Buff out swirl marks

DW-Parsons

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
7
Hi all,

I have a 2017 594 SC (nitro) that has swirl scratches (very light) in the top coat, most likely from cotton cleaning rags. Call me neurotic but I'd love to get them out if it doesn't damage the guitar.

Any tips? I've heard PRS polish isn't made for nitro finishes (strange) , and Virtuoso is great but really slick when done.

Thanks for the advice!
 

LSchefman

Hears Tones
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,002
I've used Virtuoso to great effect, and like Meguiar's polishes, too, but would stick with Virtuoso on a nitro finish (the 2017 isn't nitro, so either should work, if used the right way), as for me, I think the results are extremely good with the Virtuoso.

You may know this, but I'll offer this advice in case you don't: All polishes are abrasive (as opposed to acting by chemical treatment).

Getting swirl marks out is all about polishing with the right technique. Light, fast pressure is more effective than rubbing hard. What you want with any polish is for the polish to break down into its finest particles, and do the work. If you start with too much pressure, they don't break down as evenly, and actually can do more harm than good.

Even when it's only swirl marks, as opposed to scratches, there are times when they're surprisingly deep into the finish, and a two step process is needed; you start with a heavier grit and move to a light one. Virtuoso has two polishes for that purpose. But I'd start with the lightest one, if only to see whether the two step process is needed.

Virtuoso is slick when done because it's done its job of being a very fine polish where the finish isn't roughed-up by too heavy an abrasive. But Meguiar's finest polishes also result in a very slick finish. However, Meguiar's offers polishes in a variety of grits, so more variety is possible - if you know which ones to get!

I like to apply the polish with a super-soft microfiber cloth, and get them from Griot's Garage, who offer microfiber cloths in a variety of thicknesses and weaves for different uses. In the past, before good microfiber weaves were available, I got good results with chamois,

As you mention, even the softest cotton scratches soft finishes. I once did a test with a clear CD case, rubbing it with cotton, and it clouded up with scratches. The same test with microfiber did nothing to the finish that I could see. Paint being a plastic (even nitro), this test was a good indicator of what kind of results to expect with various polishing cloths.
 
Last edited:

SinSir

Mad Scientist
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
1,778
I use scratch X too. I used to own an automotive restoration company and use all sorts of car products and techniques for guitar spit shine and protection.
 

DW-Parsons

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
7
I've used Virtuoso to great effect, and like Meguiar's polishes, too, but would stick with Virtuoso on a nitro finish (the 2017 isn't nitro, so either should work, if used the right way), as for me, I think the results are extremely good with the Virtuoso.

You may know this, but I'll offer this advice in case you don't: All polishes are abrasive (as opposed to acting by chemical treatment).

Getting swirl marks out is all about polishing with the right technique. Light, fast pressure is more effective than rubbing hard. What you want with any polish is for the polish to break down into its finest particles, and do the work. If you start with too much pressure, they don't break down as evenly, and actually can do more harm than good.

Even when it's only swirl marks, as opposed to scratches, there are times when they're surprisingly deep into the finish, and a two step process is needed; you start with a heavier grit and move to a light one. Virtuoso has two polishes for that purpose. But I'd start with the lightest one, if only to see whether the two step process is needed.

Virtuoso is slick when done because it's done its job of being a very fine polish where the finish isn't roughed-up by too heavy an abrasive. But Meguiar's finest polishes also result in a very slick finish. However, Meguiar's offers polishes in a variety of grits, so more variety is possible - if you know which ones to get!

I like to apply the polish with a super-soft microfiber cloth, and get them from Griot's Garage, who offer microfiber cloths in a variety of thicknesses and weaves for different uses. In the past, before good microfiber weaves were available, I got good results with chamois,

As you mention, even the softest cotton scratches soft finishes. I once did a test with a clear CD case, rubbing it with cotton, and it clouded up with scratches. The same test with microfiber did nothing to the finish that I could see. Paint being a plastic (even nitro), this test was a good indicator of what kind of results to expect with various polishing cloths.

Thanks for the tips! After some research I got Meguiars Mirror Glaze Swirl Remover (9) and #7 Show car glaze. I'll give it a run and report back.
 

Zeke L.

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
33
I used Stew Mac's Medium, Fine, and Swirl Remover polishing compounds with their foam polishing pads that go right on your hand drill and obtained amazing results on my 2000 CU22 Soapbar that showed a fair amount of playing wear. I finish up with Music Nomad "The Guitar One" to get the shine (and I use their F-One Oil on fingerboards). I also used their micro-mesh pads along with some lubricating spray like Griot's Speed Shine to do touchups by hand.
 

SinSir

Mad Scientist
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
1,778

DW-Parsons

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
7
Well after a couple of applications I can report back that Meguiars Mirror Glaze Swirl Remover (9) and #7 Show car glaze produced absolutely incredible results. I had fine swirl marks, (nothing deep), but man...my OCD is tamed! Beautiful results.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 

Andrew Paul

The cat's meow
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
2,055
Location
New York
Will Virtuoso work on this scratch??? :eek::eek::eek::eek:
gmuZuN0.jpg


Sorry……………. Couldn’t help myself :rolleyes:
 

Andrew Paul

The cat's meow
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
2,055
Location
New York
Looks like Tommy Emanuel has been playing that!

Yeah ……. I should’ve put a clear pick guard on it. My PS Angeles cut away is getting scratched up but what are you gonna do… guitars are meant to be played. Strange, I only get those marks like that on acoustic guitars, must be because the strings are so close to the top.
 
Top