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How would YOU refinish this bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by npbassman, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Leave it natural and let the wood show through

    18 vote(s)
  2. Color tint it and let the wood show through

    30 vote(s)
  3. Blackburst just the edges to cover the laminated wood with natural or tinted in the center

    38 vote(s)
  4. Cover everything with a solid color

    49 vote(s)
  5. Carrots

    6 vote(s)
  1. npbassman

    npbassman Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    So I just picked up a MIM Jazz body here on the TB classifieds and I'm in full project bass mode. The body is stripped and I'm ready to refinish. What I've discovered after paint removal is a darker laminated core (perhaps Alder? not sure) sandwiched in between two nice pieces of maple. Kinda cool if you ask me and I think my mind is just about made up on leaving it natural or maybe perhaps a little color tint to let all the wood show.

    But everyone has their own taste so I'm just curious, if this was your project how would you refinish it?

    PS - if anyone is wondering about the paint stripping process, the internet is right. MIM fenders are easily stripped with a heat gun and a putty knife. It took me about 20 mins and most of it came off in sheets as seen in the last pic.

    RyanJD, Spidey2112, Ghastly and 2 others like this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I actually dig the way the wood looks. I would tint it and let the various pieces show through. I favor color tint myself (like a deep blue).
  3. MMatFoCBass


    Feb 21, 2012
    I don't know how you would replicate it but I was digging that red sandblasted Jazz bass they had as a FSR.

    Something about the wood grain and that deep red stain.

    They had one in blue as well.

    Check it Out
    edencab and npbassman like this.
  4. Crusher47

    Crusher47 Tattoo'ed Freak Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fort Worth, TX
    Since the top has a very nice wood grain and it almost looks like it has a "cap" with a natural wood binding separating it, I would do a reverse blacktop, i.e. natural stain the top to let the wood grain show through and paint the back & sides solid black. I would also get some pinstripe tape and make a natural wood binding right where the top and sides meet.

    If that is too much or you don't like that idea, then I would just natural stain the entire guitar since the back has nice wood grain as well.

    Good luck with your project!!
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Two many pieces on the sides for all natural. Either what @Crusher47 suggests, or a "naturalburst" - dark sides blending to a natural front and back.
  6. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    It appears I was the first to vote "Black-Burst". Overall, I like the idea of a transparent/translucent stain or tint, but if you can pull it off, the idea of a non-standard burst color (transparent or otherwise) sounds very intriguing. To that effect, allow me to chuck a bit o' inspiration your way!


    Or if you want to go "opaque", but in an uncommon color set…

  7. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Blue stain FTW


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Wow, that could be called laminated?
  9. +++++ This or similar, I like the Blackburst AND a color tint!!!
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    This was a pair of Squiers with the tops just like yours. I mated them and gently "cinnamon brown" bursted the edges JUST enough to hide the laminations. Double Done.
    Teijo K., burnunit, lz4005 and 17 others like this.
  11. Gee Man

    Gee Man

    Nov 2, 2016
    W. MA.
    I'm another on who really doesn't like the sides that show all of those pieces of wood making up the body, so if it were mine, Sonic Blue and call it done.
    Flabass likes this.
  12. I'd go solid color. Olympic White, Fiesta Red or Sonic Blue if it's a rosewood board. With maple I'd go with Black or Surf Green.
  13. A colorburst like Malak's bass would be beautiful. You could stain it in any color you like and that nice grain in the maple top and back will just pop.
    Something you can do to see what some different color stains will approximately look like is get a scrap piece of maple, stain it in sections and spray a gloss clear on it.
    Good luck with whatever finish you decide on!
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  14. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds SUSPENDED

    Oct 7, 2016
    I have two favorite bass colors. I love a natural finish, or any finish in a woody tone. But I also love what I've seen termed as a "silver-burst". So it's a light gray inside, fading to black. Much like the bottom picture posted by Malak the Mad. I don't know why more makers don't color their basses this color. It's so awesome on a lot of levels.
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  15. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    How 'bout a nice three color sunburst?
  16. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I'd stain it because that's all I know how to do.
  17. I can't really answer without knowing what kind of neck you're putting on.

    Are you putting on a maple, rosewood, black ebony, or some other fingerboard?

    If rosewood, I would keep it natural.

    If ebony, I would do some sort of burst (blue is awesome) or paint it solid white with black hardware.

    If maple, I don't know, maybe a solid black or a very dark burst... Maybe even solid white with silver or gold hardware.
  18. A little more info on your bass body...I think Fender Mexico only uses (or used) the top and back laminations for burst finished bodies as the solid colors wouldn't show the many small pieces.
    npbassman likes this.
  19. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    The core wood looks like ash to me.

    Otherwise, I'd make it solid color. Just simplicity for me.
  20. I know just the thing....
    A Tort body, with a sunburst pickguard!
    geoff_in_nc and JJR58 like this.

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