Have you had your bass refinished?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lo end PUNCH, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Got a BTB six string that I just hate that shiney finish on. I'm thinking of having it redone to a satin finish. Anyone here ever had their bass refinished?
  2. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Banned

    Dec 2, 2004
    Not recently but I am looking to have my Fodera done too, any one know who does a great job for reasonable $$$??
  3. I would caution that this is area is NOT the place to shop based solely on price, especially for a bass such as a Fodera. In that case, Fodera is the best source for a refinish - if they do that sort of thing. Other than that, you are going to get what you pay for when it comes to refinishing. There are two very costly things in a good refinish - the experience required to know how to do the job correctly and the time required to do it correctly. The materials are dirt cheap compared to these. Here's what I mean - from a different but comparable realm altogether - a good production car painter with enough experience to do aftermarket journeyman work on passenger cars in a body shop can make between $20 and $35 per hour as an employee. For him to refinish just an area the size of a bass would take him about 4 hours total to do a good job. That would total between $80 and $140 in labor and another $20 in consumables for between $100 and $160. But this guy isn't an artisan and the smallest detail he concerns himself with is usually the size of your little fingernail. Aside from that, because he's been trained by the paint suppliers to shoot their product, he might never have shot anything but acrylic poly. So while this guy is a very skilled painter in one realm and his price might be between $150 and $200 to refinish your Fodera, he isn't the man for the job. You need a specialist for this project to make sure the smallest of details are carried thru. It's craftsmanship of scale. I would think that a "reasonable" but great refinish for your instrument would run between $400 and $600.
  4. I had my 78 P-bass refinished. To some this might be heresy, since the old finish was the sorta-rare "antigua"...but in reality, the old finish had turned quite ugly, the pickguard was broken in several places, and to me the color was god-awful.

    So I stripped it, and had a friend refinish it translucent blue, with a pearloid pickguard, and now it looks awesome (especially with the chrome pickup and bridge covers...) A tiny part of me says I shouldn't have done it, but it looks mighty darn good now, whereas before it looked like baby puke.
  5. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Mabey I should've posted this in Luhtiers corner :D Any other comments or advice however, will be appreciated.
  6. WJF


    Aug 1, 2005
    I've refinished 2 basses, one in polyurethane clear coat and the other in lacquer. If all you're after is a satiny finished, just rub out the gloss finish with 0000 steel wool. I wouldn't go to the expense of having it stripped and refinished.
  7. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.

    Not to be a suck-up, but pay attention to Hambone. He has saved me from doing some ill-advised things, finish-wise, to some of my basses in the past.

    Go to the Luthier's board and do some searches - you'll find a LOT of good info posted by Hambone - he will steer you right.
  8. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I did 2 guitars before. One was a cheap ibanez and the other was a peavy. The Ibanez had great wood to strip and stain (mahogony) while the peavy was crummier wood and the stain didnt finish too well. I think that there is an issue with painting bodies... I guess that a lot of time, auto paint, or spray paint causes te paint to crack and chip off. I think it has something to do with the wood not being able to breathe...

    I can't imagine how that would happen if a primer is put on it. I am sure that guitar companies use something very similar to auto paint if not the same thing. There are people out there who are car painters and they have heavy duty compressors and paint guns who can do it for you cheap. I had someone paint my PC case and laptop before with great results.
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I almost had my '78 Precision redone, but I figured instead of spending $400 to get it to feel new like I wanted it to, I'd trade for a newer P-bass, put in vintage pickups and still make a profit on the deal. If you hate the finish, are you SURE there isn't something else out there that meets the criteria you like?
  10. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    I love the BTB's, they're powerful(18v) and punchy. The necks are nice and wide and the looks are very sexy ;) It's a slappers delight and the B sting is smooth and tight. I just hate that Ibanez does'nt offer more finish options except for the prestige models, of which are now offered with burl and with zebra tops.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Keeps cost down man, the more options, the more places would have to stock, which means more overhead, which means upping the prices. For low end instruments, it really makes sense to limit the number of finishes... and apparently the Ibanez marketing team has determined the most popular. It just appears as though you don't agree with the masses.
  12. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    Do you mean to tell me that the "antigua" finish started out NOT ugly?

  13. Guys we aren't talking about an SX, an MIM Fender, or even a
    MTD. He wants to refinish a FODERA!!
    I challenge any of the posters above that have made suggestions for DIY to step up and honestly say that, if it were their FODERA, they would be comfortable with someone taking a spray can out to refinish it or taking it to someone that sprays cars all day long.

    And if you can't come on here and say that you would be OK with that then why would you suggest it to someone else? :eyebrow:

    Applying the paint or clearcoat isn't the only thing here. Are you comfortable with the disassembly, reassembly and setup of the instrument? Do you know how to prep the body so that the proper paint will react well to the prepared surface? Do you know your paint chemistry well enough to know if a "hardener" by PPG is compatible with the "accelerator" in the primer? ARE YOU SURE?

    We all have to remember only for a second about the multitude of threads we've seen here on TB showing Ebay auctions with high end basses that have been pooched by their owners and our responses...
    "How could they have done that!!?"
    "What a moron"
    "That guy should be shot - and I should get that bass!"

    Don't be "that" guy!
  14. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    I meant to include (in my attempt at humor) to point out that I could not agree more with Hambone. This should simply NOT be done. He's right, we (the collective TalkBass society) are the first to stand up and say... "Who'd paint an Alembic metallic hot pink and then try to sell it on eBay"

    DON'T DO IT!!!!

    I've posted this before, that I refinished a Peavey Fury (YES A PEAVEY FURY) and HATED myself for it b/c low-and-behold I didn't do a PRO-Level job... sheesh. You should also know that I have experience doing VERY nice refinish work on Furniture... it's not the same!
  15. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Banned

    Dec 2, 2004
    I never said "hey I want to spray paint my bass myself" I simply asked if anyone knows someone who does good work and doesn't charge an arm and a leg. My Fodera is stained and I would like it stained another color. Is that okay with everyone? Because I won't do it if it's not. (sarcasm)
    There are people out there who do pro refin work such as Pat Wilkins ( who does all of Sadowskys finishes and Lull I think)

    My question is.... Does anyone know who does a great job for reasonable $$. Fodera Quoted me $600, I feel that there is someone who does a quality job for less than that. Thanks for the concern guys but I know what i'm doing and I would never let someone who wasn't a pro touch my bass.
  16. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I had Mr. Dolan (see luthier forum) refinish a '66J Jazz, he did a fantastic job and it was less than $250 including shipping from CA to UT. Of course this was 3 years ago.

    The pity is I don't even play the bass because I'm a 5er only!