How do I remove scratches on my guitar at home? (6 ways)

Scratches can make a $700 guitar look very cheap. That’s why I can understand the frustration when you get a scratch or nick on your guitar. 

Don’t worry though, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve looked around and compiled a list of working methods to remove your annoying scratches. Some of these methods can be harder than others, that’s why there are multiple ones you can try out. See which method fits best for you!

I’ll walk you through each of these methods and explain how you would do them. If you aren’t comfortable with doing certain things to your guitar, DON’T do it. Call a professional to help you. You don’t want to cause more damage to your guitar.

Anyway, keep reading till the end. (You are not gonna believe the 6th method)

6 Ways to Remove Scratches Off Your Guitar

Here are the 6 ways how to remove scratches from your guitar:

1. Polish your guitar

Sometimes we can overexaggerate the scratch on our guitars. Sometimes all it might need is a quick polish. Polishing your guitar isn’t that hard. That’s why I would recommend simply polishing your guitar before getting too crazy.

What you need

What you’re gonna want to do is spray some polish onto your microfiber cloth and start rubbing it in a circular motion. See our article on how to polish your guitar at home for a step-by-step guide. If it’s a satin guitar, don’t polish it. See how to clean a satin guitar if you have one. 

2. Use guitar scratch remover

If polishing doesn’t work, the next best thing I would recommend is rubbing some scratch remover on your guitar. Almost like a car.

What you need

All you need to do is apply some of your scratch removers onto your guitar and start rubbing.

3. Sand your guitar

If scratch remover isn’t enough, I would try sanding your guitar next. Try to sand as much as you to sand out the scratch. This is gonna burn through your finish so I would be careful with this. To get it back to its original shine you might need to polish/buff it after sanding.

What you need

  • Sandpaper
  • Drill (optional so you wouldn’t need to sand by hand)

There are many different techniques to sanding, but generally, you are gonna want to start off on a low grit and gradually go higher until you get to the scratch. Then you can wet sand and polish/buff to get it shiny again

4. Fill the scratch

If the scratch is deep enough you may have the option to just fill it. This is a good method if polishing and sanding aren’t enough and if you don’t want to refinish your guitar totally. 

What you need

  • Acetone/Paint solution
  • Super glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Polish/Buffer

What your gonna want to do is get some paint that matches the paint of your guitar, mix it with water use that to fill your guitar. Then you put some super glue on top, wait to dry, remove the excess, and then sand everything out. Once it’s sanded you can wet sand it then polish/buff it to get a nice shine.

To learn how to do this in-depth here is a great video:

5. Refinish your guitar

This method is definitely the hardest. Refinishing means you are taking apart the guitar until you are left with just the wood piece. Once you just have the wood piece it’s easy to sand out the scratch, paint over it, and add a finish to your guitar. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this to my guitar since I don’t have much experience in totally taking apart my guitar. I would contact your local luthier

For the craft readers out there, if you are up to the challenge and want to refinish your guitar at home here is a great video: 

Being someone that hasn’t taken apart my guitar ever, I learned a lot from this video alone.

6. Melt your guitar?

Yes, You red correctly. But, it’s not the way it sounds. This method was most surprising to me. I like this method a lot. Basically, the scratch we see in our guitars is made up of other tiny scratches. That’s why it can be so visible since those tiny cracks each mirror light. So, to get rid of this. You take your lacquer retarder and melt away those small cracks.

What you need

  • Lacquer retarder 
  • Small paint brush

If you want to learn how to do this exactly here is a great video on this:


And there you have 6 ways to remove those nasty scratches on your guitar. I hope you learned something and I hope you get those annoying scratches off your guitar. 

Remember, don’t do anything to your guitar that you are not comfortable with. 

Also, don’t do anything crazy to your guitar to try to fix it unless you know exactly what you are doing. 

I gave you ideas on what to do and what you would need to do them. If you wanted to learn how to do it in depth go back and check for videos or pages that I linked to. Those links will help you actually perform the methods listed.

Again, Hope you enjoyed!

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