Hand-Rubbed Oil and Wax Finish


Bertram Nova Guitar, EverTune Bridge, Koa Top, Evertune Bridge, Hand-Rubbed Oil and Wax Finish

Shown above is the Bertam Nova Guitar with the EverTune bridge. Our hand-rubbed oil and wax finish is a terrific choice for individuals who seek tonal Nirvana. The oil soaks into the wood rather than sitting on top of it like a coat of clear gloss. It is the best finish choice for preserving the vibratory nature of the instrument while still beautifying and protecting the wood.

Gloss finishes are certainly beautiful and they help protect the wood from dents and dings, but that gorgeous gloss finish also serves to dampen the vibrations of the wood when the strings are strummed. This results, in our opinion, in tonal degredation of the guitar.

Many claim that the pickups and the amplifier can compensate for the reduction in vibrations, which may in some cases be true, but in the end it is important to many professional musicians that the guitar "feels right" even when it is unplugged. This means that the action needs to be set right, the guitar needs to hang well when worn standing up as well as being comfortable when played sitting down. Above all this means that the guitar needs to ring when the strings are strummed. When all of those other variables are in place and a player can feel the guitar's whole body vibrate when strumming the strings, the guitar just "feels right."

Applying the Oil

After the guitar has been painstakingly sanded to a glossy sheen, we apply the first coat of oil by hand, immediately wiping it clean with soft cotton cloths. We then monitor the freshly oiled bodies for seepage over the course of the day, keeping them wiped clean, while they cure in our Patented Las Vegas Sunshine. The bodies then sit overnight.

Fine Sanding and Buffing

Only after a full 24 hours have elapsed do we again fine-sand the bodies and move on to the buffing. We buff the bodies on two separate buffing stations, using two grades of polish, meaning that each of the bodies is buffed two times for each coat of oil or wax.

Four Coats of Oil, Two Coats of Wax

Further, we don't just apply another coat of oil on top of the previous days' coat. We complete this exact process four times with oil and twice with wax. This is a total of six sandings in addition to the first and 12 buffings, resulting a beautiful satin sheen.


Although oil and wax finish is not as tough or durable as gloss, it is the best finish for tone junkies and it is considerably friendlier for ding repair. A scratch or ding can be sanded out and re-oiled with very little evidence of a repair, while a gloss finish usually requires a complete refinish for an acceptable ding repair.