If you’re fortunate enough to get your guitar autographed by someone you admire, you’re going to want to protect the signature.
How to preserve a signature on a guitar can be a tricky task to navigate, but we have a few tips to point you in the right direction.
If you want to preserve a signature on a guitar, you can spray a very, VERY fine mist of spray clear coat over the autograph, and allow it to dry.
Apply the coats as thin and lightly as possible, allow it to completely cure and repeat for 3-4 coats.
After the third coat you will be able to apply a more thorough coat.
Some major considerations you need to think about is where the signature is, and what was used to write it.
For example, a silver pen will bleed more than a sharpie, if you apply clear coat.
If the autograph is on wood it requires a different finish than if it was on a plastic part like a pickguard.
Will sharpie stay on a guitar
Yes, Sharpie will stay on a guitar, and may only bleed a little if too much clear coat is applied.
If left untreated, the autograph will fade over time, UV light may also cause black sharpie to turn from black to a brownish hue.
Blue sharpie tends to remain blue, however, it is a less common color.
How do you protect a sharpie signature
To protect a sharpie signature, use a clear coat spray that is designed for wood or plastic, depending on where the autograph is.
Apply a fine light mist for the first 3 coats, allowing at least 12 hours curing time in between coats.
For the fourth coat you may apply a more generous coat as the final sealing.
Autograph preservation spray for guitars
Most types of clear coat, also known as lacquer, polyurethane and by many more names, can be used.
You need to consider what writing tool was used, and what type of finish it was written on.
Some guitars have exposed grain, while others are painted or have thick coats of gloss.
Your ideal choice of clear coat will depend on the surface you need to protect.
Alternatively, a clear coat for wood won’t work well for a signature that’s on the pick guard.
Sealing signature on wood body of a guitar
So, Where if the signature located.
If it’s exposed or semi- exposed wood grain, you’re in luck.
This is probably the easiest surface to seal.
Pretty much any polyurethane clear coat designed for wood surfaces will work.
Just ensure that it is a spray, and you go lightly.
Polyurethane may also be used for painted or already clear coated surface of your guitar.
You do however, need to get a poly that is designed for painted surfaces, as this will bond better with the surface.
Also ensure that the sealant you choose will not darken, fade or turn brown over time, as this can be common.
Sealing a signature on the pickguard
Just like with a wood surface, a polyurethane clear coat can seal in a signature on the pick guard.
You will however, want to get a poly specifically designed to be used with plastics, this is very important.
When you apply a clear coat to a plastic part like a pickguard, you’re almost guaranteeing that it will age differently.
This mean you won’t have consistent color over time.
Id recommend removing the pickguard from the guitar, and apply the clear coat to the whole part, for consistency.
Apply 3-4 coats, make sure the first three coats are only a fine mist, to ensure the signature doesn’t run, and is locked in.
Allow 12 hours minimum between coats, on the fourth coat the signature will be protected from bleeding and you can apply a thick final coat.