Refinishing / Getting rid of the finish

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Joiner, Jan 30, 2001.

  1. Joiner


    Oct 12, 2000
    Hi to every1

    What method would you recommend to get the color of a bass ?

    Best wishes,

  2. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    A nice flat frequency response amp seems to work for me. <G>
  3. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    I think that it is a job best left to a professional. If you want to do it yourself it is time to buy a lot of sandpaper.
  4. Its easy to remove finish off a bass..
    Go to the hardware store and ask for "finish remover"
    not sure of a brand name,but basically this stuff is like a paste.Follow the directions:apply a thick coat and let sit for many hours.After a while the paint bubbles right up,grab a scraper and take the paint right off.Of course there will probably be a few stubborn spots.Just add more remover until its all gone.(steel wool helps too.)
    Then get a thin sand paper and sand to perfection.i would also recommend using a metal clothes hanger to hang the bass body up with.Worked for me a few times already.
    Good luck!
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    FUZBOT's right. If you're gonna do it yourself, this is the way to go. I will just add to be sure to wear protective gloves, goggles, and work in a well ventilated area. I know that this is all common sense, but heck, they even had to print "Not to be taken orally" on the Preparation H tube...
  6. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    I posted the joke about the amp and color of the bass, but this is a serious response...

    Fuzbot is correct. The stuff isn't really a paste though, it's more like a gel. And it doesn't have to sit for hours, more like 20 minutes. The finish will bubble right up. Heed the warning about protective clothing, this stuff doesn't just burn you, it sticks to your skin and burns you! Kind of like napalm.

    Make sure the ground is covered too.

    So it is easy, just extremely messy.

    However, stripping the old finish is the easier of the two parts to this question. Getting a pro finish without the advantage of a dust proof booth, etc. will be difficult. What are your plans for the refinish? Solid color? Oil? Clear finish?

  7. Sorry guys, I can't agree with the method mentioned above. It will work on some basses but if the instrument has a thick polyester finish it just won't make a serious dent. I Besides, if you leave the polyester on, it makes a better sealer and base for the new finish. You can repair dents and dings in polyester pretty easily and then can get a very smooth finish before painting.

    If your bass has on of these poly finishes and you really want to get it off, the best way is with heat and a putty knife. Start by sanding the finish all the way through at a pickup rout or the neck pocket. Then use a heat gun to soften the film and begin to work the putty knife under the finish and lift as it softens. The polyester will stay intact and you will continue lifting as you heat/soften the film. Be careful to not damage the raw wood under the finish since that adds complications to the refinishing. If you are lucky and patient, you can remove the whole finish in just a couple of pieces. Then you can determine the value of the wood underneath and begin the job of resealing, sanding, and putting the new finish on.
  8. minkis


    Sep 8, 2000
    How long can you leave the neck off of the bass if you really plan on doing this? Does anyone know if a fender j-bass(mexican) would have one of those polyester finishes?
  9. It is pretty safe to assume the MIM's have this type of finish. You could test to see by using some of the products mentioned above and see if it bubbles the finish in a few minutes. These work best on lacquer style finishes and if it is in fact one of this type you should be able to tell quickly.