Sanding Off The Finish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Herrlster, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Herrlster


    Oct 27, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    So I'm planning on sanding off the paintjob on my Squier soon. Any tips?
  2. hartke20g


    Apr 12, 2006
    miami, FL
    invest in an electric sander/palm sander. trust me, it's worth every penny when you still have use of your arms.
  3. funkybassplayer

    funkybassplayer Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2003
    Longview, TX
    Nordstrand Audio, Epifani
    ELECTRIC SANDER!!! But know that it won't get into the more contoured sections of the body. the last time i sanded of the finish i found the "sanding sponges" in different grades of roughness.
  4. 69nites


    Jul 11, 2006
    work smart

    don't sand there are chemicals that will do it for you.
  5. Jonsbasses


    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    Wear a respirator if you're going to use chemicals, that stuff will mess you up bad.
  6. Herrlster


    Oct 27, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Alright, so I used a palm sander with course sandpaper and I got the top off. I think I'm gonna wait til tomorrow to do the back of it, the top was pretty hard even with the palm sander. I'm going to take my time with it, my boss won't be able to paint the bass til summer anyways.

    Any tips on doing the insides of the horns?
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    cabinet scrapers....
  8. Herrlster


    Oct 27, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    What's a decent price for a black paint job?

    A local place (automotive paint shop) quoted me $300 for a refinish on my bass.

    I never asked my boss how much he'd charge me for the job yet but I'm asumming it will be less than $300...
  9. Jonsbasses


    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    $300 is about right for a place that gets a lot of business. You may be able to contact a guy that does automotive refinish work locally for a better deal. But for $300, you can buy an air compressor, a spray gun, primer, black paint, and lacquer / poly of choice and do it yourself for less.
  10. $300 is really over the top. You can get a vehicle painted for that price, and it would take alot more paint than a bass would. Unless the guy who quoted you that price is gonna do a really time-consuming, outstanding job then he is too greedy IMO.
  11. dman_113

    dman_113 Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

    Nov 4, 2007
    Unless its nitrocellulose the chemical strippers will not work, trust me.
  12. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Shellac can be re-liquified with denatured alcohol. Both nitrocellulose lacquer and shellac can be dissolved with lacquer thinner. Strippers whose active ingredient is methylene chloride can soften all but the toughest finishes enough to remove with a scraper; most of the so-called "safe" strippers that do not contain methylene chloride are a lot slower and less powerful.

    Methylene Chloride:
  13. AlphaMale


    Oct 30, 2006
    Ventura County
    Has anyone tried it with just sand paper, how did it go?
    Not well?
  14. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Scrapers. Cats paw type and cabinet type. Much faster for the rough work and it chips off instead of turning into lung filling dust. Even so, wear dust protection.

    Greg N
  15. dman_113

    dman_113 Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

    Nov 4, 2007
    The stuff I have contains Methylene Chloride and it did nothing. Could it be to low of a concentration?
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    They dont work on poly, that stuff is like steel.
  17. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007
    exactly thats because the bass will have to be prepped undercoated and painted the same as a car and the paint will have to be baked in an oven designed for a car so basicly even though its only small it still costs a hell of a lot because the painter has to pay the electric bills etc for a fullsize oven a liter of paint plus his time etc etc

    it went brilliantly doing it by hand also allows your fingers to find dents you wouldnt see with the naked eye it depends how far down you want to take the paint off

    if you just want enough to "flat" it down so it can be repainted it takes no time at all paint will stick to paint so long as its been flatted and de-greased so all you need to is give it a proper rub down with some fine wet'n'dry paper

    if you want to take it down to the wood it wont take as long as you think start with course wet'n'dry till the paint has gone then finish off with fine paper to get the scratches out

    **little tip for wet'n'dry a bit of washing up liquid in the water breaks the "skin" on the water wich stops the water beading and keeps your paper cleaner for longer
    also detergant contains de-greasing formula's which will degrease the bass making the paint stick better
  18. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    That's right. This was just gone over at length (once again) a week or so ago. Chemical strippers, even methyline chloride won't strip a factory finish unless it's a nitro finish, shellac or varnish, which almost none of them are. The people who recommend it simply haven't done it.

    Sanding or stripping with a heat gun and scraper will get it off. It's still slow work but I've done it and it does work.
  19. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    And if ya use a heatgun be careful, it can pop and shoot hot blobs of paint at ya.
  20. NYCBass

    NYCBass If it feels good it must be a Jazz Bass Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    Queens NY
    Look you have to do it by hand as much as it sucks. You can't get into the primer/sealer or the wood will act like a sponge. Take your time and it will be done right.