Ukulele High Gloss Finish with CA Glue

If you just got yourself a brand new subtly-finished ukulele or want to customize your old one and are now thinking about giving it that beguiling high gloss finishing, then you might consider a CA glue finish as an option. Forget popular vanish choices such as nitrocellulose or polyurethane, cyanoacrylate glue can do get the job done even better, and here are a couple of reasons why you should opt for this kind of finish for your musical compatriot and how to go about the setup.

ukelele ca finish

1) CA finish attains an unrivalled gloss

Compared to a plethora of finish options on the market, nothing takes to polishing quite like ca glue. With a few swipes, it can provide an endearing layer of gloss that is mesmerizing and beautiful. High gloss ukuleles command a hefty price tag in stores but now you can just buy one with a subtle finish and do the polishing yourself with this adhesive.

2) Better protection

Cyanoacrylate affords a better protective layer over wood than a matte finish, for example, that has long been the go-to finish for ukuleles of old. The increased polish means more light is reflected away from the delicate underlying wood whereas a matte finish is susceptible to sun rays as the surface is undesirably absorptive. If you own a baritone ukulele, then all the more the reason why you should consider such a finish as the large size of the instrument makes this variety particularly vulnerable.

3) Safe to set up

Keeping in mind the complexity and dangers of getting cut with other wood finishes, this adhesive is a pretty safe alternative.

4) Easy to apply finish

With regards to setup time and ease of applying, finishes don’t get much simpler than laying out a cyanoacrylate covering. It is an instant adhesive that dries up rapidly and is simple to lay as discussed in the procedure below.

How to Make a Good Cyanoacrylate Adhesive Finish for Your Ukulele

First, you need to select the right CA variety. Your local store will have alterations such as thick, medium and thin and the first option is preferably the one you should go for though the medium shade is often used as it has a good open time to work with so select this one. This information should be stated on the exterior of the glue’s container; if it's not stated, then it's thin glue.

You’ll need polyethylene gloves, a folded paper towel which affords good distribution of the adhesive, and a face shield for this job. Cover the openings and chords with paper or foil before you begin any work and, of course, put on your safety gear.

Now drip the CA onto the surface of the guitar and uniformly spread it across the surface. This needs to be done fast so that the finish doesn’t get tacky whilst working on it. After attaining that even spread, let the ukulele sit for a while so that it dries or, if you don’t have the patience to wait, use a spritz of spray accelerant. Touch the complete finish to get a feel of the texture which should be tenderly smooth.

Finally, apply a second coat just as you did the first following the same procedure. No sanding is necessary between the coats unless the texture feels uncomfortably rough. After the second set, your ukulele is ready to use and should be beaming with an exquisite, reflective surface as good as that of one freshly purchased from the store.