Guitar Finish - How to apply oil stain on guitars - CleverJoe's Musician Resource

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Guitar Talk
Written by Greigg Fraser

The Question:

I have a problem with my Ibanez guitar's wood finish. The guitar finish is not as 'bright' as it used to be. It is dull instead of being glossy. Should I apply thinner to remove the dull stain and to attain the former glossy finish again?
Is there any guitar product which you can recommend?

The Answer:

If the finish of your guitar is plain wood, it's likely finished with oil..either lnnseed or tunge. What I would do, would be to buff the finish with very fine steel wool (oooo) going with the grain until the faded or dirty area is the same as the rest of the guitar. Then apply a new oil finish with a soft cloth. After the first coat the grain of the wood might "stand up " a bit and become a little rough. Simply repeat the procedure and you should be fine! I recommend tunge oil, by the way!


Greigg Fraser is a guitarist/songwriter and guitar technician from London, Ontario and has released two instrumental rock CD's. You may have seen Greigg hosting the popular cable television show "Guitar Talk" on Rogers Cable in Canada. Visit Greigg's web site at:

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