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Virtuoso Polish on my faded LP... Finally!!!


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For about 3 months now, I've had everything ready to do the "Virtuoso Polish job" on my Tobaccoburst faded Les Paul Standard, except the time of course.


For those of you not familiar with Virtuoso products, the sell a cleaner and a polish specifically designed for nitro finishes. The cleaner will clean your guitar including removing small scuffs and scratches without damaging the finish. The polish, besides making your guitar shiny, also makes your finish more fingerprint resistant and offers UV protection (less prone to fading) with no build-up.



I had read quite a few posts on several forums about other faded Les Paul owners who had used it to "shine" their LPs. Their results were pretty impressive. Luckily there was a place in town that sold the stuff so I picked up the cleaner and polish. I also wanted to add nickel pickup covers and knob pointers while I had the guitar apart. This week I finally got a few hours of free time so I took a couple "before" shots, took everything off the front of the guitar, and started rubbing.


Here are a couple shots of it in it's original state...







I removed the strings, bridge and tailpiece as well as the studs. After removing the knobs, I pushed the volume and tone pots down into the control cavity to keep them out of my way (same with the pickup selector). I wrapped the pickups in a sock and then taped them (masking tape) to the neck leaving a bit of slack in the bridge pickup wire so I could move it when I needed to polish around it. I also taped off the end of the fretboard.






I applied the cleaner as per the instructions (a spot about the size of a dime to do a 6 x 6 inch area, rub it in, wipe the excess off, then buff it with a clean cloth) doing all of the work by hand. I read that it's the cleaner that makes the big difference. It smoothes the finish out and brings out the grain. The polish alone doesn't make that big of a difference (as far as shining a faded finish). I only did one application of the cleaner since the finish is pretty thin on these guitars, and I wasn't sure if it was possible to buff through to the wood. Once I applied the first coat of polish, I immediately started to see results. I wound up doing 5 applications of the polish and might have done more but I had to get ready for work. Here are some shots prior to reassembly...







I added some nickel covers and knob pointers to make it look a bit more like a vintage Standard. The WD covers have the wrong screw spacing so I only slipped them on for the photos and the shop has ordered the correct Gibson ones for me. The whole job, from taking it apart, polishing it, putting it back together and restringing it took about 3 hours. I'd be tempted to use a low RPM buffer and do a few more coats of the polish. Here are some final pics. I had to go out of my way to force myself to take photos showing glare so you could see the difference. The before shots at the beginning of this thread were also taken he same way (that's how dull the finish originally was).





For those of you that are active on the other forums, you'll probably see this post copied word for word there as well, since I had requests to post my results when I was done.

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That looks great!


Is it the cleaner' date=' or polish that would remove the light scratches you mentioned? I'm considering getting some to use on my regular finish standard.[/quote']


It's the cleaner. When I bought my used LP Classic (the little one on the left) back in january, it was pretty dirty. I used the cleaner on it and it also took out most of the scuffs and scratches. The polish shined it up, but the best thing is now it resists fingerprints and sweat. When I gig, I used to always get that cloudy spot where my strumming arm rested on the bass side of the top. Not anymore though. I go to wipe it at the end of the night, and there's nothing there.

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If you look a few posts up I mentioned cleaning my used Classic, plus the added bonus of it now resisting fingerprints. Just like the faded finish, the amount of shine depends on how much work you want to put into it. I've seen photos of guitars where guy went nuts with the cleaner and polish on a gloss finish, and the results are astounding. Check a little over halfway down this thread. The guy did his Custom Shop LP and hollowbody, a VOS LP, and a Classic Antique;



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Everyone quotes the Virtuoso site where they say not to use it on satin finishes. The reason they say that is not because it will do any harm' date=' but because when you're done you'll no longer have a satin finish. Some people want their finish to stay dull.[/quote']


I'm considering doing what you did on my Studio Faded. Just have one question: What do you mean with it no longer having the satin finish? Is the satin finish that makes it look dull? I though that the satin finish was what made the faded slightly (just slightly) shinny...

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I use the viruoso polish and cleaner as directed on my guitars also.It works well.Only thing I find is that it does not last long or as long as they claim until it needs polish touch up.It comes right back to life again with just a little polish,but must be way I sweat or s omething becasue it gets that cloudy area back on the guitar body within a week,so touch it up and ok again.

I emailed the company and asked them and they said it sometimes is that way with some people and as long as it comes right back again with little polish,there will be no issue

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I also have a faded std in HCSB. I have thought of removing all the parts as you have done but wonder what it would like if I had it coated with nitro clear coat instead. Has anyone thought or had their faded painted with nitro? Would it look weird or become much like a normal standard? Just wondering if it is wise to put a notro coat on a faded. Sorry to deviate a bit out the topic.

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