Tape Disaster


New member
Wow I cant imagine what I did wrong after watching so many videos and reading so much info on websites!!!  Please give me a reason why this happened.  I started with a beautiful warmoth mahoganny back quit maple top which I sanded to 320.  Dyed with a burst with Angelus dye.  Waited 72 hours before slight scotch pad and naptha wipe...then waited overnight before applying a light coat of non waxed shellac overnight again then a coat of aqua coat grain filler for the mahoganny back. 48 hours later a light scotch pad and then three coats of spray can poly urethane and let sit for 72 hours.  Now the bad part some how I had a small ding in the back so i wanted to use the glue fill in trick so i started to tape around the ding but had to reposition the tape when i pulled the green tape off OFF came the poly in pieces!!!!!!  tried to see if this was the case through out the guitar and it was!!  Please help had to sand back guitar and start again  any Idea what went wrong????

Verne Bunsen

Senior member
I'm sorry to hear this! don't know what causes it, but I can tell you it happens to the best of them. A couple of years ago I had to send a neck back to Warmoth because the finish came off the fretboard with the tape after I did the frets. They examined it and concluded it was a "paint adhesion issue" and said that it sometimes happens when working with natural products... 
The good news is that after stripping and re-finishing, it's perfect. Hope that can at least be some consolation!


Cure time? I know handling and next coat times are different from sanding times. "Completely cured" is more like a week or so, depending on temperature. Oil based poly in low temps can slow to a crawl.


Active member
Semi-informed guess here, but reminds me of some issues that come up when using incompatible products together- kind of like trying to paint lacquer over enamel. The chemicals don’t get along.

If you’ve done your research and know those products work together, then cure time is about the only thing i can think of.

Good luck! That’s frustrating.


Active member
First thought is it sounds like you failed to allow the poly to cure completely. From what you described, you coated the entire guitar with spray poly and the adhesion failed over the whole thing? If so, you may have had a can of some bad poly for it to have not adhered anywhere. Poly is not cured until it feels 'slick' under your fingers with no residual stickiness. It also could be a incompatibility with the other products on the guitar.

That's why I advocate using products from the manufacturer's same line of paint products.