Saving an autograph in a new finish

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Eduardo Zolhof
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:34 am

Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Eduardo Zolhof »

guys, i've got a huge problem: last saturday i had dream theater to autograph my guitar and i now i can't play it anymore hahaha i still want to use the guitar and of course i don't want the autographs to wear out. i've been gathering as much information as possible, and here is what i've gotten so far:

- no idea about which pen dream theater used to sign the guitar (so i don't know which chemicals are involved);
- no idea about which finish a korean ibanez RG 470 uses;
- a luthier said that my guitar model finish is a very rough one, and another varnish finish wouldn't work out and even if it did, the new finish would be more likely to tear apart;
- another luthier said that there would be no problems as long as it is done with enough care when spraying the varnish;

and now some google info:

- 3 layers of water-based lacquer + 1 nitro lacquer layer would do the job ;
- 2 layers of shellac + 3 layers of nitro lacquer would also do the job;
- contact paper would be a good alternative too (thou i think it would look really bad and wouldn't protect that much);

any tips are welcome, i will only have one chance to do this right, so i can't mess it up. thanks in advance!
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Charlie Schultz
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:53 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Charlie Schultz »

Hi ezolhof and welcome to the forum. Please note that we require the use of real first & last names here, please PM your correct name to me or one of the mods and we'll fix up your registration, thanks. And congrats on the autograph, this topic has come up before and some of our members should be along shortly to make some suggestions.

Eduardo Zolhof
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:34 am

Re: Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Eduardo Zolhof »

Sorry about that! PM already sent!

Eduardo Zolhof
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:34 am

Re: Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Eduardo Zolhof »

Ok, I've done some more researching, and I'm almost 100% sure that using water-based lacquer is the way to do it (although I don't know how many layers). I think I will be sending the guitar to a luthier tomorrow, so please, if anyone reading this thinks I'm making a mistake, tell me before it's too late!

Thomas Dooher
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Thomas Dooher »

It's either a silver Sharpie or a paint pen (like they sell in craft and model stores). Suggest getting one of each, testing the volatility of the signature media with the finishes you've looked at, and experiment with others. I read someplace (pretty sure it wasnt' here) that using the clear coat touch up rattle can from the autoparts store is one way to seal the signatures...

Again, test, test, test...

Tom

Michael Lewis
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA
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Re: Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Michael Lewis »

Which ever sealer goes on must be compatible with the original finish. Shellac will stick to just about anything, but the solvent for shellac is alcohol, which will likely dissolve the autographs somewhat. Anything like wax, polish, fingerprints, beer, drool, etc. will likely create adhesion problems.

Nick Middleton
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Nick Middleton »

I've had good luck with Tru-oil. A couple of light-coats will seal it. Then you can use whatever on top for a clearcoat

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Neal Carey
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Location: Woburn, Massachusetts
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Re: Saving an autograph in a new finish

Post by Neal Carey »

I've put Tru-oil over signatures done with Sharpie pens without a problem. Not silver however, but brown and black.
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