Removing Scratches From an Electric Guitar


Many guitars have a high-gloss varnish over the actual paint and wood of the guitar. This finish helps protect the paint and wood from damage. However, the finish itself will often get scratched through daily use of the guitar. Any guitar with a high-gloss finish can have scratches removed with the use of a specialty polishing paste.


  • Removing the scratches from an electric guitar is not difficult and requires only two supplies. You will need to find guitar polishing paste designed to remove scratches from the finishes of electric guitars. You can typically find this paste at guitar or music stores. Get a two-part mixture for best results. You will also need a supply of microfiber cloths. These cloths will polish the finish without causing new scratches.


  • Place a small amount of the first polishing paste onto the microfiber cloth. Rub the paste into the surface of the guitar, paying special attention to the most heavily scratched areas. Rub the cloth in a circular motion. Rub the polish into the cloth for about three to five minutes, depending on how deep the scratches are. Rub the entire surface of the guitar with the second polishing paste. Wipe away any excess polish and fingerprints. Inspect the surface of the guitar for any additional scratches. Repeat the two-part polishing process until all finish scratches are removed.


  • A scratched guitar surface has no impact on the playing sound unless the scratches are deep enough to cut into the wood. However, if the scratches are that deep, they are impossible to fix at home. The benefit of repairing the scratches that appear on the top coat is that your guitar will always appear in top condition. You can also get a higher price for unscratched guitars if you want to resell your instrument.


  • Guitar-finish polish cannot be used on all guitars. Some guitars have a thinner finish over the wood that will become damaged with rigorous buffing. Make sure your electric guitar has a thick-enough top coating to withstand the rigors of the polishing cream. If you are in doubt, ask a qualified guitar expert at a music store or a guitar teacher. Always use products specifically designed for use on guitars to avoid damaging the finish on the guitar or ruining the sound of the instrument.

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