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How to Refinish an Acoustic Guitar

Every instrument player knows how important it is to look after your instruments.

Like every other instrument, your acoustic guitar may need to be refinished, being something that you can do for yourself at home or have a professional do the job.

Refinishing an acoustic guitar involves dismantling the strings and sanding the guitar to give it a new life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Instead of buying a new guitar, you can sand your guitar and give it a new finish. You are also able to get a completely different color as long as your guitar is sanded correctly.

Here are some questions that are frequently asked about refinishing an acoustic guitar:

How much does it cost to refinish an acoustic guitar?

The price to refinish your guitar varies.

You can find a luthier that can charge you anything under a hundred dollars to six hundred dollars.

The finishing is expensive because the labor is intensive, and it takes a long time to do a proper job. The damage your guitar would have gone through is also a factor that will determine how much you get charged.

If you work with a professional, then you can expect a higher cost.

Seasoned experts will not only fix your guitar, but they will bring their years of expertise to ensure that there is no further damage to your guitar.

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How to Refinish an Acoustic Guitar

Can you sand and refinish an acoustic guitar?

To finish your guitar, you need to sand it down properly. The color you will use determines how you sand the guitar.

For example, if your guitar’s color was dark, you need to have it orbital sanded.

The smooth sanding will ensure that the new lighter paint does not look off and there are no hints of the old color.

What is the best finish for an acoustic guitar?

When choosing which finish is the best for your guitar, you want a durable finish that can withstand scratching and applies well.

Poly finishes have become one of the most finishes; professionals prefer it over the nitrocellulose lacquers, a fan favorite for years. However, if you want a glossy finish for your guitar and want the wood to breathe, then nitrocellulose is for you.

Poly finishes are preferred because they are earthly friendly, and they stay longer on the guitar.

How do you sand back an acoustic guitar?

Sanding a guitar may alter not only the feel but how your guitar sounds. The wood used to make the guitar is not very thick, so sanding must be done carefully.

Sanding with hands is preferred so that you do not burrow through the guitar. In addition, the back of the acoustic guitar adds to the tone of the guider and must be carefully sanded.

To sand the guitar’s back, all you need is a sand block and patience as you cannot rush through the process.


Sanding and refinishing an acoustic guitar is possible, but it is not child’s play. They need to be done with meticulous precision, and you need to know what you are doing.

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You run the risk of ruining your guitar if you are impatient with the sanding or take it to someone inexperienced.

That concludes our article on how to refinish an acoustic guitar.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop us a comment or send us an e-mail as we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

I'd like to try this on a guitar (a gloss black Yamaha) I haven't bought yet...But I'm worried about the binding, how will that look when sanded down? I imagine it will look very matte and dull ever after?