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Painting a Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bilboom, Mar 25, 2013.


  1. Bilboom

    Bilboom

    Apr 22, 2011
    Hello TalkForum users! So... here's the situation, i'm buying a Squier Vintage Modified 70's Jazz Bass Natural finish for my girlfriend to paint something on it, i wanted to know... what do i have to do for it to be ready for painting? Removing the Polyurethane finish? what type of paint is the best for this task? and how to do it?

    oh and by the way... it's not going to be an uniform color or something, maybe a design or something like that
     
  2. Cyrus987987

    Cyrus987987

    Oct 13, 2008
    Chicago
    Not as easy as reading and doing. I would highly recommend you experiment on some stuff you don't care about before you take on a big project. But here's some stuff I've figured out. First you should strip off all the finish. This is the most tedious part. You can use a power sander for some of it but you should do a couple sandings by hand at the end. MAKE SURE ALL YOUR PAINT IS COMPATABLE! If you're using enamel, make sure its all enamel, or whatever else you choose. Have your lady paint your thing and then clearcoat the **** out of it. Start with a light coat with fine sandings between. You can gradually make the coats thicker amd thicker until you have a satisfactory shine. And the most important part.... hang it up for at least 3 days after the last coat to dry amd harden. Nothing is more depressing than wrecking a new finish because you were to eager to put it all back together.
     
  3. Bilboom

    Bilboom

    Apr 22, 2011
    THANKS A LOT! what type of paint should i buy?
     
  4. HankTX

    HankTX

    Feb 3, 2010
    Texas
    Aren't the Squire finishes polyester based? If they are, compatibility will be a challenge and removing the finish is no small task. It sounds like from your post, that the intent is to paint some kind of design on the existing surface. Will this be by hand or using an airbrush? Either way, I would check with your local automotive paint supplier as to the type of paint and surface prep. It could be as simple as a light sanding/scuffing on the design area or there may be chemical prep required. But that will depend on the paint.
     
  5. Cyrus987987

    Cyrus987987

    Oct 13, 2008
    Chicago
    I tend to use enamel. But if you're going for a piece of art, I'd say have her paint with an oil based paint then clear coat with an oil based polyurethane varnish. I beleive minwax makes one. Just make sure you test it out on chunk of wood first to make sure itl work. Also be sure you use very light coats to begin with so it doesmt disolve the painting umder it amd spread it around.
     
  6. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    No, don't strip the finish off at all, that is spectacularly bad advice, and no offense Cyrus, but I don't know how that advice could come from experience.

    OP, you only need to scuff sand that finish for the new paint to adhere. Then have her use acrylic paints, oils would be a nonsense idea and would not work well. Then after the acrylics have dried, just apply a good clear over it, and follow usual finishing/wetsand/buffing processes located elsewhere in this forum and the stickies here.

    I don't mean to step on you or offend you Cyrus, but this is honestly like someone coming in and going "hey I want to paint my car" and then being advised to strip the car back to the bare metal and use testors model paints to paint it...
     
  7. Cyrus987987

    Cyrus987987

    Oct 13, 2008
    Chicago
    Offense taken, as someone who has painted a lot of basses and had great results. You clearly have no idea what yourd doing if you want to mix oils amd acrylics and think that it won't start chipping. But I'm sure you know everything because you're on the internet.
     
  8. Cyrus987987

    Cyrus987987

    Oct 13, 2008
    Chicago
    I'm talking about how to do it properly. Not how to ghetto rig it. If you wanted to paint a car properly you would strip it to the bare metal.
     

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