How to Fix Guitar Scratches With Nitrocellulose

Written by wade shaddy
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How to Fix Guitar Scratches With Nitrocellulose
Nitrocellulose is used on guitars for durabilty and aesthetics. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Nitrocellulose is used primarily on commercial musical instruments and is prized for its durability and glassy sheen. It is a vinyl-plastic formula that contains cellulose and is often tinted with brilliant colours. You can use it to repair scratches on guitars. It reactivates if another wet coat is applied to a dry coat, bonding them together. If a small amount of nitrocellulose is applied to a scratch, it works the same way to melt and blend the scratch into the fresh lacquer.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Sharp stick
  • Denim
  • Furniture polish

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  1. 1

    Dip a sharp, pointed stick into wet nitrocellulose.

  2. 2

    Trace the scratch with the stick, using it like a pen to surgically apply just enough nitrocellulose to the scratch to cover it.

  3. 3

    Apply more nitrocellulose to the crack if it doesn't disappear within 5-minutes. Wait 24 hours for the nitrocellulose to dry.

  4. 4

    Fold a piece of denim into a small pad. Spray a short burst of furniture polish on the pad.

  5. 5

    Polish over the crack vigorously in circular motions with authority, blending and polishing any remaining traces of residual nitrocellulose away until the guitar is gleaming.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't overdue it with the nitrocellulose. It only take a tiny amount to cover the scratch.
  • Don't breath fumes from nitrocellulose. It has toxic solvents that evaporate into the air. Wear breathing protection if you have more than one scratch.

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