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The Maton Satin Finish

August 16, 2022

The Maton Satin Finish

Caring for the satin finish on your Maton guitar

Care instructions from the team in Melbourne: "Soak a soft microfiber cloth in warm water and wring out. Wipe guitar using gentle pressure, then wipe dry. Do not allow water to sit on your guitar for any period of time as a ‘milk’ stain may result.

Never use silicon or oil-based products (many popular surface polishes/waxes are silicon-based) as silicon inhibits refinishing and some oils (such as lemon oil) may penetrate the finish, again inhibiting refinish, and it may be detrimental to the acoustic properties of the instrument should they soak into the timber.

Gloss guitars are finished in hand-rubbed polyurethane. Maton uses the best finish available and each coat is painstakingly rubbed down to ensure maximum shine and durability while maintaining Maton’s ultra thin specifications.The final coat is hand rubbed and buffed to bring out the full beauty of the timber. 

Maton’s satin finish is a Mirotone pre-catalysed nitrocellulose lacquer designed for tone, appearance and durability. It was created to have minimum impact on the natural tone of the wood while sealing and protecting it from moisture and wear. Lacquers can be produced with varying degrees of hardness; the harder the finish the greater the surface tension created and the greater the impact on the vibration characteristics of the wood.

Therefore, super hard finishes (such as those used on floor boards) will resist wear but severely dampen the ability of the wood to vibrate. This has been and continues to be an ongoing challenge for all instrument makers. We believe our satin finish provides the optimum balance between tone and toughness.

We have been using the same finish since the mid-1990s with great success. It must be noted that the satin finish does develop shiny patches when it comes into repeated contact with other surfaces such as clothing and skin. This is entirely normal and contributes to some of the patina that characterizes a well-played instrument. This shiny effect is more noticeable on black satin guitars and dark stained guitars than on lighter, natural finished guitars.

The shiny patches can be removed by lightly scuffing the area with very fine abrasives but we do not recommend this as the scuffing action is a form of very fine sanding which will ultimately wear through the finish. The guitar can also be re-coated with a fresh topcoat but the same patches will develop again as they are a function of playing, which is what the guitars are meant for."

Care for your fretboard and bridge..

With many years of experience working with handcrafted guitars, we totally agree with Maton about maintenance and care for the finish on their guitars.

We would add, it is best to clean & oil your fretboard and bridge twice per year. These parts do not have a finish applied, and will gather dirt from playing. They are susceptible to drying out over time. When your fretboard becomes dry it shrinks in width as the wood dries out. That is when you notice the ends of the frets are poking out from the edge of the fretboard.

We have used and recommend Dr. Duck's Axe Wax to treat your Maton fretboard and bridge. Note: We take no responsibility for the humorous name, but this stuff works. While the instructions on the bottle states it can be used universally on the entire guitar (body parts, tuners, even strings!) we have never used this product on a guitar finish. In the course of oiling the bridge, when we may have dripped some on the top finish, the oil wipes off and did not harm the finish.