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Discussion Starter #1
Same guitar as the headstock issue. Very dirty Kawai... as seen in the before image, dirt was caked on. From my understanding, this guitar sat in a cellar for 20-30yrs so, just years of dust, dirt, etc settling onto it and layering.

Took some elbow grease and Simple Green to get the surface clean. However, as seen in the closeup, where the dirt sat, has dark patches.

I'm not sure how it works with these finishes... if the stain sits on top? or soaks it's way through. I had hoped that the restore deep cleaning cream was enough to remove it but no such luck. Given how it looks, feels and smells, I think Planet Waves restore cream is rebranded Meguire's scratch remover/polish for cars.

Anyways... any tricks or tips? Tried Googling but soon as you say 'stain' it shows mostly sites for staining a guitar.

Given the age, despite the crackling finish, I'd like to avoid sanding it... but, guess comes down to the lesser of two evils... dirt stains, or sanding... hoping an option 3.



 

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I would try wet sanding it by hand. It looks like it's the top lacquer that got burnt by the light and/or dirty.
I think what you have cleaned up between the pups on the second image, is about the best you'll get without going through to the stain.
 

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Yeah, aging finish contributing to discolouration + fine dust settling down deeper, I doubt you will get it looking anywhere close to new without a refin
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ya... I don't wanna go too far with it, just wasn't sure if just on the surface and maybe a stronger chemical will clean it? or if have to wet sand it. The finish has a lot of cracks in the varnish/lacquer/nitro... whatever it is... often wanted to try filling them. That very watery superglue at StewMax with the very thin tip, fill in the cracks and wet sand the entire thing down. Not sure if that would work or not.

I guess I'll find a spot and test the wet sand on.
 

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Perhaps let it tell its story and leave it where you got it to.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, gave it a go with 800 grit wet sanding paper and didn't do a thing. I think it's straight to the wood. Kept at it a while, didn't even fade, so, went up to 2000 and will leave as-is.

Too bad... woulda been nice to get it clean, but, not worth the effort to strip it down and refinish it. Was just a project to clean up and sell... probably end up as a wall hanger for some hipster. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ha! I knew that Planet Waves was Meguiar's! I have a bottle of the Meguiar's and couldn't tell them apart, even the smell was the same.

Would lighter fluid do anything? I mean, if wet-sanding it for 5min didn't lighten it at all, would the lighter fluid do anything? I don't have any else I'd just try, but figured best to ask before I run out and buy some.
 

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Ha! I knew that Planet Waves was Meguiar's! I have a bottle of the Meguiar's and couldn't tell them apart, even the smell was the same.

Would lighter fluid do anything? I mean, if wet-sanding it for 5min didn't lighten it at all, would the lighter fluid do anything? I don't have any else I'd just try, but figured best to ask before I run out and buy some.
If sanding didn't do it, I doubt any liquid short of paint remover, will do anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll save the few bucks then and leave it as is.

Too bad... the chrome when polished came out really nice on that guitar. Been nice had the finish been at least unstained. But... old guitar, sh!t happens. :)

After the wetsand, I went over it all with the scratch remover polish and apart from the discoloured area, it's looking pretty good.

Just need to sort out the split headstock issue.
 
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