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Adding a Glossy Clear Coat

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by papmech, May 12, 2010.

  1. papmech


    Jul 19, 2008
    I recently purchased this bass in a shop, primarily because it had a maple neck and fretboard, and the body was made of Ash. I was looking for Swamp Ash, but I had to settle for this one made of Hard Ash because all the others were just too expensive.


    One thing that I find lacking is that the body of this bass and its headstock has a matte coat, and I would really like one with a glossy clear coat. (I think I prefer the back of the neck to be non-glossy) So I've decided to DIY one myself, even though I have no experience in spray painting or doing anything related.

    I have done some research, and acquired the following materials:
    - Sandpaper of grits 220, 320, 400, 600, 1500
    - Nippon Pylox Clear Lacquer Paint (Specifications. It's a acrylic nitro-cellulose clear paint.)

    My methodology would be approximately the following:
    1. Because the existing coat does not have any paint on it, I suspect that the outer most coating is actually wood primer with a thin clear coat. So I will first wet sand this layer with 400-grit sandpaper (I'm not sure, is this step to smoothen it out or to rough it up so that the clear coat will stick?)
    2. Spray one coat of the Nippon Clear Lacquer Paint. Wait 30 minutes for it to dry.
    3. Repeat step 2 about 10-15 times to add more coats of lacquer.
    4. Wet sand with 1500 grit.
    5. Buff with 3M rubbing compound.

    I need you guys to help me determine if I have made any errors in my steps and perhaps if I have any misconceptions about how this is supposed to be done. Thanks in advance!
  2. you can turn a matte coat to glossy depending on the clear used, just by rubbing it with progressively finer grits until you reach 4000-12000 grit.No need to respray, that would usually be a mess unless you are really good at it.
  3. papmech


    Jul 19, 2008
    It seems to be a very thin matte coat. Will I be able to achieve the deep glossy look that is common found on Fender basses (e.g. American Vintage '75 (neck)) if all I do is just sand it with progressively finer grit?
  4. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Try polishing out that finish first. If it is too thin, then you can think about a refinish.
  5. I brought an acoustic guitar's poly matt finish up to a high polish with automotive polishing compound and turtle wax wax/polish. Much easier to do than spray, etc.

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