There are marks under the bridge, is this normal? Is there a way to remove it?Also, there are traces after my chin rest is removed, is there any way to solve it?enter image description here

1 Answer 1


The bridge will usually affect the varnish to some extent, but it is hard to evaluate the damage to the varnish just from this picture. A violin maker should be able to determine if the damage to the varnish is more than it is "supposed" to be. If so he will be able to retouch it. Simply ask your violin maker about it the next time you give the instrument a checkup. Do not try to fix the varnish yourself unless you are really confident.

  • @SamuelZhang I take my violin to my luthier at least yearly for a "spa day" to clean and polish it (as well as to spot any problems), and would never dream of attempting it myself. If you don't have a reliable luthier available to you, don't worry about these cosmetic issues for the time being. Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 12:32
  • @AndyBonner Which is to be recommended anyway (at least if you play a lot), because there will also be issues like glue joints coming loose. I cannot clearly determine from the image if this is just a small abrasion on the surface of the varnish, or if in fact a piece of varnish cracked off. In the first case this would be a purely cosmetic issue. One could try to polish it oneself, but then one should know what kind of varnish this is and how it should be treated. In the second case this might impair protection of the wood and even contact between bridge and top.
    – Lazy
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 13:16
  • @AndyBonner This would then require retouching with new varnish very carefully with really find brushes and the correct type of varnish. And if you are looking for an aesthetically pleasing result you’d need to try to color match your varnish to the violin. All in all it is something I think is doable for someone who is skilled, but it is not something you’d want to to on an expensive instrument (on a cheap one it’s probably fine). Also most people usually do not even have the right materials, that is, varnishes, pigments, dust free space to let the varnish cure.
    – Lazy
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 13:21
  • Heck, even the cheapest functional violin is probably around $300, and even that is enough not to want to ruin it. One of my pet peeves is when sellers want to pad their "violin outfit" with more accessories and so offer a treated "polishing cloth" or even a bottle of some kind of polishing liquid, and zealous students then take on this aspect of "maintenance" and slather the instrument with who-knows-what and smear it around. For the record, and to whom it may concern: wipe off rosin dust after playing with a clean, untreated cloth—THAT'S IT. Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 14:44
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    @AndyBonner And yes, do not polish a violin with anything that was not specifically recommended by your violin maker. Depending on your varnish the substance might mess it up, oily substances can make regluing of stuff impossible. Another problem with polishing liquids is that they might contain abrasives or fillers. The first will increase the wear on the varnish, the latter will build up on the surface and eventually turn ugly. A violin maker will most of the time buff an already made violin with a soft cloth and a bit of water.
    – Lazy
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 15:07

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