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Should I re-finish my bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hairyhaw, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. hairyhaw

    hairyhaw Banned

    Mar 23, 2007
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    Hi all,

    Looking for advice – I know, there are a ton of threads on people asking whether they should re-finish their instrument, but this one is mine!

    Up with its neck on the block is my ’92 MIM P bass in Arctic white. I’ve had it since new as my first proper bass and, as my only bass for 9 years, it’s seen a lot of action – there are numerous chips on the poly revealing the primer, a couple of gouges down to the wood on the bottom edges, and the colour itself has turned from white to a creamy, almost yellow colour.

    So, to re-finish or not re-finish. I’ve thought for a few years it might look pretty good in one of the International Series colours, specifically Capri Orange, or Graffiti Yellow. Also flirted with the idea of Dakota Red. I wouldn’t do it myself – no time or talent I’m afraid.

    I think the main consideration that’s holding me back a bit is the fact that every ding on the bass had been done by me, so I suppose that perhaps I’m erasing the basses mojo?

    Honestly appreciate advice on what people think.

    couple of pics of the bass in question:


  2. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    I think it's a personal call, really.

    I like the idea of mojo - the bass itself tells a story with the "imperfections". And a real relic beats a fake one every time in my book.

    On the other hand, orange P's are really cool.

    If it were me, I'd leave it as is. But I ain't you!
  3. +1

    Leave the character of the bass in tact.
  4. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    If you want a visual change, just change out the pickguard. It's easy, inexpensive and reversible.

    And that vintage white will go with almost anything.
  5. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    Me, personally, I'd leave it alone. I like the look of a bass that's been played. Not to mention if it was my first player that i've had for a while, I'd want it all original. For the time, effort, and $$$ it'll cost to refinish it, just buy a new MIM P in a finish you like.
  6. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    True indeed.

    and, however, I also agree, the bass does look pretty nice as is in the pics there..

    Tough choice.

    another +1, this way, if your just bored with the white, changing the guard will make it look like a new bass, and as mentioned reversible.

    white with ..heck anything..

    like this one..sweet. IMO:

    Attached Files:

  7. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Leave it as it is.
  8. ericdanger13


    Oct 30, 2012
    Danbury Ct
    Personally I'd leave it. It was your only bass for 9 years. That's some miles on that thing. Be proud of the battle scars it has.
  9. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    If you're expecting to resell it, leave it as is. A refinish could make it look perfect to you ( which is great ) but probably less desirable for most people.. ( it is what it is ). Just like selling a home. Get rid of the trendy colors and paint all the rooms beige. The chances that someone will like your very personalized ( if that's the way you go ) finish is small. BUT. If you plan on keeping it and this will make you enjoy it more.. go for it. And when you get tired of that finish, refinish it again. Have a blast.. go crazy. Or hire someone to really age it so it looks like it's been around the world a few times.

    I like a unique bass over a shiny new/stock one most of the time.. something with character.. Let us know what you decide.
  10. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    I say leave it as well. You will probably be spending $ and reducing resale $ in one swell foop. The bass (and you) have earned those scars. They say something.
  11. Leave it be...like others said change the pickguard for a new look....but just my $.02
  12. Bass1965


    May 3, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I like this idea.
  13. hairyhaw

    hairyhaw Banned

    Mar 23, 2007
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated.

    Looking at the body, I can think of stories behind a few of the scrapes and the consensus seems to be to leave alone. Think on reflection I'm inclined to agree.

    However, I am digging people's suggestions about changing out the pickguard. I'm thinking gold anodised might look great with cream and a rosewood board - anyone know if Fender do any to fit early nineties MIM's?

    I know that some pickguards have different screwholes so would like to try and avoid getting the wrong one!
  14. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Trinity, FL
    that Paisly pick guard posted ealier looks very cool .. !!

    i agree with most . you and your bass have earned the scars of life ... where them with pride ..

    i think any reversable mod is a good thing ...

    BadAss bridge ... different piclup , knobs , pickguard ..

    or leave everything attched to the original pickguard and install all new guts ( pots, caps, jack , pups ) slightly different look ... improved sound .. ! i think would be also be more cost effective than a refinish ...

    whatever you do , do what makes You happy ... don't try to do something to please others ... !
  15. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Good decision.

    One other thing to consider - a decent refin will cost $300, give or take. The entire bass itself is only worth $250.
  16. Looks road worn. I'd leave her as is.
  17. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    you could also just buy another body. for the time, effort, materials required to refinish a body, you could spend $250.00 and get a finished body.
    you could then sell it down the road and possibly get most or all your money back.
  18. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    That's the reason I would go ahead do a refin.
  19. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Should? No. Want to? Sure.
  20. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.