NBD! To strip or not to strip...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Woofer, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Woofer


    Sep 24, 2008
    In addition to his usual gift of cash, my father gifted me with this Squier Affinity Jazz that he picked up quite cheaply at a Goodwill store. It is the 4 string on the right.


    As you can see, I already have a bass in this particular color combo. Since I'm not particularly keen on having duplicates in my collection, I'm considering stripping this finish and doing a black ink finish on the bare wood, and some type of wax or satin over that. Also wanting to replace the neck w/ a maple fret board one.

    My questions stand as: 1) is it worth it to strip the finish on this bass? And 2) what is your preference on stripping application? Heat gun? I have one of those. CitriStrip? Never used it before. Something else?
  2. Pocket4

    Pocket4 Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2013
    New Hampshire
    You should keep searching and try the "Luthiers Corner" forum. I've never stripped a poly finish, but from what I have read, you will need to keep the heat gun at the center of your effort, and be very patient. Be safe with chlorinated solvents if you have to go in that direction, and don't even try CitriStrip or any mild stripper.

    If you make it all the way through to a naked body, you might find a fairly good grain pattern (or not). Fortunately, you may be finding alder under that finish. A simple dye process that worked for me was Minwax oil based ebony stain, which can be sealed with a satin varnish such as "Tru Oil". Other folks have done well with Danish Oil or other furniture-type products, but the curing time varies quite a bit. Tru Oil is very fast curing, hard and works well with light sanding and buffing.
    2GBTG likes this.
  3. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    Leave it as it is! After all, your dad probably bought it for you because you already have the exact same bass with 5 strings.
    Imaginary Pony and OldPlucker like this.
  4. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    If my dad got me a bass, I wouldn't change a thing about it.
  5. Shovel


    Jun 4, 2013
    If you want to strip it strip it.
  6. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    I did the same thing to a Washburn xb100, stripped the finish, black dye, satin nitro on top. I don't know what type of finish is on your Squier or how thick it is, but it was a bit hellish trying to get the cheap, thick, seemingly bulletproof polyurethane off my Washburn, heat gun did nothing at all, citristrip did next to nothing. What I ended up doing was chipping off a lot of the finish with metal paint scrapers (and pretty savagely at that), then sanding off the rest of the finish by hand and with a random orbital, the whole process took several hours of free time over the course of about a month. I doubt yours will be as difficult, I'd start with the heat gun, but just know the process could be a pain.
  7. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Generally a lot of work, particularly for a relatively inexpensive bass. Change it up by doing a different pick-guard and maybe a bridge cover and/or pick-up cover. Maybe even a finger or thumb rest. Much easier and keeps it mostly like dear old dad gave it to you. My 2 cents.
    wmhill likes this.
  8. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    rattle-can that baby!
    Remyd and Runnerman like this.
  9. OldPlucker


    Apr 5, 2014
    Refinishing it would prove two things. 1. You don't appreciate the fact your dad's gift that showed he thinks about you. 2. You failed basic economics because you're going to spend more time refinishing an inexpensive bass rather than just buying another one in a different color. Many of this group may disagree with me but then I am a grandfather who would be hurt if my kid did this to something I bought that I thought would mean something to him. Your dad was pretty creative in spotting that and grabbing it up. He did it because he thought his little boy would like it. "It's not the gift that counts, it's the thought."
    Imaginary Pony and bolophonic like this.
  10. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    You might as well just part it out on Craigslist.
  11. Robert B

    Robert B Somewhere under the rainbow Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Rittman, OH, USA
    Strip and refinish the one your father didn't give you. I can't see him taking offence at that!
  12. braud357


    Jul 1, 2010
    Gonzales, LA
    If you strip it, you will probably find that the wood is not attractive. It probably will also be a 3 piece body, with dissimilar wood. My suggestion - don't do it ! Repaint if you must, but do not try to strip it to bare wood !
    Remyd and pacojas like this.
  13. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    If you must do a rein, ask your Dad and make it a joint project. The old man might enjoy spending some time with his boy. In the future this experience could be worth way more than that bass ever will:)
  14. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    As stated, there is a good chance you will strip the paint only to find wood that may have incongruous grain and some filler spots. You might be better off just doing a full color change.

    I could be wrong here, but I am guessing the factory chooses the burst and other transparent finishes by picking the ones that don't have issues that need covering up. I once stripped an old pos body only to find the entire back was filler, it was like a bad bondo job on a 1985 Camaro.

    Have you thought about changing the pickgaurd? That would have a drastic effect on the appearance of the instrument.
  15. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    It's nearly impossible to get all the way down to bare wood. There is a sealer used in the paint process that "soakes" into the wood. I have tried a few times and it has ended up a "Paint only" situation. Stains just wont cover the places where the Sealer is. It may be Okay with Black Ink but I can guarantee there will be "light" spots.
  16. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, I found this on my old Musicmaster body when I stripped it. Took an awful lot of sanding to get down to stainable wood.
  17. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    It will be more work than you ever anticipated. Might be an effort in futility if the bare wood looks less than ideal. Still, everyone should do this once, something to tell the grandkids.
    Dug2 likes this.
  18. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    I agree Dad might be upset. How about this? If it plays well enough to be in your rotation, get a custom pickguard in a different color you like with his name on it. Then your bass is named after him, without saying "Dad", and for not too much money, you have a nice contrast.
  19. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    Guys, the OP didn't ask us if we thought his fathers feelings might be hurt or their relationship might be irreversibly damaged if he decided to change the color of this bass. Lol.
    Frankly, it's really none of our business.
    If my dad picked up a cheap bass for me at goodwill or a flea market, he would be thrilled if I were taking enough interest in it to modify it, paint it, or otherwise spend time and energy on it.
    His feelings might be a little hurt if I never played it and just disregarded it to the back of a closet because I 'already had a blue one'.
    Woofer and jefff100 like this.
  20. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    If the original finish is solid you just need to sand it evenly for the next coat of paint.