Are you wondering how to fix a cracked guitar finish? Sadly, there is no easy way to fix a cracked finish on your guitar. It is necessary to understand why the finish on a guitar cracks in the first place. Environment has a tremendous effect on the wood of a guitar. Dryness in the air causes wood to expand and contract, pulling it apart following the grain. The first step in preventing a cracked finish is to fix the humidity problems that surround the instrument. Improving the environment around the guitar will help prevent further damage.
- Install a humidifying device inside your guitar body. These tools re-humidify the wood of the guitar. Once the wood loses its dryness, it will swell and seal cracks in the finish. The local music store will have the perfect tool for re-humidification. Immerse the appliance in water and wipe off the excess moisture from the surface. Place the piece inside the hollow body of the guitar.
- Store the guitar in the coolest part of the room, away from radiators or heat vents. This will allow the humidifier to do its job. As the wood swells from the moisture, apply a dab of wood glue to seal small cracks. Cracks in the finish should close with positive humidification.
- Re-wet the humidifier as needed following the instructions provided with the product. Many humidifiers have gauges or indicators to tell you the percentage of humidity around the guitar.
- A large crack in the wood may require splicing or cleats to complete. Cut a piece of the same type wood as the guitar and insert it into the breach before gluing. Use wood filler to cover any gaps between the cleat and guitar body.
- Lacquer may help fill depressions in the finish. Only use lacquer if that is the original finish on the guitar. Once the lacquer dries, level and polish it to smooth out the surface.
- Place a hygrometer and thermometer inside the guitar case or near the instrument. Since most surface cracks are the result of excessive dryness, you want to evaluate the moisture in the air. The hygrometer will display the humidity and the thermometer will keep you apprised of the temperature. Keep the humidity in the case at around 45 percent to protect the finish of the guitar.