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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Rosewood Fretboard Cosmetic Touch-up

Contributing Member

Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Mar 27th, 2017 07:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

I was looking at a guitar that I haven't touched in a while thinking about doing some refinishing now that the weather is getting warmer and I can use the garage. A close inspection showed on the side of the fretboard two or three small lighter spots. Not sure if these are the results of someone doing some fret work & slipped with a file or maybe it got bumped against something. I'd like to get these to an unnoticeable state,but not sure what to use. I was thinking maybe a wood stain on these spots and if that would do it, looking for ideas of a color that would blend in fairly well. Or, is there possibly a better solution?


Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 27th, 2017 07:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

If it's got a clear finish along the fretboard edge, this is common. What's happened is the finish has taken a bump, and it has lost its adhesion with the wood beneath. Air got in behind the finish and that's what you're seeing (the whitish/cloudy spot). There is nothing you can topically apply that will cover these things.

The only way to repair this is to carefully scrape the little spot of loose finish away and then do a drop-fill. Scrape the drop fill flush, wet sand, and polish. It is a LOT of work for something that is merely cosmetic.

If the edge of the fretboard is unfinished, then yes--you can rub some oil-based stain into the wood. I apply a drop to a Q-tip, then scrub it into the wood, let is sit for a minute, and then buff dry with a paper towel. If your guitar has a light-colored finish on the neck, protect that with blue painter's tape before you get near it with wood stain. Another dead easy way to touch these up is with a permanent black marker. Color in the area and then immediately scrub it hard with a cotton cloth. It will blend right in with the rosewood.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 10:35 PM, Mar 27th, 2017)

Contributing Member

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Mar 27th, 2017 08:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I do a thing I call the "One Pass". I do a lot of fretwork and sometimes when addressing fretsprout I need to restore the uniformity of the fretboard edge. I take my handy aerosol can of lacquer and spray it at close range (1") into a piece of used Tee-shirt cotton material and although not dripping wet, it is saturated. I make one pass along the fretboard edge. You can't make two passes because the second pass will just remove the first pass and possibly mess up the finish of the existing finish if it was lacquer in the first place. One pass lets you lay down lacquer over old lacquer and you don't get a second chance. This is just something that works in the high volume repair shop to make things right. A single pass of lacquer dries fast enough so you can polish it out within 30 minutes and move on. Don't try two passes.

Contributing Member

Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Mar 27th, 2017 09:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, appreciate it.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Rosewood Fretboard Cosmetic Touch-up

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