Refinishing glossy poly to satin (matte) finish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by soong, Apr 25, 2014.


  1. soong

    soong

    May 10, 2007
    Sydney
    Hey guys,

    Thinking of turning my MTD Z bass into a satin finish from the glossy poly that it is now, to try and cop that poor man's US MTD look. How tricky would it be to do this, including the matching headstock? It is natural mahogany with a burl maple top.

    Not my bass, but an idea of the finish:
    mbt099qt0dsbfejurwe1.jpg

    Would love to hear your experiences for those who have undertaken similar work on their instruments.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Its pretty easy actually, and there are a few ways to accomplish it. Personally I prefer #0000 steel wool, Take the neck, pickups, bridge and controls out of the bass, and just rub it with the steel wool until you reach the finish you are looking for. Other people use ScotchBrite pads with good results as well, though I don't think you get as even of a result as steel wool. Another way to do it would be to wet sand the body with 2000 grit sand paper until the gloss is gone.

    If you use steel wool, make sure your pickups are no where close to the bass, or they will have a metal fiber mohawk, that is a pain to get off of the pickup.
     
  3. soong

    soong

    May 10, 2007
    Sydney
    Thanks Hopkins, sounds good and, almost too simple! Love to get a second opinion/idea. I was gonna take it to a pro but sounds like I could do it.

    I read somewhere that the DIY satin will eventually return to a gloss, esp over heavy playing areas. Is this true?
     
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Thats more true for a nitro finish because it is softer. But it can happen with poly as well. Its easy to rub the gloss back out though
     
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