How to Repair a Fretboard Dent

Written by elyse james
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Repair a Fretboard Dent
You should never use sandpaper to fix the surface of your guitar. (guitar image by Darren Nickerson from

It is normal for a guitar to experience wear and tear over time---especially a delicate acoustic guitar. If you notice a scratch or dent on your fret board, there are a few options to fix the dent. You can always take your guitar to a professional repair shop, but if money is tight or if you are in a more remote location, this is not always possible. These steps will help you deal with small scratches your guitar might incur over time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Remove the strings from the guitar so the fret board is exposed and you can properly address the problem.

  2. 2

    Look at the scratch and determine its severity---this will help you pick a method to fix the dent. If the dent or scratch is relatively small and doesn't go very deep, you can use water to repair it.

  3. 3

    Place a small drop of water on the dent and allow the water to sit on the dent for a few minutes, or even longer for the dent to fully come out. The water will be absorbed by the wood and the wood will go back to its original shape.

  4. 4

    Shellac the surface of the fret. If the dent is deeper, you will have to fill in the spot using shellac. Do not use varnish because it will not fill the dent, but will sink into the wood, plus varnish contains stain which could bring out the scratch even more. Shellac will sit on the surface of the wood, filling in the dent.

  5. 5

    Wait for the water or shellac to dry and then replace the strings.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.