Bass Relicing Techniques?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Musicmanbassguy, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Musicmanbassguy


    Dec 31, 2014
    Does anyone have any good techniques for relicing a bass besides naturally wearing the finish off it from use? I've been wanting to make my P-bass roadworn for a while now, and I've been looking for good ways to do that.
  2. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Might want to ask this is the Bass forum
  3. FA108208usat2

    FA108208usat2 Guest

    Mar 24, 2014
    The best technique is spending time with it, and let it distressed by itself.
    I'm not being sarcastic or anything,It's just the right way.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  4. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    When I was 16 I tied my old ZimGar electric guitar to the rear bumper of my friend's car and had him drive around the block a few times. That "relic'd" it pretty darn quickly!
    Mike Brown likes this.
  5. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    Relic finishes are a somewhat specialized field. If you want to pursue it I would look for someone who does professional instrument finish work that also does relic finishes. Doing any of this work on your own will probably result in your instrument being damaged in such a way that you won't be happy with the results. And when you do shop around for someone to do relic work for you, by all means ask to see some photos of relic work that they've done in the past. That way you can go into the process with a sense of confidence about the work that's going to be done.

    As for your current instrument? If it's got a poly finish, then the odds are that it probably won't wear the way that an instrument with a nitro finish wears over time.
  6. xk49w


    Apr 13, 2008
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Don't do it unless you know what you are doing. In the last few months I've looked at 4 MIM basses totally ruined by their owners trying to make them look well worn. All 4 owners were all puffed up with pride at their work, but to me it just looked like random vandalism of some decent little basses.

    It takes real talent to do such things and not make a total botch of it.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  8. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Nothing's worse than a bad relic job. Finish wear isn't damage from gouging. It's damage from use. That's hard to fake.
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Wrap your arms and torso in 60 grit and play nonstop for a few weeks maybe?
    Musicmanbassguy likes this.
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    It can be done but it needs to be done tastefully. Most can't do that.
  11. If you have a body, light in color, with body checking already established, you can "enhance" the checking by putting coca cola on it. Sounds childish but it works.

    This guy is a master at relicing.

    He lives here in KC and is a coatings expert. I've seen his work. Absolutely amazing.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
    31HZ likes this.
  12. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    just use a bass with Nitrocellulose paint on her. i practice sitting in my plastic office chair and i'm down to bare wood on the bottom edge in less than 2yrs!
  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Yeppers, extra points for a Highway 1. I've got a highway 1 J bass and it's already starting to show play wear at less than a year old.

    If I could find a red one I'd put a light coat of black on it so I'd get that cool black wear with red edges.
    pacojas likes this.
  14. jp58


    Dec 9, 2009
    Ibanezcollector had a decent tutorial in PDF, but I've long since lost the file or the link to get it. You could probably search for it and find it quick enough.
  15. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA

    Dave is a master at relic work among other things. Yes, absolutely amazing.

    I own one of his P-basses (it's "lightly" relic'd) and I've seen/played other examples of his work.
  16. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    +1 on Nitrocellulose. Poly finishes don't relic well.
  17. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Follow the self-explanatory directions:




    And there you have it!

    Musicmanbassguy and pacojas like this.
  18. Uriah bass for the win