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White flecks have appeared in the last few years in this guitar...

 

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 The grain filler has somehow sunken into the '03 guitar, and taken the lacquer with it I am thinking? Can someone explain what exactly is happening here? Though we have all seen this before, I have a friend asking the specifics of it.

Thanks so much.

 No joy yet... 

I think you've nailed it. Solvents in the filler take up space. When they evaporate through the unfinished side of the wood a void is left and the top coat is pulled into the space.  

Frequently the lacquer doesn't stick to the sanding sealer so well ( specially if it hasn't been sanded ) Maybe the sealer has shrunk into the grain and left hollows under the lacquer .

It's an adhesion issue, I'd say.  It would be interesting to know the materials used.

It's my impression that vinyl and other modern sealers are more prone to this problem than shellac, although I have seen shellac "let go"  if it was not wiped on too quickly or thin.

I was waiting to hear Frank's opinion.  

BTW, I quit using vinyl sealers years ago when I found out that it is not an adhesion promoter and not a sanding sealer, but a moisture inhibitor.  I've had no problems and don't plan to go back.

Frank, do you mean if it was wiped on too quickly?

Hi Guys, 35 yrs as cabmkr & never seen white flecks like that. I am just learning to adapt my skills to guitar though. Is the white on the binding(between binding & wood) light reflection or lacquer separation?

 I only use waterbased clear now( had bladder cancer form solvents). I must say w/b now far outperform solvent based finishes & don't leave white mark when scratched or dented. Developed in New Zealand for use on floors.

cheers,

Dean

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