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How Can I Fix my Warwick's Finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by PsychoG, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. PsychoG


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa, Florida
    I have a Warwick Corvette Standard with the Nirvana Black Oil Finish. It is pretty dinged up on the back and I was hoping someone could offer advice on how best to touch it up.

    Specifically, how can I best match the stain color?

    What do I need to finish it with after touching up the stain (oil of some type, presumably)?

    And, is it advisable to try and touch it up or would it make more sense to sand down the back and completely redo it?

    I appreciate any suggestions and thanks in advance.


  2. I would first try oil staining just the dings. On the other hand, you can stain the entire body. Looks like that body may have seen better days in terms of color.
  3. That's what basses that have been played, rather than hung up on the wall look like. I'd leave it as it is.
  4. BrBss

    BrBss Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    You can try to touch it up if you want. Just start off as light as possible; you can always add more to darken it, but you can't lighten it if its too dark. Sanding the back to start over is likely to make it worse than it was to start (no offense) especially as it might be difficult to match the finish to the front.
  5. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    I would just play it. Nobody is looking a the back, ideally. Are those scratches just into the clear? If so they'd likely polish out. Still, I'd play it.
  6. SDMFJay


    Jan 27, 2011
    I think scratches and dings give instruments some character to them as long as they were put there by actual playing time. Unless you are trying to tidy it up in order to sell it, I would keep the battle marks of honor on that wick.
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Most of these can be removed with a light sanding or car polish, which is essentially the same process.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    ...or reduced, anyway. I'd play it as is. For kicks & giggles, you might try something like a MinWax touch-up marker (like a felt pen / available in a variety of shades) on an isolated area. Chances are the the repair will be darker than the surrounding non-treated areas. Can't hurt to try and I'd be interested in hearing whether or not it blends.

  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    None of those scratches go down to the wood so there is no need to apply any more stain. Lightly sand the scratches out with 600 grit and reapply the oil. I do not know what kind of oil finish Warwick uses, maybe someone else can chime in on that.
  10. PsychoG


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa, Florida
    Thanks all. I appreciate the feedback. Would definitely appreciate if anyone has input on what type of oil finish Warwick uses (or used in 2007).

    I bought the bass this way, so I can neither take offense nor accept the blemishes as badges of honor since I didn't put them there!

    Unfortunately, they are a hindrance to selling it, so I was hoping to touch it up somewhat. On the other hand, even if I end up keeping it I wouldn't mind spiffing it up some just for the practice.

    I welcome any additional input that others may have.

    I will report back on whatever solution(s) I end up trying.

    Thanks again.
  11. PsychoG


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa, Florida
    I decided to strip it completely and redo it. We're going to shoot for a purple stain!!! Here are some shots of it stripped down. Will be working on the new finish over the coming weeks.

    Attached Files:

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  12. PsychoG


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa, Florida
    The back...

    Attached Files:

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    • 005.
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  13. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    cool. i have a fortress w/same (former) finish, and have been tempted to go natural. what did you use to remove finish?
    very cool floor, btw ;)
  14. PsychoG


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa, Florida
    Thanks on the floor. I love it.

    I had some pictures of the removal process as well, but unfortunately lost them when the memory card in the camera became corrupted and I had to reformat it. I had hoped to capture some of that process in pics as well, but... oh well.

    I wasn't sure the best thing to use since I wasn't 100% sure what the Warwick finish was, so I used both naphtha and denatured alcohol to help soften the finish and then I took a scraper to it. I mixed the two early on but as I went along I used the naphtha only. I just added it here and there when the scraper stopped making progress.

    Once the finish was off I took a random orbit sander to it, starting with 60 grit, then 80 and finally 120. I'm probably going to go over it with 320 before I start on the stain.
  15. this means that you should now write a parody of purple rain, and call it purple stain.
  16. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Sanding will do nothing but dull the rest of the finish.
  17. PsychoG


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa, Florida
    LMAO. I think I may have to do that now!!!
  18. PsychoG


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa, Florida
    Got the first coat on. Won't have a chance to sand it until the weekend. I'm kind of digging the way it looks. Not sure if I am going to try and thin it out so it is more like an actual stain or if I am going to thicken it up so it is more paint-like. Will depend on what it looks like after its next sanding.

    Attached Files:

  19. that looks too thick to be a stain.

    Interesting color!
  20. TomA1234


    Jul 27, 2009
    Fareham, England
    Unfortunately, there is already a song called purple stain by RHCP, but it could still work.:)

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