I'd just sanded down the lacquer from my guitar, which worked pretty well. After a control of the surface I saw some white rough spots as you can see in the following pictures:

First image Second image

As far as I know it's ash wood. The spots only appeared after longer sanding these areas.

Now I have two questions:
1. What have I done wrong?
2. How can I remove these spots?

I looked at this question but it didn't really help me... Thanks for you help!

1 Answer 1


It's hard to tell from just photos - the lighting and white balance can throw things off. This looks to me like you haven't fully removed the lacquer from most of the guitar, and those whitish spots are where you have finally gotten down to bare wood. Ash, like many woods when sanded, appears whiter than it actually is.

  • There was a white paint on it which I finally removed after a long time of sanding. Do you think there's something like a transparent primer on the wood which I have to get rid of now and everything should as white as these spots? Does the wood get whiter on every layer I sand off?
    – patwis
    Feb 8, 2018 at 13:45
  • I'm not sure, but my guess is there's still something there and the whole thing will look whitish when you get to truly bare wood. It seems weird to me that there would be a primer, but those electric guitar finishes are super thick and specialized. Try wiping the surface with alcohol or paint thinner. the wood will absorb the liquid and look noticeably darker. a finish or primer (apart from shellac, which this is unlikely to be) will not absorb the solvent and will not look the same. It's hard to describe, but the difference should be easily apparent.
    – aaron
    Feb 8, 2018 at 16:26
  • I'm pretty sure there is a finish on it. I've tested it with alchol and it's pretty much as you described it. In addition I saw the guitar was reflecting light and pure wood isn't reflecting anything as far as I know... Maybe there is a sealer on it. I sanded quite a few minutes with machine and the wood got a little rougher and the shine disappeared but it would take years to sand off the whole layer. Do you have an idea how I can remove this layer?
    – patwis
    Feb 8, 2018 at 19:46
  • It's tough. when removing something thick, I try scraping first... as in a paint scraper from the hardware store. very coarse sanding might go quickly too. Finally, certain types of paint strippers might work, but that depends on the composition of the finish and stripper.
    – aaron
    Feb 9, 2018 at 13:03
  • I've had good luck with Citistrip on finishes that look similar. Here's a post that goes into detail about the options for getting back to bare wood: woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/5802/… Feb 9, 2018 at 21:37

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