This is in reference to a thread on the FDP - Forum Fender Guitars where the topic is, can you buff the dull looking satin finish of the Fender Highway 1 Stratocaster to a high gloss like the high end Strats such as the Eric Johnson model where they also use the "Thin Skin" Nitro Finish and that model is polished to a super high gloss.
Well you can do the same exact thing with the Highway 1 with a little elbow grease and under $10 worth of stuff that you can get at your local auto parts store.
You can find those items listed at the FDP Forum link up top of this page.
In the first pics you can see the old dull satin finish with the shiny pics below that. The shiny pics have a grainy look because the flash wouldn't show the shine and taking it today on an overcast day without flash added graininess. Then on the pics where it it brighter, looks wiggly but it's actually crystal clear without the wiggly look. Keep in mind that this guitar already had lots of dings. If I'd have known it would shine up this nicely, I wouldn't have allowed the dings as I was going to go for the relic look. However, I can assure you that the finish is as shiny as any brand new Fender Strat with a high gloss finish that you can look into like a thick coat of polyurethane or a thin piece of glass. The whole key is to follow dremelfender's suggestion about sanding the satin "orange peel" off before using the 3M Swirl Remover or you'll be rubbing along time with that and still not get the shine. The sanding takes a little elbow grease, but can be done in around 10-15 minutes near a sink. You can sand, then keep checking if the orange peel is gone by drying with a towel and holding sideways under a light. Once that orange peel is gone and you have a dull looking finish, rub the 3M on good and within a few minutes the dullness is gone, then lightly buff shine it with a Fender polishing cloth and it goes to a super high gloss shine like magic!
I'm sure with a little more sanding and running, it would have gotten even glossier and there's no wax on it yet so that may also help some.
Total Time To Complete: Around 1 hour including disassembling guitar, reassembling and re-stringing
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