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Can I re-finish a bass at home?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lord Henry, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. I've got this old (early 80's) Ibanez Blazer at home. The thing is that, being of an age, it's not as pretty as I'm sure it once was. Actually it's dinged all the way into next week. Other than that however, it's not too bad of a bass.

    I'm much more of a fan of natual finishes anyway (this one's currently a burst). I'm wondering if I could just sand it down to the wood and then varnish it. Would this work? Or is what what I'm going to find under this finish even less pleasent than what I have now?

    I'm pretty sure that this bass has no real resale value, so I'm not worried about that.

    What do you think?

  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Lots of people have done it including myself. It's time consuming as the bullet proof finishes used on these instruments are impervious to easily obtained paint strippers. Sanding is the very long way of removing it.

    I've had best results using a heat stripper (sort of like a big hand held hair dryer) to remove most of it with a paint scraper and sanding what remains by hand.

    You may or may not have nice looking wood underneath all that. You may want to stain it a nice shade before varnish. As far as varnish goes, MinWax wipe on polyurethane is probably the easiest to apply and will give reasonable protection.

    If you don't mind the work, go for it.
  3. Excellent news, I think I'll give it a go. Might give it a month though, this is going to be a out door job and it's freezing out at the moment.

    Any recommendations/warnings about wood stains?

    Cheers all.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I would not sand it. You'll end up removing a lot of the wood along with the finish. Stripping with heat and/or chemicals is probably a better option.

    The only time I ever took the finish off a body, I had it dipped. I just stripped all the electronics and hardware, and dropped it offer at the furniture refinishing place. I think I was something like $15-20 to have it dipped and it was clean as a new one when I got it back.
  5. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    As far as wood stains go, you have a choice between dye stains, usually water or alcohol based, and thicker pigment stains, in liquid or gel form. Some new gel stains are water based.

    If the grain is not prominent, I use a dye stain so as not to cover it too much. The pigment stains are easy to use though and work well on wood with a pronounced grain. These are generalities of course. You have to decide the effect you want.

    Best advice I can give is to experiment on scrap wood until you find a technique you like.
  6. Rat


    Mar 15, 2005
    Boston Sewers
    tru-oil worked great for me
  7. WarwickThumb777


    Jan 17, 2006
    Registered Sex Offender

    An Ibanez 80's Blazer..I tell you that sucker screams Rustoleum...applied with a roller in the back of a pickup at a high rate of speed while on speed in a rainstorm.And if you can fill the truck bed knee deep with grass clippings SWEET...Thats the finish I'd go with..Then take it to the local beach parking lot and leave crumbled bread on it during the day.Texture finishes are the Bomb
  8. 62Bass - Thanks again for the help. I think this is something I will have a go at.

    WarwickThumb777 - How much for about 5 grams of whatever the heck it is that you're on? and do you deliver?

  9. WarwickThumb777


    Jan 17, 2006
    Registered Sex Offender

    It's called..I haven't gone to the Ferrari forums and talked about my Ford Festiva enuff today...Thats basically what goes on here. I have a $100 Rogue bass...should I spend $20 on strings ..or keep boiling them..Can I get away without buying straplocks???I mean the questions...Can I load bowling ballz in my Napolean cannon ???
  10. Mellow out man.

    I was just looking for a cheap way to do something to improve the look of the only bass I currently have. Why? Three reasons: 1) I will be playing it for the next few months at least and I want it to look better. 2) I fancied a new project and this was something that appealled to me. 3) I don't want to spend any money on doing it as I'm saving towards some decent gear.

    You own an army of Warwicks. Great, I envy you, and I hope to one day do the same. In the mean time I don't think I should be expected to sit in a corner and keep quiet just because I haven't managed to raise several thousand pounds to spend on kit.

    So lets all just mellow, OK?

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