Stickers, just a bit of fun or finish destroyer from the 3rd layer of hades?

Stickers, just a bit of fun or finish destroyer from the 3rd layer of hades?


I know how it is, you just got done watching Billie Joe Armstrong smashing his sticker bombed strat like the weapon of 90s punk destruction he is and your like 'Sssssssiiiiccckkk im gonna sticker up my guitar!" But do you really want to do that?

Let's talk about paint finishes. Most guitar finishes utilise one of two different medium types polyurethane and nitro cellulose lacquer. 

Polyurethane finishes are strong and generally considered more durable than nitro if slightly less aesthetically appealing. It is commonly used on more budget model guitars as it is cost effective and it requires far less drying time than nitro.

Nitro on the other hand is a more fragile and time consuming finish but achieves beautiful glassy results making it the premium finish.

Now you know this here is the thing about stickers..... Stickers can damage both finishes severely! Be it due to sun damage causing the uncovered paint to change colour leaving squares of unfaded paint. Or the chemical properties of the adhesive deforming the finish itself beneath the sticker. Or if the adhesive has dried rock hard to the top and requires drastic measures to remove resulting in damage, sticker bombing is not something to do without serious consideration to the following.

Do i want to maintain resale value?

Do i want to potentially damage this expensive/beautiful finish?
Do i want people ten years from now to know i unironically listened to Good Charlotte?

Am i older than 30?

Will this oil/natural finish guitar be safe then? ( hahahahaha NO! )

To conclude this cautionary tale let me acknowledge that yes sometimes the stickers come off without incident or by a plethora of different tech tricks that cause little to no damage but given the risks to finish and potential wallet destroying costs of repair maybe just put them on your cases and car bumpers unless you really don't care or have a cheap guitar just for the sticker glory.

Till next time stay safe and riff hard everyone.

Chris Reanimator.

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