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Refinishing to a sunburst...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Nick Bibeault, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. I know this has probably been done a million times on this forum but, i have a jackson bass i am in the process of refinishing and right now I am still sanding it down to the poplar body. I was planning on leaving it natural if the poplar didn't have any green streaking but there is some so my plan b was to do a 3 tone sunburst.

    The colors i want to use is a somewhat transparent yellow, like a vintage yellow or something, some form of red, and black around the edges. My question is Where can i aquire the paint? Is it possible to get such paints locally? What is the best way to apply the colors? i know yellow is first followed by red and so on. What is the best way to prep the wood for paint? I know poplar is very easy to paint and paints really smooth but do i need a grain sealer? What is the best way to apply the laquer? Spray? brush? how do i do final prep? like do i use very final steel wool to make it glossy and smooth, or will it be nice and smooth after just applying the finish?

    I know its alot of questions but i want to make it look as profesional as humanly possible.
  2. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
  3. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    www.stewmac.com also has an online video of a refin project, if you poke around in the site deep enough. It's good just to see someone spraying, to get a feel for flow rate and so forth.

    Poplar is not a grainy or porous wood, but I would still recommend using a grain filler and a sealer coat. I can't recall if reranch recommends that as one of its "don't bother filling" woods. I can tell you my experience with lacquer on poplar is that it will show grain unless it's thoroughly filled and sealed. The other thing is that it's easier and cheaper to level and correct a sealer coat than a lacquer coat, especially if you're doing a sunburst, and ESPECIALLY if the flaws don't start to show up until three months after you shoot paint (don't even ask how I know that.) So, even if reranch doesn't recommend it, I would.
  4. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    Just another thought, since the scotch is making me talkative. ;) Poplar is cheap and available at Home Depot. Get a decent 1 x 4 piece and practice on it. Try to make it look as good as you want your finished instrument to look. You might end up putting a lot of time and attention into some hunks of wood you're just going to throw away, but it's a worthwhile investment in experience, IMO.
    comatosedragon likes this.