help me !!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Asaf, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Asaf


    Jun 9, 2003
    well...i guess im pretty bored, but i decided to
    sand my cheap bass (the other 2 are great) becase it was painted badly and the finish started to wear (a bad wax - oil finish or something) one local guy wants 350$ to cover it in polyester finish (not sanding it, just painting it) and here it's a lot !!

    what i got for now, is that local nitro. finish

    anyway how to finish the bass ??

    it was painted brown-mahgony color and it got sanded pretty easy, so now i want it yellow - natural looking finished.

    what to buy ? how many layers ? tell me everything please.
  2. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    Nitrocellulose lacquer is the finish of choice for most instruments. is a decent place to start, in that they've got supplies and instructions. Otherwise, search google for guitar refinish and you'll find lots of good links.

    I'd recommend finishing some scrap wood to the same tolerances you want your bass first. Pick up a 6" piece of poplar from the local hardware store (because it's cheap and similar in grain to alder and basswood.) Get the various fillers, sealers, sandpapers, and get some generic spray lacquer if you don't want to waste a can of nitro. Then practice to get a super smooth finish. It's not really hard, but it does take some practice, and lots of patience.

    If you decide you don't want to do it yourself, try taking the body to an auto finishing shop and see what they'll do for you.
  3. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    I recomend getting one of the Stew-Mac / Dan Erlwine books or videos about spray finishing. Also check out

    On top of the technical issues about sanding, sealing, rubbing, polishing etc. etc., there are also several important health, safety and environmental issues.
  4. Asaf


    Jun 9, 2003
    thanks everybody !

    well, i talked with some local paint seller and he offerd me few choices :
    1. bees wax.
    2. Nitrocellulose.
    3. polyester.

    i want a hard and shiny finish like polyester offers, but still the wood has some white color and i want it more yellow, and that i can see the grain.
    then he told me i need some pigment powder to put with the nitro. or to use the yellow bees wax and that will give me what i want.
    is it true ?

    anyways, im going to a small shop who has some cool guy that works on antique furniture and he will talk to me about how to use the polyester.
  5. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    Forget the bees wax - you'll never get it hard enough or shiny enough.

    I've used nitro for years, but lately I've been using an acid catalyst finish. Has many advantages over nitro. You might want to check it out.
  6. Asaf


    Jun 9, 2003
    thanks robbie,

    i talked with some good fella who does this stuff
    and he gave me a good price - 100$ so maybe i'll give the bass to him after i'll finish to sand of the bad finish.
    he will put some yellow pigment in a nitro finish so that will do the job i want.
  7. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    Not a bad idea...

    I forgot to mention, also, that messing around with guitars, modifying, refinishing them, re-wiring them etc. is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! ;)