Nitro Refinish Question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bray101, Dec 16, 2013.


  1. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    Ohio
    I bought a hard shell case off craigslist, and the kid that sold it to me had a Mexi jazz in there that was in absolutely deplorable condition.

    Completely rusted out, finish beaten up, the works.

    He said he wasn't playing anymore and said I could have the bass for another $20, so why not? Haha

    Long story short, I thought of it as a trial and error kind of bass that I know I would never play out. I cleaned up the bridge and pickups and got it back functional. Then my friend had the idea to make a DIY fretless, so we ripped the frets out, filled, an stained the neck and it's actually a pretty decent playing fretless now. Still not a gigging bass though.

    I also sanded the finish down and I guess "relic'd" it. It was already beaten. Not relic'd. I know that word brings the masses of people who hate faux-roadworn stuff, but that's not what this is about.

    My question is:

    Since I've already sanded all the clear off, as well as went down even further where there was significant finish blems when I got it, what would I need to do to spray this with some Gracey's Nitro and change the color?

    I know that if you rough up the existing poly finish, it makes for a good primer for spraying rattle can nitro as a fun little project (At least from what I've read). Not sure how it would apply since some of the paint is completely gone in spots here.

    I was thinking of filling the dings with automotive putty and sanding it flat, then spraying the nitro. I have zero desire to strip it clean and start fresh. This is just for a fun experimental project.

    Any recommendations?

    I have attached pics so you guys can see the current sandings of the body. Again, this is no more than a bedroom fretless to get a point across. Maybe if I can refinish it successfully, it may see a stage somewhere.

    Thanks.

    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1387182180.896953.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1387182192.548072.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1387182206.833929.jpg
     
  2. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    You are going to want to seal the bare wood that is exposed on the bottom two corners. A can of gray automotive primer will work nicely for this. When you spray it the grain is going to raise in that spot, so you will need to sand it smooth and spray another coat. Repeat as necessary.
     
  4. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    I've done what you suggested with body filler on an Ibanez bass I picked up for 25 bucks. Finish was almost 1/16" thick, with pieces missing, however not as much as what you've pictured. I filled the spots with body putty, then sanded. Once I got it smooth, I primed and painted. Not a factory paint job, but looks good. Definitely looks better than pieces of finish missing and swear words scratched into it like before!
     
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  6. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    Just the bare wood? Or prime the whole body?
     
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    I would just spray the bare wood area and sand it to where it blends with the existing paint.
     
  8. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the help!
     
  9. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    Just as an additional question, I have the body pretty much sanded down to even after the automotive putty I used.

    Should I prime before laying the nitro? Or just sand everything to 400 grit and start spraying nitro?

    If I should prime it first, what is a good primer for nitro?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    If you're asking if you should prime the body filler, absolutely. Just like the bare wood, it offers yet another texture and porosity which will likely show through when you paint.

    As for what primer, Hopkins already answered earlier that grey automotive primer was a good choice.
     
  11. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    Want to reopen this topic for a similar question.

    The project I explained when starting this thread has been shelved until it warms up a little here in chilly ohio.

    My question now is I have a new squier body, that is finished with sunburst paint and poly. If I want to change the color, should I just sand the clear coat off and use the existing sunburst paint job as a primer for black nitro? I want to avoid priming so when the nitro wears, the burst will show through.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  12. RyanJD

    RyanJD Supporting Member

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    Dang dude.
    If I were you, I'd just consider putting a (tort) guard on there and leaving the body alone.
    The "relic-ing" looks pretty good.
     
  13. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    I thought about that, too. I had a tort guard on it. I just wanted to go to a more greenish-blue color, like a daphne or seafoam.

    I'm gonna get to that one soon enough. Got my eyes on this new one now.
     
  14. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Just scuff the surface of the existing finish to give the new finish a mechanical bond to the old finish. All you need to do is take some 320 or 400 grit and knock the gloss down until the entire body is a matte finish.
     
  15. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    That's what I thought. Just wanted to make sure that was all I needed. Wasn't 100% positive that the nitro would adhere to the regular paint finish on it currently.
     
  16. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

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    When tying together different surfaces (poly-raw wood) it can be helpful to lay down a coat of shellac, so that there is a similar absorption when you apply your nitro to the differing surfaces.
     
  17. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    I'm assuming you're referring to my original post? The one where I had bare wood, mixed with some finished areas...

    If so, that one will be primed before paint.

    This new project is more for the finish under nitro scenario, where I want to have the black nitro wear off over time and show the original sunburst finish. In this case, I'm going to just remove the clear from this new, different body, and then nitro over the existing sunburst paint job.
     
  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    You aren't really removing the clear, you are just knocking the gloss down.
     
  19. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    Yeah, any attempt to actually remove all the clear is going to make a burst finish look weird. The faded finish is extremely thin and you can't sand "to" it without going through it a lot. As the nitro wore away, the finish underneath would not look the same as unmolested burst. Now, if you want a more distressed look under the nitro, then doing that might actually give you a result you liked, but it will definitely change the look of the burst.
     
  20. bray101

    bray101 Supporting Member

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    So essentially just get the gloss off, which will leave some clear to protect the burst once the nitro on top wears through??
     
  21. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Not really that, the finish currently on the bass is a very good base coat for the new finish. Sanding it completely off is just a lot of unnecessary work.
     

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