paint/finishing question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Jart!, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Jart!


    Oct 18, 2008
    East Bay
    I'm planning to strip and refinish a cheap-o squier i bought on craigslist to do terrible things to before i screw up a nicer instrument (defret, refinish, rewire, etc). so far the defret and the rewiring have gone great, so now up is the refinish:

    my question is: can you just "rough up" the original finish without stripping the whole thing in order to keep the primer/base coat intact? i've got a feeling that it might hold better if i do it this way. the stock finish is a god awful electric blue and i want to paint it white, and i'll be using something out of a spray can.

  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes, if you sand carefully, not just "rough it up". I'd probably use 220 grit alumunium oxide paper. Make sure it's evenly dulled, no shiny spots left. Clean thoroughly before applying paint.

    edit to add--I kind of like the blue on mine, the 50s P clone. Doesn't look very electric to me. I'd prefer a sunburst though. I left mine as is and put the upgrade money into a custom pickup. Big improvement.

    Choice of paint type is important. Myself, I'd go for an acrylic. Then clear coat it.

    Bear in mind that how good it looks in the end will depend on how carefully you do each step. Also, no spray paint you can get in a can will be as tough as the Squier factory finish.

    Edit to add--I kind of like the colour of mine-a 50s SCPB clone. I would have preferred a sunburst though. Instead, I put the upgrade money into a custom pickup. Big improvement.
  3. mikenewman@fron

    [email protected]

    Nov 29, 2008
    I would prep it like mentioned then take it to your local body shop just ask what they would charge to shoot it with automotive paint. prime it first with a good gray laquer based primer and have no raw wood showing. Being a car painter my self I would do it. Mike
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    That's good advice.

    You'll get a pro job done and the paint quality will be much higher than what you can buy and apply yourself. Cost should be reasonable. Add up the cost of your finishing supplies and you'll see.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    That would work, provided that you have maintained a coat of paint on the body and no bare wood shows.

    However, you can go to any auto parts store and get Dupli-Color touch up paint in rattle cans - it's acrylic lacquer - and paint it yourself for much less.

    Put a compatible primer coat on, then at least two top coats. Then wet sand with 1000-1200-1500-2000 wet & dry sandpaper, being CAREFUL not to sand through the finish, and polish with 3-M Finesse-It II machine polish on a buffing wheel.

    Dan Erlewine's books on guitar repair explain all this.

    BTW - if you're one of the faithful fanatics who think that the less paint on a bass, the better it sounds, then you don't want to do this. It obviously adds multiple paint layers. But as you say, this is a practice bass in any case, so it's probably not a big deal.

    BTW - I did the same practice run with a bass I found in a pawnshop, and it turned out great. Maybe the result will encourage you: