Cloudy finish

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by CE-man, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. CE-man

    CE-man New Member

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    I recently bought a used Custom that has a cloudy finish in the strap button area and on the back around the trem cavity. I'm guessing it's from sweat but I don't really know. Anyway I'm trying to find a way of getting rid of it. Can it be buffed out? How about leeching with alcohol. Help?
     
  2. Jester

    Jester New Member

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    Yeah, no easy answer there. Refinish or live with it.

    It doesn't hurt the guitar.
     
  3. CE-man

    CE-man New Member

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    I'll try to get some pics posted.
     
  4. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

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    I have a 2004 PRS guitar which has a translucent red (sort or) finish over a quilted Maple top (I think it is an artist package) and there seems to be a lot of very faint, evenly distributed white cloudyness over much of the top. Also, the red is a bit dull looking and the quilt doesn't seem to pop as much as I would like. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful guitar as it is but I just think that a better job could be done. If anyone has ever had the PTC perform a refinish, would you PM me a ballpark price as to what I might expect to pay? I'd like to know if I should be expecting to pay hundreds or thousands before I make an official inquiry.
     
  5. Parralax view

    Parralax view New Member

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    I just read that a complete refinish is around 1200 bucks, so you may want to live with it.
     
  6. tabl10s

    tabl10s New Member

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    $1200 vs pride of ownership is a tough one that can be overlooked...eventually:rolleyes:.
     
  7. The Tube Doctor

    The Tube Doctor New Member

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    I'm currently working with a collector here in Hong Kong, which includes more than 1 or 2 PRS guitars, some of which suffer from this
    cloudy condition. It doesn't affect the playing or tone, but such a shame to see a milky white discoloration across a beautifully quilted or flamed top.
    I suspect that the adhesive which holds the lining in place, out-gasses continuously over time, causing a reaction with the finish on the top.
    The backs of the affected guitars are still bold and cloud-free. Seems the backs are spared exposure to the layer of contaminated air which collects
    around the inside of the case lid.
    Any factory input on this observation?
     
  8. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    Unless the guitars are stored in their cases with the lid open, this makes no sense to me.

    If you are talking about the adhesive for the case lining, PRS has racks in the factory dedicated to thoroughly drying cases before they are use to ship a guitar. If it were out gassing from the case lining, it would affect the back even faster than the front since there is more direct contact.

    Moisture is usually the cause for delaminating. If it isn't direct exposure to water, your collector friend isn't maintaining humidity properly. It is his lack of care of the guitars, not a problem from the factory.
     
    #8 rugerpc, Feb 5, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  9. dkilpatrick

    dkilpatrick Makes guitar faces

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    Possible that the previous owner kept a leather strap on the guitar even when cased?
    The natural oils in the leather can "eat" the finish on the guitar.
     
  10. The Tube Doctor

    The Tube Doctor New Member

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    If the lids were open, there would be dead air space in which to allow the accumulation of fumes.
    The backs are in a position where there is no air circulating. Top of the guitar has an air space between the top and inside of the lid.
    Outgassing takes place over years, not days or weeks. There may be as yet, undocumented reactions between the adhesive and the various materials in the case and guitar. The reaction that I suspect may be taking place requires the fumes, plus oxygen. There may also be other factors involved. I'm starting with the ones that are most obvious to me.
    I've seen guitars which have been poorly stored in excessively humid conditions. These don't look like that problem, as I've seen it in the past.
    Delamination, as I know it, usually involves the finish becoming detached from the substrate. I have not seen any areas of the finish actually lifting or bubbling.
    If the condition was due to improper storage, I would expect to see it on many of the other guitars in the collection. It's present exclusively on the PRS guitars.
    Other brands which use similar finish (ie, not nitro lacquer) have not been similarly affected.
    Please don't misconstrue this as an attack on PRS. I hold these instruments in the highest regard, and have joined this forum to communicate with like-minded individuals who may have encountered this problem.
    I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to reply. I was unaware that the factory actually seasoned the cases after assembly.
     
  11. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    Ummm, huh?

    If the lids were open, normal room air currents would NOT allow for a 'dead air space in which to allow the accumulation of fumes.' Just the opposite, hence my mentioning it. In such a case, if the problem was due to outgassing, the sides and back would be the areas affected with the tops and neck protected by circulating air.

    If the lid is closed, there is also are space around the neck, finished with the same materials. The problem should be as prevalent on necks as on the tops if your theory is correct.

    The glues used on PRS cases are water based. The high volatility means that once the glues are dried on PRS' drying racks in their highly humidity controlled factory, there is no more moisture outgassing.

    That doesn't mean there couldn't be outgassing from the fabrics or other case materials which have lower volitivity. But if that were the case (unintentional pun), we'd see this all over the world with all older PRS guitars that spend lots of time in their cases, like, for example, mine. And we don't.

    Because the problem is little reported, I suspect it is a local storage/humidity/care/handling problem with your friend.

    Delamination starts microscopically. Air and moisture infiltration produce the haze. No visible lifting or bubbling need be evident.

    Lots of things can account for this. Are the PRS guitars played more? Are guitars always wiped down after playing? Are guitars left out or even just stored in poorly controlled humidity?

    Know also that PRS finishes are among the thinnest in the industry, designed that way to enhance tone. Fine finishes require much more attention to care than the relatively thick finishes on other guitars.

    Cases are manufactured for PRS by an outside case company to PRS specifications. When PRS gets a shipment of clases in, they are unpacked, opened and set on drying racks in the tightly temperature and humidity controlled factory. I don't know how long they are dried, just that they ensure that every drop of moisture is out and that the glues are fully cured.

    PRS is an exceedingly detail focused company. Things like humidity and the moisture content of their materials are smack dab in the middle or their radar screen.
     
  12. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    As was said about moisture clouds finishes on guitars and furniture.
    I have removed water rings and spots on tables using heat. It is not for the faint of heart and CAN cause more damage than it repairs.
    But it does work I have done it
     
  13. The Fight

    The Fight Long Hair Demigod

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    Oh wow! That very cool!
     

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