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What kind of foam can damage or discolor typical guitar finishes?

OddManOut

Inspired
I have 18 high-quality guitars hanging on my wall using DiamondLife hangers. In order to squeeze them into the available space they are oriented such that the guitars are very close to the wall. So to avoid inadvertent damage to the guitars if bumped into the wall, I'm considering placing 3/8" thick EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam on the wall. In case you're wondering, this appears to be a typical material used in the interlocking gym mats that are popular these days. For some of the guitars, their sides will likely end up touching the foam. Seems like an elegant solution to my problem but I don't want to risk damage to my collection because I failed to research the impact of this material on guitar finishes.

First off, has anyone else tried this? If so, what did you observe re interaction between the foam and the guitars?
Does anyone know which foam compounds are known to adversely affect guitar finishes?
BTW, my guitars are varied and I suspect that most types of typical guitar finishes are represented in my collection - I'm guessing most are nitrocellulose or polyurethane / polyester. Oldest guitar is coming up on 55 years old and I especially don't want anything to happen to its finish.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
So I know it's that I'm paranoid about my nitro EJ, don't put it on a stand at all, for fear of the rubber padding. Stays in its case, or on a strap I'm wearing.
 
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Freds55

Power User
I think I would be very leery of hanging a guitar next to foam or rubber for any length of time.

All though one of my friends hangs his guitars but there not touching anything but the rubber on the wall hangers.

And the other thing I really don’t like my good guitars to not be in there case. Not saying I don’t leave guitars on guitar stands but there usually the ones I’m playing all the time.

I now the foam can have a reaction to different finishes and that some finishes it won’t bother.

I just don’t know what or which it would possibly hurt.
 

fcs101

Experienced
I think I would be very leery of hanging a guitar next to foam or rubber for any length of time.

All though one of my friends hangs his guitars but there not touching anything but the rubber on the wall hangers.

And the other thing I really don’t like my good guitars to not be in there case. Not saying I don’t leave guitars on guitar stands but there usually the ones I’m playing all the time.

I now the foam can have a reaction to different finishes and that some finishes it won’t bother.

I just don’t know what or which it would possibly hurt.
Same here. The only ones I leave out are the ones I'm playing almost daily.
 

USMC_Trev

Fractal Fanatic
I have guitars that have been sitting in the old school Pro Line 5 guitar stands for 15 years with no interaction between guitar finish and the rubber/foam tubes.

Avoid polymers with shiny finishes. Those are the ones that will break down, flake, peel, get tacky and stick to guitars.
 

Budda

Fractal Fanatic
I dont even know whats on my stands. Might chop up an old work shirt for padding though, as one rack is a lot more expensive than the other lol.
 

Morphine

Inspired
I'd avoid foam altogether. You can get a thin roll of indoor/outdoor carpet that will do the trick in terms of saving your finishes in the event anything gets bumped into the wall while hanging/taking stuff down. I did this years ago and it worked like a charm and was ridiculously cheap. If you have any indoor cats, make sure you trim their claws. They'll love to pretend they're Spider-man along the walls at 3am if you don't. :p

I'd be more concerned about reactions with the foam on the wall hangers themselves.
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Hi @OddManOut
I used a big lump of felt... no problems there, and you can get it in almost any colour..

Thanks
Pauly
I have 18 high-quality guitars hanging on my wall using DiamondLife hangers. In order to squeeze them into the available space they are oriented such that the guitars are very close to the wall. So to avoid inadvertent damage to the guitars if bumped into the wall, I'm considering placing 3/8" thick EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam on the wall. In case you're wondering, this appears to be a typical material used in the interlocking gym mats that are popular these days. For some of the guitars, their sides will likely end up touching the foam. Seems like an elegant solution to my problem but I don't want to risk damage to my collection because I failed to research the impact of this material on guitar finishes.

First off, has anyone else tried this? If so, what did you observe re interaction between the foam and the guitars?
Does anyone know which foam compounds are known to adversely affect guitar finishes?
BTW, my guitars are varied and I suspect that most types of typical guitar finishes are represented in my collection - I'm guessing most are nitrocellulose or polyurethane / polyester. Oldest guitar is coming up on 55 years old and I especially don't want anything to happen to its finish.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Andy Eagle

Power User
It is usually Gibsons that have a problem with this, I don't recall ever seeing a Fender with original nitro ever eaten by the stand.
You could make a cotton sleeve cover for the foam to be safe as we can't be sure your foam is suitable .
 

Shredology

Experienced
There is a company that makes black fuzzy "u" shaped sleeves that fit over the hanger yoke. Years ago I bought a bunch of these and have them on all my hangers
 

bikertrash

Inspired
Generally any thing that stinks could potentially damage a finish over time. It's the sulfur outgassing that get to the finish. I used to work for a museum exhibit shop and we had to be very careful about what we used to cushion objects. Things like you are talking about like yoga mats are usually pretty safe. Those foam drawer liners that you can also use for wood grippers in the shop are usually ok too. I like yoga mats because they usually have a fabric side to them as well.
 

OddManOut

Inspired
Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful inputs. I've continued to search the interwebs for any additional 'facts' and have come up empty in terms of answering my initial question, i.e. does EVA interact with guitar finishes. That being said, the consensus appears to be that whatever I use for padding, some sort of barrier like cotton or felt should be the only thing allowed to touch the guitars finish. I'm going to have to give some further thought to how I might make a sandwich of cotton and padding that attaches to the wall conveniently, is at least 6" wide (not all guitars would contact the wall at the same height) and is aesthetically pleasing. Somehow or other, I think a nice new cotton terrycloth towel is going to be involved.
 

200man

Power User
Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful inputs. I've continued to search the interwebs for any additional 'facts' and have come up empty in terms of answering my initial question, i.e. does EVA interact with guitar finishes. That being said, the consensus appears to be that whatever I use for padding, some sort of barrier like cotton or felt should be the only thing allowed to touch the guitars finish. I'm going to have to give some further thought to how I might make a sandwich of cotton and padding that attaches to the wall conveniently, is at least 6" wide (not all guitars would contact the wall at the same height) and is aesthetically pleasing. Somehow or other, I think a nice new cotton terrycloth towel is going to be involved.
Although I am not a fan of hanging guitars, when I used to do it, I used cotton t-shirts ripped up and wrapped around the metal.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Related, when I first got my EJ, and people warned me about nitro finishes and stands, they also said to watch out for damage from common strap materials.

I've used Couch straps for years, and left my guitars on their stands with the strap on. Couch said it'd probably be ok, but I was chicken, changed to a different strap that's supposedly nitro safe, though of course nobody guarantees that.

I also take the strap off and put the guitar in its case when I'm not playing. Belt and suspenders I guess...

Thoughts?
 
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