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Respraying My Old P-Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Donnacha, Feb 9, 2016.


  1. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    Hi folks,

    I am currently in the process of starting my first respraying job on an old fender squire of mine. I have just put on 3 light coats of primer and it has shown up all the little imperfections and minor scratched, ones that I couldn't see before.

    I want to make sure to fill these before I go on but Im not sure what to use. I have been advised of either "Grain Filler", which according to some people can be done over primer and others say the primer needs to be removed. Or I was looking at using "Glazing Putty" as they use on cars in order to get a smooth finish before painting.

    All of this is due to my own lack of experience as this should have been done at the begining and before the primer but you live and learn i suppose :)

    I have included some images of the marks in question below and I would be very grateful if anyone has any advice or past experiences they could share which might help me decide the best route.

    Kind Regards

    Donnacha

    IMG_6773.JPG IMG_6775.JPG IMG_6776.JPG
     
  2. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I would spray a few more coats of primer, then level-sand it and see where you are. Grain, pores, and scratches can be filled with primer as easily as with specialty pore filler. For larger dings and deeper scratches, you can use a toothpick to drip primer into it, then level-sand it.
     
    Donnacha likes this.
  3. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    Thanks you for that. I had not thought to do that. In fact, all thats on it are three fine coats of primer so maybe doing another two or three might help things....i will be sure to look into that and just make sure the marks arent too deep
     
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I would do as @HaMMerHeD suggested. Load it up with some full wet coats of primer as it is a high solids material designed to fill in minor imperfections, then sand it with with a long block until it is flat.
     
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  5. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    ^^^^^^ I would shoot 2 wet coats of primer, let dry then level sand to 320 to an even sheen. If needed, repeat then level sand to 400
     
    Donnacha likes this.
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Actually, now that I have looked at the photos on a computer and not my phone. I think you need to go to work with the long block and 120 grit and get your substrate level, even if that involves sanding into the wood. You need to start with a better surface than you have currently.
     
    Donnacha likes this.
  7. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Primer serves a couple of functions one of the major ones is to fill small imperfections in surfaces. You have applied the primer, 3 light coats, next step, in my mind is to sand the primer. this will cut down all of the primer around your imperfections and allow them to fill. The first time you do this process, you may sand most of it back to wood! Use a sanding block of some sort. As suggested a long board may not be a bad idea. You can buy one at Harbor Freight, they are used in automotive applicaitons. I would do a brief youtube search of "block sanding" as you will learn a LOT! after you sand the primer apply more primer. You are correct in that it may have been better to fill the voids first then apply primer to finish the job! You will get it, stick with it and put the effort in NOW to get it nice and flat OR it will show in any subsequent topcoats.

    Good Luck!
    Brent
     
    Donnacha likes this.
  8. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    Hi guys, thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Its really kind of you to share this with me, i really appreciate it. Overall it seems you are all coming from the same place which is great. Im really new to this kind of work so I'm going to take my time.

    Ill start, as advised by sanding the body down again, I'm guessing until it appears smooth again. I will then spray it again and repeat. One question I have is should this be done dry or can I use wet sandpaper?

    I'll be sure to keep posting images of my progress as I go but first i need to do a little shopping I think

    Thanks again to you all

    d
     
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Spray a light mist of black primer onto the body to use as a guide coat. You will know you are flat when you have removed all of the black.
     
  10. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    I was actually only just watching a do's and don'ts and learnt about guide coats, something I'd never heard of before..thanks you for that...when it comes to the curved sides and horns, do you guys just use your hands?
     
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars

    Use a hard rubber block on the sides, where they are convex. What I do on the concave curves, is to wrap the paper around a cylinder. The flatter you get at this stage the better the end result will be.
     
  12. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    they make foam blocks that conform to shape. be careful of going in 1 direction only by hand
     
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  13. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Hard to go wrong with a guide coat BUT it must be misted on. Good advice I overlooked. Let us know how you make out. magain, make sure to use a block or board to n get best results.
     
    Donnacha likes this.
  14. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    Good evening all,

    Well I had a pretty successful day over all. I followed your instructions and there has been a huge improvement. I did introduce a little scratch filler because there were some larger marks that I thought I'd fill and then sand

    I used a sanding block along with 400 grit (320 US) which worked really well. I've primed it up again and will repeat the same process in a few days (I'm going away for a few days, which is probably good)

    I'm really hooked on the idea of getting the surface as perfect as I can, especially after today. Thanks for the tips and inspiration guys, it was perfect ;)
     
    PDX Rich and rufus.K like this.
  15. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    my experience is with cars and in that case, I slam many heavy coats of primer on then block . . . .sand and repeat until I finish with 600 grit and the surface is perfect and ready for topcoats. Often the garage floor and entire shop turns gray with primer dust BUT this is the goal of a primer. I remember the first time I sprayed primer. . . .nobody told me to sand it BUT that is the whole idea. So glad you are making progress. You will make this project very nice in the end, I am sure!
     
    Donnacha likes this.
  16. Is that a Japan made SQ squier?
     
  17. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    Hi, it was a made in Japan squire...am I sensing disappointment at my choice to strip it down? ;)
     
  18. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    ok...so I've finished with the primer...in total I block sanded three times and also filled little bits as I went. I did it twice with 400 grit (320 US) and the last time with 1200 grit (600/800 US). So I'm going to stop there as I think its the best I can do for my first attempt. There are still one or two little marks that I just saw there now but they are tiny and I really had to look for them. Im going to leave it sit now for 24hrs or so and then go for some colour.

    Here are a few pics of the last few days

    IMG_6783.JPG IMG_6785.JPG IMG_6804.JPG IMG_6805.JPG IMG_6808.JPG IMG_6807.JPG
     
  19. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Much improved, at least from the photos. So, one final consideration before you add color. Any nick or imperfection which is left you will see as you add color. If you add a metallic color you will see every single imperfection which is left. There are a couple of tricks you can use. Wipe the surface with a solvent (wax and grease remover is best) and look at the body from all angles. This is about how it will look when it is shiny. Or, as mentioned, spray a REALLY light, dry coat, of black primer with the can up to 18" away from the surface, it should look barely visible and really splotchy. I can reinforce enough that this coat is light and dusty! Then sand, hopefully what will be a final time. This is a guide coat. As you gently sand it off, stick with your 1200 which is 6/8 to me, any spots that come back gray before the rest are high spots, any spots or specks where the black remains after the rest it back to grey are low and likely need to be addressed. Use the block as much as you can (a small, hard, foam sanding block 2.5 X 5" sold at autobody supply places will work. The biggest factor in whether your paint will be nearly perfect or have surface flaws is the final finish of your primer. BTW- what top coat are you using? Are you planning/ willing/ able to finish sand and buff or polish the final paint?

    Good work. Hope it comes out perfect!

    Brent
     
    Donnacha likes this.
  20. Donnacha

    Donnacha

    Aug 5, 2006
    Ireland
    Thanks Brent, Im going to read over your post a few times to really get my head around each point you make but overall I can understand the main point being that anything I can see now, will defo show up on the final coat. I will be going for a solid colour and then some finishing coats of lacquer which i will sand and polish at the end. The colour I'm going for daphne blue, something similar to the picture below which is an image I found here on talkbass that I really liked

    mybass.
     

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