive. Weirdly enough it's somehow cheaper for me to order it all the way from the US than from the UK, but still, it's $40 with shipping included. Then I have to pay VAT once it arrives here in Sweden which is 25% of the total cost for both the product itself and shipping. So the total cost ends at around $50.

I'll have to try and find something a bit cheaper, a bit more readily available here in Europe.
Bummer!!!! Sounds like a pain, although worth $50 to me for the results that I've gotten with it. But I'm sure there's other products out there that would work just as good. It's just the perfect grit light rubbing compound, with a finer grit finish polish. Good luck in your search!
 

RnB

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2004
Messages
831
Most Auto stores carry a line of finishing products (polishing cmpds), like Meguiars. 3M is also very good ~ but pricey.
 

DarthTangYang

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
5
Most Auto stores carry a line of finishing products (polishing cmpds), like Meguiars. 3M is also very good ~ but pricey.
Yes, I managed to find some Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0 and it seems to work really well. I just think I need to invest in a simple polishing machine with a foam pad to get all those tiny scratches out. It takes forever to do it by hand. I've been using a standard, quite cheap microfiber cloth and it's definitely a major improvement from what it looked like before. But I can't seem to get them all out. A rotating soft sponge that can follow the curves of the carved top would probably be ideal.
 
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