Finishing idea, please poke all the holes in it that are merited.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tedious1, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    So, making this short and succinct.

    Punk originals player, and I miss my sticker bass, the cheap POS I played for years and covered in stickers. I bought decent, not stellar basses, but don't want to mar them with stickers.

    But I miss my sticker bass.

    So, my plan, pick up one of those Solo kits, probably the TB, I have no berds in the stable, so...

    From there I'd seal and prime the body, paint the sides and back, then apply the stickers to the front of the body. Then probably poly for the final finish, although I suspect that's one of the holes...

    This would be my first kit as well, the assembly and such doesn't give me much pause, but this hare-brained finishing idea...that I'm not so sanguine about.

    So hole-poke away, my only ask is if you're going to put a hole in my boat, include a suggestion on how to fix it!

    The thing I always hated about my sticker bass, was when the stickers started coming off or fading from being rubbed by arms, hands, etc. I figure get em under the poly...
  2. tbrannon


    Jun 11, 2006
    I have zero finish suggestions, other than I think it's going to take some careful planning to make it look right.

    Stickered up basses typically look pretty well-worn and as though the stickers were added randomly over time. I think it's kind of a cool idea. I just think you're going to have to be pretty thoughtful to execute it right
  3. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    Not a thing I have tried, but two thoughts: "workable fixative" might be a good bet for getting a first layer over the stickers without having some sort of sticker melt-down. And then (or instead?), perhaps a layer of clear epoxy over them to really get them embedded without inviting delamination too much. But, not a thing I have tried.
    tedious1 likes this.
  4. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Yeah, that's a good point, and a good suggestion.

    That would also obviate my concerns that the differences in materials and construction between the various stickers might affect how the first top coat bonded...


    You're telling me!

    But I selected the T-berd kit for it's lines, no curves, I don't need to deal with curves.
    I have the stickers from my old bass, all are well worn, I even was prescient and kept the ones that I couldn't remove cleanly in one piece...
    I have stickers collected from touring the last few years, most of the bands we've played with.

    My guitar player suggested this after I mentioned I put this post up, not my idea, but I think it's a good one:
    So once I have the body, I'll template the layout of the new stickers and mark out the gaps. Use the template to mark out the gaps on the body, and cover those areas by gluing down the worn stickers. Also cutting up some of the torn ones to fit around neck pocket, pickup routes, bridge and pickguard... Then applying the new stickers, and finally applying the rest of the finish. So the end result should be that of a freshly re-stickered sticker bass where the new crop was just layered on top of the old, and I'll be overlapping some of the newer ones to help that effect out.

    I think we'll keep him around...

    And Thanks as well!
  5. This may sound messed up, but after you put the stickers cover it with clear contact paper, and then cover that with your clear coat along with the rest of the body

    tedious1 likes this.
  6. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
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  7. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Yeah, GIG is right. Slap em on and clear coat with water based varathane.
    Bobro, tedious1 and Gilmourisgod like this.
  8. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Thanks All, I appreciate the guidance and advice!
  9. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    You may want to try out a tester board with your planned application. I've sprayed some clear over stickers before, and sometimes it won' stick to certain sticker surfaces. It just beads up and pools on the surface. Shiny and waxy stickers are the worst - what did work over everything for me, was using "bar top" epoxy. :)
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  10. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I should clarify, that this was before the days of water based clears, and it was my son's skateboard, not a bass... :D
    tedious1 likes this.
  11. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    If you end up going the poured "decoupage" bar epoxy route, this stuff is also supposed to remain crystal clear:
    EnviroTex Lite® Pour-On High Gloss Finish
    A lot of pedal builders use it over graphics and decals, it's pretty much bulletproof stuff, but does take some practice to get it to flow out right. I haven't tried it myself, but a lot of pedal builders on the BYOC (Build your Own Clone) forum use it.
    Build Your Own Clone Message Board • Index page
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  12. As a bonus, "bar top" epoxy won't dissolve when some drunk spill his drink on your instrument.
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  13. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    You guys are spoiling me!

    I really appreciate the flow of information, Luthiers corner I have to say is probably the friendliest and most supportive portion of the forum... Not that the rest of the forum isn't generally friendly and supportive, you folks just up the game in your little corner of the forum...

    Good idea, and I'm pretty sure the singer, who is a worse packrat than I am, kept the sheet of misprints we got a couple years back... and I'm sure I can get a few from some of the local guys for more testing...
  14. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I agree with what most of the guys are saying here. Personally, I'd just coat the stickers with water-base polyurethane, like Varathane Floor Finish, or ProFinisher. Simple and very clear, and the base solvent (water) isn't going to attack the inks on the stickers. Spray the first coat on lightly, let it dry, then spray on maybe 10 coats of clear.

    But, a really important point is that you need to de-grease the stickers before you paint. Stickers are typically thin vinyl or vinyl-soaked paper, with inks printed on them. They are covered with process oils and hand grease. If you don't clean them, the finish won't stick to them. That's where the problem comes in, because many types of solvents that are good for cleaning off the grease will also soften and blur the ink. You are going to have to clean the stickers carefully. I think the safest thing to use would be an ammonia based cleaner like Windex. Spritz a little on there, dab it slightly, and let it dry.
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  15. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    The stickers are going to look fresh and new forever, ie: this bass will never look like it belongs at a punk gig. Sorry.
  16. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Yup, I know, I'll have some relic'd stickers in there if you read the plan, but no it's never going to wear like a regular sticker bass. I'm fine with that actually, hard to tell when I'm on stage and that's as close as most of the unwashed will get. The washed, meh, they either like it or don't, doesn't make a whit of difference to me.
  17. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    That’s not a very punk attitude dude. You even spelled everything right. You sure you’re not really a cardigan metal head?
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  18. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    LOL, I totally resemble this remark. I'm even wearing a cardigan right now while listening to Meshuggah. :D

    I had to ditch my mohawk when the top of my head no longer had enough hair to sustain it... :woot:
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  19. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Today boys and girls, we're going to talk about metal...
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  20. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    i've got a guitar case full of stickers. old orginal ones of punk bands i picked up when they were actually still playing, unfortunately all of them are schralped to bits...

    your finish idea is fine and has been done before. just be mindful of the neck pocket -you don't want to goop thick poly down in there.
    tedious1 likes this.
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