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How to strip gloss without hurting the sunburst?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by WormWoodSoup, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Heya fellow TB'rs'! I need help on stripping my active V squier. I love the jacoesque sunburst on it, but I don't like the shiny poly. What can I do to make it matte or look matte? without wet/dry sanding it. Is there any liquid solutions I could rub on it to make it matte? If there is what is it? How bout acetone? or paint thinner, would that work?
  2. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments

    Sanding and buffing to the level of sheen that you prefer is the best method.
  3. What do you you mean level of sheen? I heard using a fine steel wool? so there is no easy way of matting the finish from gloss without sanding it? which is to be preffered wet or dry? what grit of sand paper or just a rough buffer would do?
  4. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Just take some 0000 steel wool and gently start knocking the finish down.

    My favorite way to do it is to use 0000 steel wool along with Howards Feed n' Wax. The 0000 steel wool knocks down the finish and the feed n' wax still keeps a bit of sheen to it.

    I used that process on this bass. Which started life as an SX with the normal shiny SX finish.

  5. nice bass! I wanna make mine like that... reliced but not too much. juz subtle. Is there a proper way on doin it? do u need to take out all the electronics? take out the neck? basically take everything apart before sanding it? Into what level should I take everything apart to sand it? where do i get the 000000 fine steel wool? homedepot?
  6. Sanding or steelwoold.

    A chemical stripper wouldnt work. Acetone would just make a mess of the finish.
  7. ok... should i apply the howards feed n' wax while I sand it wit 0000 steel wool? or steel wool it first before applying the feed n' wax? sorry for the dumb question. Thanks all you guys for helping. I juz gotta get the right way on doin it before on starting this project. I'll post the pics :)
  8. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Just put some howards feed and wax on the steel wool and start lightly rubbing the bass. The Howards Feed n' Wax takes some of the harsh abrasiveness away from the steel wool... lubricates it a bit... hard to explain. I read about doing it that way somewhere and had some of the Feed n' Wax so tried it. And liked the result.

    You're not really sanding the bass. Sanding removes material unless you're wet sanding with a very fine sandpaper. Here you're just putting multitudes of thousands of tiny scratches on it that cover the entire surface and break up the light when it hits the bass (difuses the light).

    Start slow and you'll get a feel for how much it does and how far you want to take the effect.

    It's better take out the pickups, but you can just put tape over them to keep steel wool filaments from getting on the poles of hte pickups. Actually, if you're going for a relic'd effect, keeping the pickguard and brdige in place ends up being more realistic, as when you later remove the pickugard or bridge the basses finish under those areas is still new and shiny.
  9. Thanks stflbn! and Thank you for all of you guys! I Think I'll do it this weekend. Thank u guys for lighting the path. Can't wait.
  10. Billy K

    Billy K

    Nov 5, 2009
    North Bay Marin
    How ya gonna keep the steel wool out of the pickups?Interesting indeed.
  11. GrinchBass


    Jul 26, 2009
    CT, Hudson Valley, Randland
    Just under Commercial Status!
    Dealt with this many times: tape, and being careful when removing the tape after the job is done. You can even tape the pickups as much as possible while they're in the body, do your steel wooling, pull off most of the wool attracted to the magnets, then apply a little more tape over what remains and carefully remove.

    I forget what I was doing, but removing the PUs wasn't an option. Saying that, the best option is to completely disassemble the body (neck, PG, PUs, all hardware), and then reassemble after work and cleanup is complete.

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