Bitten by a Rat

Andy C

New Member
May 2, 2020
I bought my first PRS, a 2002 Custom 24 last year. It is in fantastic condition, especially given its age, definitely played, with some minor fret wear and a little chrome worn away on the low E trem saddle. It looks and plays fantastically. It has however recently been bitten by a ProCo Rat. It fell from the wall and the Rat broke its fall. If you have ever seen or felt a Rat distortion pedal, you will know that they are built to last, I bought this one in 1986 and it looks like new. The casing is solid steel and has ridges on the sides which bashed 3 chunks out of the front of the lacquer behind the bridge. Miraculously, no other damage was done, I actually think the Rat saved the guitar from a much worse fate.

Given the time I currently have on my hands, and after watching a few YouTube videos, I decided that I could drop fill the damage. I first tried with an automotive clear coat touch-up pen. Left it for a week and then used a razor blade and 1400 grit wet and dry. However the lacquer was nothing like as hard as the PRS lacquer and still had some flex. I have since found out that modern automotive paint is made to flex and therefore is not good for a guitar for a number of reasons. Take 2. I retried with super glue, which dried solid, however after sanding with 1400 and finishing with 2 grades of Farecla finishing compound (standard and fine) using an electric sander (foam pads on drill) the result is not great either.

Apart from the fills not being as good as they could be (idiot), there is a difference between the sanded and buffed areas and the original finish. It is a sort of haziness that can only bee seen at certain angles, but when you catch it at the angle it is very noticeable. I think it is known as a hologram for obvious reasons.

If I was in the US I would just bite the bullet and send it to PTC (after lockdown has eased) before I do any more damage. Is there any knowledgeable guy or gal that can give some advice, either about what is going on and how to remove the haze (I'd live with that and get on with my life) or, where I could go in the UK to get a professional to sort it out.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
Success. That lacquer is incredibly hard! I guess 18 years of curing has helped. I tried again with the cutting compounds and spent a lot more time on it and got it to blend into the untouched finish. No magic, just effort, a bit like playing the thing. Thanks for your help jak3af3r.