I have a white Tele pickguard now totally filled with autographs (in black, green, blue, & red Sharpie ink). I want to protect it b4 putting it back on. What is the best way to do this without ever damaging the signatures? I thought I would put on many coats of a clear spray, but was told the solvents will cause damage. I thought a clear mylar w/adhesive would work, but was told the adhesive could eventually react with the ink. Ideally, I would like to get a clear, very thin, stiff, flat piece of plastic and have someone professionally cut it to fit, but I would need to find flat head screws (not the countersunk originals) to hold it on so its completely flat w/no warping/buckling around the edges. Has anyone ever done this and do you have any advice? Thanks.

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practice on another pick guard i think lacquer may work solvent or not pure solvent will reduce it to mush using acetone but this is 100times harsher than lacquer thinner in which you are using a small amount on the pick guard i believe that nitro lacquer will work for your dilemma but make sure and tell us the results you have come up with please
Your last idea, with the thin plastic overlay has the most merit, lacquer will not work. I have tried shellac but with disappointing results. Water based finishes probably are no good without some type of base coat like shellac to get the stuff to adhere to the plastic.
what if you epoxy over the signatures epoxy has a remarkable ability to lay flat hard when cured and durable it can be sanded and buffed out clear depending on the mix it can also be cut down with alcohol and thinned out as long as you can eliminate air bubbles you should be cool with epoxy and then you can lacquer that if you wanted to ?
You can shoot lacquer over Sharpie signatures, I have done so many times. The important thing is you have to shoot your initial coats fairly dry so they don't bleed the ink. Also, you need to scuff sand the pickguard all around (but not over) the signatures. This is time consuming. Frank has a pictorial on of the process.
It seems compelling to try the flat plastic, screwed on as you suggest. You can get acrylic in 1/16" thickness, or another suitable clear plastic, like the stuff used in picture framing. Unlike shellac, lacquer, or epoxy, the plastic will serve simply to guard the signatures just as it would a photo in a frame. There's no worry about compatibility, longevity or anything else.
I have my 1948 000 18 Martin signed with Merle Haggard's band and it has stayed for several years. I lightly sprayed it with a light coat of lacquer and than a heavy coat. The top was very dirty and I never cleaned it before signing. I also have a electric 5 string violin that I had Merle sign and I never did a thing to protect it. All the signatures have faded so they are very faint.

If I were you I would not put it on your guitar but just keep it in some where that the day lite would not fade the signatures.

Only take it out to show your friends and to brag about it! That is why we get them.

If you play the guitar they will eventually wear off.



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