Do flake finishes wear as well as solid finishes? Who has a worn flake finish?

Christian Jones

Junior Member
I really like flake finishes and want one but I also like that a guitar with a solid color like Daphne blue can take dents and scratches and still look cool and have character whereas guitars with flake finishes seem to need to be kept looking beautiful at all times to maintain the dazzling appearance. It just seems like a guitar with a shiny flake finish, like those super pimped out PRSs, needs to be babied at all times as any wear on a guitar with a such a finish would be a negative - that's my impression anyway of flaky finishes. I love the appearance but I don't want to worry about constantly trying to keep it from dents & dings...

Anyone have any pics of guitars/bass with flake finishes that have wear on them? I need to see what a flake finish looks like that has a little road wear to see if it still looks good to me or not, as I want something other than my typical choices of black and vintage white for this guitar.
My jazz master build that I did with sparkles (small flakes) in a transparent turquoise came out great.  I can say that’ there’s  no difference between it and a no sparkle finish.  It’s only been about two years now so ask me in another 10 for an update.
I would say that Warmoth flake finishes are probably the best in the business short of Music Man/Ernie Ball.  I have seen flake finish failure on the cheap Fender Squier Tele guitars and I would attribute that failure largely to a less than ideal portion of the clear coats that ideally “wrap” the finish with added durability.
It's difficult to say definitively without 20 years of hindsight, but I'd agree - durability is mostly all in the clearcoat. You could have adhesion problems (<cough> Kramer Nightswan) but that's mostly a primer issue and I think we're beyond all that until the next round of EPA restrictions forces everyone to change up and go with something new.
I have a holoflake and goblin flake soloist and no issues with either. They’re awesome finishes.