Touch up varnish or let it be?
Just wondering what the general consensus is on small nicks and scratches on an instrument's varnish. Is it worth touching up, or should one leave it as a part of instrument's character? Asking because I recently noticed a couple of small nicks and scratches on my violin - some of which appear to expose the white of the wood - and was wondering what the best course of action would be. While they are relatively small and probably unnoticeable to most, they've begun to bug my nerves whenever I see them.
Any good luthier can touch those up. It isn't a big deal. Just don't try to do it yourself.
However, the question was: is it even necessary? And I think any good luthier can tell you that if they are allowed to have a look at the "problem".
A good luthier can touch-it-up while also preserving the character and age in the appearance of the violin.
I wouldn't bother. Some members on the forum remember what happened when my dad wanted to "touch up" a small nick on my second violin. Mere seconds to destroy, but two weeks to fix.
It doesn't cost much to have a luthier touch up the varnish, and it's protective for the instrument if bare wood is exposed.
Even an experienced luthier can have trouble touching up scratches, at least that's what I've heard.
I have the same problem with my violin(various nicks and small scratches).The marks usually disappear when a luthier professionally cleans the instrument.He uses a strong cleaner which slightly softens the varnish thus blending in the blemishes.Im going early next week...
The problem is if the scratches go into the wood, the scratched area will turn dark when you try to touch it up, at least that's what a top luthier told me.
Ill ask my luthier today how he would address that particular problem...
If there is bare wood, it should at least be sealed with a clear varnish. Otherwise, I tend to take the minimalist approach when it comes to surface interventions. Over time, less it more.
I think it depends on how much your instrument is worth in your currency. It also depends on how much having your instrument appear pristine is worth to you emotionally (for whatever reason).