Sanding Poly...kinda...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spinal Tapper, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Hey guys, had a quick thought. Has anyone here tried to sand down the poly finish on their bass so it makes a smooth, matte finish? Removing the gloss only but keeping the color intact?

    Not to entirely REMOVE the poly, just sand it the way you would with high grit sandpaper to the back of the neck to give it a satin feel.

    Anyone tried this? I'm considering it on the body of my CIJ Jazz bass possibly. I kind of want to take off some of the gloss.

    Just wondering if this sounds ludicrous...
  2. I've done the poly-coated back of a neck with 0000-grade Steel Wool (tape up those pickups!) and it it indeed turn out a nice, flat matte finish that was much easier to play on. However, it was a natural-finish bass so I can't help in terms of what it would do to the color of a bass. Also realize that the "playing motion" on the back of a neck like mine or places where you'll rub again (top of a pickup, where your forearm rubs, etc) will naturally buff the finish glossy again, so it's something you'll have to redo every few years... not that it's hard - taping/prep-work took the longest amount of time in my case.

    ...however, I'm not sure I'd personally do the entire body of a CIJ Jazz - that's a pretty easy way to kill off a large amount of resale value, unless you're sure this is "a keeper"... and is "anyone" entirely sure of that?
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Yeah, I've done the neck - on all my basses actually. It turns out great everytime. I was thinking - heck, why not the body?

    Here's a shot of the glossy poly on by Jazz to show what I meant...I was just thinking it'd look and feel nice sanded down a bit to a matte finish like the back of the neck.

    Anyone tried this?

  4. Honestly, my opinion? If it had a few chips and/or dings I'd say "Go for it!", but that is one beautiful bass that I'm not sure I'd have the Cojones to sand down. Then again, I'm pretty anal with my basses and not at all "a Relic-er", so I may not be the best opinion to give.
  5. SamTheButcher

    SamTheButcher Yis, actually.

    Sep 25, 2004
    Charlotte NC
    Those green plastic scrub pads that you get in packs of 3 at the grocery store or Lowes work well also, and you dont have to worry about the pickups. I did that to the back of a jazz neck I have, worked great.
    And just to see, I later rubbed some automotive polishing compound back on it, to see if the gloss would come back. It did, but not quite like it was before. A light rub with 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper instead of the pads, should allow you to bring back the gloss later. (by rubbing with the automotive compound).

    Note: this was done on a neck. On a body, YMMV.
  6. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Yeah, u got me there...she is a beaut...finish is pretty much immaculate for a 9 year old bass...maybe I should try it on a different body to see what kinda results I'd get.
  7. JDHolmes


    Jan 6, 2010
    You could sand it with 1500 then 2000 automotive sandpaper. If you can find it, follow it up with 2500 and 3000 also. You won't be able to see the sandpaper scratches in that fine a grit. It will dull the shine though you should understand that you are removing part of the poly.

    Another, probably better means is to do the above, then spray matte auto clear over it. That way, you will still have several layers of clear protecting the color and it will not be a glossy clear which you seem to want to get away from. You will NOT with this, however, be able to buff it to a high shine if you want to later return it to its current state.
  8. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    ^this is the kinda info I'm talking about...

    man, now that I look at that body more and more, it's making me really rethink the process...