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HELP with refinishing !

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by luisnovelo, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. I began refinishing my bass (ibanez btb 400 with quilted maple top) a couple of weeks ago.. I began taking off the high gloss finish with paint remover.. and it was fine. Some of the transparent black color came off with the paint remover.. but not all of it.. So I have a few questions..

    I don't know a lot about different tipes of finishes and stains and that stuff.. so I'm not sure how the finish on my bass was made..
    Under the high gloss finish, there was a layer of transparent black "paint", then a satin finish, and then some kind of transparent black dye.

    I want to know what kind of finish is the satin one wich seats at the bottom, because I like how it looks and feels. But.. I also want to dye the maple top to a greenish blue color.. and think I'd have to remove all of this satin finish.

    the thing is.. Some of the trans black "paint" was seating on top of the satin finish, and I guess I could do it that way... put a layer of trans blue on it, and then some coats of another satin finish.. But.. how would this work??
    and also.. If I had to remove the satin finish to stain or dye the maple top, what should I use for it?.. I hope there is another way rather than sanding, since the maple veneer is very thin and I dont want to ruin it. BTW, I used paraffin based paint remover for the high gloss finish and the satin stayed intact.

    I thought I'd found myself only removing a coat of high gloss finish, sanding a bit the black stain, and then refinishing it.. but the thing just turned out to be a bit more complicated as you see. I hope someone has experience with this kind of multilayer finishes and please excuse my repetitions and spelling mistakes..

    Thanks guys!
  2. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    I wouldn't bother trying to remove the satin coat. Its a sealer, probably polyester, and very hard, and difficult sand, and its very, *very* chemical resistant. (ie don't bother trying to strip it!) Give it a good even scuff with, say 220 grit free-cut to remove any last traces of the black (use a block on the flats, not just the paper in your fingers). Then shoot a few coats or your blue-greenish tinted lacquer over the top, then heaps of clear coats over that. Note that a lot of lacquers are slightly yellow in colour, so over blue they can turn a bit greenish anyway. Therefore lean towards the blue side a little more when you mix the tints for the colour coats.

    If you do go ahead and strip it all the way back to bare timber, you could dye the timber, then spray clear over the top. This would potentially give you a much nicer looking end result, especially if you use nitro, but Its a much bigger job this way - you'll probably need to use a clear sanding sealer, followed by many clear coats, with much drying time before final cut and polish (weeks actually), and depending on the other timber(s) in the axe, you may need to use filler also...

    Oh and don' t apologise for your grammar and poor spelling - remember these internet discussion boards are used mostly by americans, who often speak and spell very strangely indeed! ;)


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