changing gloss finish

brother rat

All mics sound the same.
My acoustic has a glossy finish and I really would prefer a satin/matte finish. Has anyone had any luck with some extremely fine sand paper and polishing? I don't want to destroy the guitar.
Is there someplace I could take the guitar where they could completely strip that finish and re-apply a satin/matte finish? It seems like that would destroy the wood.
Thanks for your thoughts!
I'm interested in this too I have a new upright bass thats just way too shiny to be cool! I had though about sandpaper but was too scared. would a chemical not work better?

Lt. Bob

Spread the Daf!
A satin finish is often just a gloss finish that has had the gloss removed by using a compound.
I would use something super fine like 1600 grit or better yet ..... get some 'rotten stone' which is actually a powdered wood I think.
I would do a websearch on appropriate buffing compunds that will be fine enough to simply dull the gloss.

I wouldnb't strip it and refinish ...... first ..... it's gonna be way expensive ..... second .... they're just gonna refinish it in a gloss and then buff the gloss off with some sort of compound so you may as well just do that in the first place.
If you know someone you would trust to strip/refinish the git ..... simply ask them to compound it to a satin finish.


Resident Curmudgeon
Many satin or matte finishes have added solids in the formulation that cause the surface not to be shiny. It works the same way house paints do. If you buff the gloss off an instrument that has a glossy finish the surfaces that you rub when you're playing will regain their gloss over time. Personnally I wouldn't do this but if I wanted to remove some shine from an instrument I would use 0000 steel wool. Take care to mask off ports of entry especially where electronics are concerned. The magnets in pickups love the filings, but the resulting finish surface will be very satisfactory.

Lt. Bob

Spread the Daf!
for that matter ..... as a piano tuner I often had to fix chips in those catalyzed super glossy piano finishes.
To do so you use a catalyst type finish to fix the chip and then sand it down. To get it ready to compound you used some really fine sandpapers ......

I have them in grits all the way to ..... are you ready?....... 12,000 grit!

doesn't feel like sandpaper actually .... feels more like suede. But I still have a bunch of it .... in, I think, 6000, 8000 and 12,000 grit.

brother rat

All mics sound the same.
Yeah I was thinking about maybe starting with some fine steel wool and then finishing with emery cloth. As soon as I can find some free time, I will start in small areas and see how it goes.
It's funny, as I've been searching the Information Superhighway for info on the topic I can find a lot of people who want to ditch the satin finish and polish it out to a gloss but almost no one who wants to go from gloss to satin.


Well-known member
Don't take steel wool to your guitar ffs, use very fine wet and dry sandpaper and soap, even with that chances are you will go through the finish if you rub on hard edges.