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i want to sand the paint off of my imitation P

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by narcopolo, Oct 21, 2005.


  1. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    and then stain it.
    what do i need to know?
     
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    You're in for a LOT of sanding.

    You will probably not be happy with the wood you find under the paint.
     
  3. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I removed the finish off of my 80 P-Bass and it will take a lot of work. The finish that was put on in the factory was one of the hardest things I have ever sanded. It took forever. Once you are down to the wood, start with around 600 grit depending on what grit you used to take the finish off. Don't use anything too rough or you will be sanding forever trying to remove the sanding marks. Go to an automotive supply store and get sandpaper there. They have waaay finer paper than you will find at walmart or something like that. I would go up to around 1200 grit taking it step by step with the finer grits. Also, be careful when sanding the indent on the back. With the way the grain is, you can leave sanding marks. I did on mine. You want to sand with the grain. After each time you make the bass smooth, you want to leave a moistened paper towel on the wood to raise the grain and then sand it smooth again. Repeat this until it feels glassy smooth.

    With finishing, I like the gel stains myself. They go on smoother and have a nice look. After the stain, I like Tung oil. It leaves a nice satin finish and it also removes any built up stain. It does have to be reapplied to annually to keep the finish up.

    Sorry if this is disjointed. I wrote as I remembered things.

    Mike
     
  4. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    i think you guys just talked me out of it :D
     
  5. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Good. It took me over 3 hours to sand just the top of my P copy.
     
  6. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    man, 3 hours i could be rocking.
    or drinking.
    or rocking while drinking.
    yeah, i guess the red isn't that bad.
     
  7. Hurezeanu

    Hurezeanu

    May 13, 2005
    I actually remember seeing a beautiful Azureglo Rickenbacker 4001 sanded...

    The back of the neck and headstock was completly sanded smooth and finished, this makes me consider whether or not I should take my midnight blue 4003 to get the same job done...
     
  8. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    .... and three hours is pretty darn fast, it can take way more than that. The very first time I sanded down a bass it took me well over 10 hours to sand down the body :eek:

    .... only to find out that the wood looked like poo :rolleyes: ...
     
  9. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    ten hours? geez.
     
  10. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Yeah, it's not like you can just take a power sander to the body and wail away on it. It's a very tedious process that should be done by hand to avoid damaging the body.

    You should check out the Repairs & Set-up forum here at TB, here's a current link with some additional info about repainting:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=208158
     
  11. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    nah. i'm going to do plan b: sun-bleach the candy apple red till it turns copper.
     
  12. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    that takes no effort at all.
     
  13. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Stain probably won't look too good over an imitation P body. More than likely it's made up of 2-3 pieces of unremarkeable wood with little to no grain and if there is grain, chances are it's completely mismatched. Don't know if you'd be happy with the end result after grinding away for hours on end.

    Lonnybass
     
  14. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    I used petroleum-based stripper when I took the finish off my 1980 Stingray (long story, but I left it in the car overnight when it got down to -26F). Finish came off like a thick sheet of clear rubber. Finished by sanding for maybe an hour. Then I contoured the body with a draw shave and sealed 'er up with about 7 coats of satin polyurethane. The wood looked great, but it was a natural finish to start with - they pick the nicest cuts of wood for the transparent finishes, hence the higher price.
     
  15. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    When I sanded my ATK... it took me about a week , (working it in the night for about 40minutes.. ) Sanding by HAND.
    That finish is THICK.

    Did the same to a fender P-Bass.. it was even harder.. but this time I used a machine for most of the sanding.

    The catch is.. that the ATK was ASH, and the wood was beutiful underneath.

    The fender?... was AWFUL. It was 3 piece basswood.

    If you dont know what is underneath.. dont do it.
     
  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I used a petroleum based stripper for my old black el cheapo P-Bass and it worked great also. But the stuff is toxic as hell and -really- nasty to deal with

    The wood underneath was three solid pieces, looked like poplar. My paint I put on looked downright awful. Terrible. So I got a bunch of colorful enamel paint and splattered onto it. It looks like this now:
    [​IMG]
    It's a mess. Nothing's wired up and it needs a nut, perhaps a new neck. I'm starting to think about resurrecting it. I have pickups laying around. The four holes for knobs were from a TBIBT Bartolini preamp I once had. I want to wire it VOL/VOL/TONE/Series-Parrallel on the P pickup. I have a real Fender Jazz pickup for the J shaped hole. This is the first time I've posted this picture on talkbass. Maybe that means I'm getting serious about resuttecting it.
     
  17. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    It's great stuff, but should be used outdoors in a well ventilated area.

    I think your new paint job looks very cool. A definite cool alternative if one finds out that the wood underneath is crap.

    Another alternative is to have an auto body guy paint it for you. One of the iterations of my 80 MM SR4 was Chevy Truck White.
     
  18. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    i don't think i've ever seen a jack set up like that before.
     
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    And some fairly serious rubber gloves.
    Wilkins uses automotive formulas for the paints in his shop and they are considered one of the best paint shops in the business.
     
  20. Osprey

    Osprey

    Jun 20, 2005
    UK
    Here's a photo of my sanded P: this is a MIA P from 1999: I wouldn't have attacked it like this myself, but I found it on e-bay as plain wood. It was originally sunburst (evidence in the cavities) so has a laminated front and back, and I use beeswax for the finish: beautiful and natural I think.
     

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