#1
I have decided to experiment with an LTD Eclipse I have laying around.
It is your run of the mill, bargain guitar, with high gloss lacquer, that gets extremely sticky, i want to sand away the lacquer and lose that tacky looky, and feeling.

should I sand it completely away, or not?
what should i apply back to the finish once I have done so?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, never done any work like this on a guitar.
#2
If you're going to do JUST the back of the guitar's neck, I suggest that you take a bit of the green Scotchbrite material and just knock down the gloss slightly. Tape off the rest of the guitar and leave it glossy. Don't go nuts with this -- essentially what you're doing is putting micro-scratches in the back of the neck to reduce the surface tension-like mechanism that makes your hand stick to the neck when your hand is sweaty. These would happen normally with playing time, and most players have the patience to work with a new guitar until they do. But if you want to accelerate the process, a mild application of the Scotchbrite process will work.

If you tape off the neck, you should get something like this:



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Don't bother doing the body; you'll regret it later. Instead, get some carnauba wax and wax the body AND the metal bits, just as you would with a car. This will help prevent corrosion and it will actually make the guitar slightly less sticky (forearm sticking to the body?). One issue with scotchbriting the body is that wear spots will show up where the matte finish will begin to get shiny (like the elbows of an old suit). And then the guitar REALLY looks like crap.
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 11, 2015,
#3
I have several customers who hate glossy finishes on necks for the reasons you mentioned. I give them two options. The first was mentioned above by dspellman and works great. I will add that if you choose the Scotchbrite pad method, eventually the surface will start to polish back to the original glossy finish as you use the guitar over time. In that case, simply scuff the surface again to maintain the look and feel your after. The second option is Testors Dullcote...yes, Testors the model paint company. It's a matte spray lacquer in a little blue and white 3oz spray can. It's been awhile since I've had to buy any, so, they may have changed the blue and white label to something else. Anyways, I've had really good success with it. It seems to hold up very well, with the exception of one bass player, who, for some unknown reason, manages to wear the finish off of every part he touches...I really have no idea how he manages to destroy every type of finish that's been used on a guitar, but, he does. Obviously, if you choose to try the Testors Dullcote, mask everything off you don't want it on. Also, I only use it if I know for certain that the original finish is lacquer. The reason why is because lacquer "melts" into itself creating, for the most part, a chemical bond. I prep the surface to be sprayed by scuffing it with nothing coarser than 400 grit sand paper to ensure any waxes and contaminates are removed. Then I lightly mist the Dullcote over the surface. I spray several of these mist-coats until I get the desired effect. I do it this way so there's no chance of runs forming, and, because it doesn't take much to convert the finish to matte. Hope this helps and good luck.