Refinish - good idea or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Peeks, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Yes

    34 vote(s)
  2. No

    81 vote(s)
  1. Peeks


    May 16, 2019
    I recently acquired a Fender MIJ ‘51 Percision Bass reissue for a steal. The bass was really taken care of and shows virtually no wear despite being the former owner’s #1 (lucky guy bought a ‘51 Custom Shop!). Anyways, I don’t hate the butterscotch blonde, but it’s definitely not my favorite... I was thing of changing the matte black pickguard to a shiny black or white guard, but then I got thinking about having it professionally refinished. My top two choices were Lake Placid Blue or Fiesta Red. I know that it’s a reissue and all, but I don’t want to hurt the future value. What’s the popular take around here on refinishes?
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. sgtpepper


    Jan 22, 2010
    Mexico City
    It's not gonna affect the value that much. Those can be found on Reverb or even here at TB around 800-1000 USD. It's not that it is a Holy Grail original '51 mint condition handcrafted by Leo himself. It is YOUR bass and if you want it in a different color go for it. LPB and Fiesta Red are two of my favorite Fender colors, but for that particular model I'd go with LPB.

    P.S. Remember that here on TalkBass we love pictures so posting some of your bass will be awesome.
    Pork_Chop and Peeks like this.
  3. Peeks


    May 16, 2019
    Thanks man! I got it for half of that! An older guy was selling it at an estate sale and said he just wanted it to go to someone who would play it and appreciate it. I’m going to look into costs and to whom may be my best bet for a refinish!
    And I was leaning more towards LPB since I already have a red bass!
  4. sgtpepper


    Jan 22, 2010
    Mexico City
    Man! That looks pristine. Leaving it as it is would be a great choice too. But, again, it is your bass. Keep us posted!
  5. Peeks


    May 16, 2019
    Will do! And like I said, he claims he bought it brand new when it first came out, gigged it, used it in practice, and then got the Custom Shop... The ONLY sign of wear is on the tuning machines (a little smudged) but that’s something that can easily be polished up!
    sgtpepper likes this.
  6. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I’d send it to MJT and get them to do a tobacco burst
    Ghastly likes this.
  7. Peeks


    May 16, 2019
    See, I’ve always wanted a tabacoo burst or sunburst, but I’m saving up for a Kurt Cobain Jaguar, so I wanted something different with this one
    PeaveyPlayer likes this.
  8. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    My vote is leave it alone. Not my favorite finish, but that is freakin' beautiful as is.
  9. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    The butterscotch blonde is the iconic '51P.
    That's the only color Fender I'd buy unless it was so cheap that I could not turn it down.
    That bass looks like a "Real Awesome Fender!!!"

    If you do LPB you'll make it look like a Squier, although there's nothing wrong with a Squier.
    In fact, if I has a LPB Squier, I'd want to refin it to butterscotch.
    I say leave it alone.

  10. Templar

    Templar Rythm Wrangler Supporting Member

    I don't think refinishing will hurt the value, it looks like the "school bus yellow" blonde variety. If it was the less common, more authentic looking milky-white blonde version, then I'd hesitate to refin. There's a niche market for those Japan 51's, the milky finish ones command a bit more money because the finish looks way more like an actual early 50's blonde P bass. The darker yellow ones, not so much.
    Peeks likes this.
  11. Bent77


    Mar 6, 2013
    Desert, Colorado
    I’d leave it. And I love LPB
    Barticus, City, Peeks and 2 others like this.
  12. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    You can have it as you want.
    dmt and Peeks like this.
  13. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Just a quick comment, Leo never handcrafted a guitar in his life. I’d bet the only time he even held a prototype was to hand it to a musician to get their feedback.
    Refin that baby in nitro! It’s already had covers and tug bar installed so it ain’t original anymore.
    Peeks and davidprice like this.
  14. Furutan


    Sep 5, 2018
    I wouldn't. But if you did, make sure you see examples of the painter's work. If he / she can create a factory finish, great, but there are a zillion used guitars out there in a finish you prefer and if you are willing to look, you might find what you want. That's how I got my agave blue Strat. It took a few months to find one in good condition. Mine is mint.
    Peeks likes this.
  15. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    It doesn't looked now, but so common.

    Fiesta would be killer.:thumbsup:
    Peeks and funkinbottom like this.
  16. CinCityCustums. That thing needs some heavy metallic flake and ghostflames.
    Waltsdog, Peeks and 2saddleslab like this.
  17. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    + 1 on the red!!
    Peeks likes this.
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Paint it artic white
    Peeks likes this.
  19. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Then don't refinish it.

    Refinishing is nearly always a bad idea. You'll spend around $350 and reduce the value of the bass. If the bass is highly collectable, the value will be cut in half. In the case of your bass, you'll probably cut the value of the bass by $200. Doesn't matter how nice the refinish is. So do the math - let's say your bass is worth $800. You'll spend $350 on a nice refin, and when you're done, the bass will be worth $600.

    Pretty much the only time it's worth refinishing a guitar is if the instrument has been mangled. That is, routed or a victim of a previous bad refin. You've got a nice bass there. Leave it alone.
    Barticus, MikeInSF, Ranger459 and 7 others like this.