Striping bass paint

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SleazeBass, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. SleazeBass


    Aug 17, 2012
    im about to give up, i have a ibanez sb900le and have since decided to redo the paint job (old owner did flat black over initial finish) well..this paint is not coming off, the flat black came right off, but now im down to the factory finish, no clear coat, and for the most part its just sitting there telling me to piss off. im using heavy duty semi paste chemical paint peeler, on about the 4th coating and its doing nothing. help? am i missing a step?
  2. I used to work for Hamer in the mid 1980's and what we did was to use a heavy duty paint stripper, I think it was called "Aircraft Paint Remover". We'd slather it on and let it sit for a few hours, maybe even half a day and then using a small metal paint trowel to scrape it off. It didn't always come off completly everywhere so we then sanded off the rest.
  3. Habilis


    Jan 4, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I suggest going to the "Rattle-can refinish club" thread on this site... Even if you're not using spray paint to refinish your bass there's a TON of useful info.
  4. SleazeBass


    Aug 17, 2012
    thanks fellas I do appreciate it. and the hamer factory eh? that had to a pretty sweet job right?!
  5. Yeah, it was cool. I was a finish leveler and saw and worked on a LOT of guitars. Worked on guitars for Steve Stevens, Rick Nielsen, K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton, Paul McCartney, Peter Frampton among others. Got to check out Rick Nielsen's 5 neck, Tom Peterson's 12 string bass, and I learned a heck of a lot about finish work.
  6. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Some paint strippers do nothing to catalyzed finishes, The stripper you need is very hazardous and has dangerous (meaning, toxic) chemicals. MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) is about as strong as the general public can buy and even that isn't as easy to get as it was because of environmental and health concerns. Some paint strippers have some MEK, but to really remove the finish, you need to know what the finish is. Many paints, varnishes, lacquers and others dry, but they aren't as tough as the catalyzed finished, which cure. This is a key difference- if you remember your science classes, drying is a physical change/reaction and calalysis is a chemical process and these finishes are very tough- it's basically turned to plastic.

    StripX is one brand that works, to a point. BIX is another, but I don't know what's available where you are. I would contact someone at Ibanez and one easy way is to go to the Ibanez forum- one of the members works for Ibanez and that forum may already have answers to this question.

    Whatever you use to strip this, make sure you ventilate the room extremely well and that there's no way combustion could happen. This means no gas heaters, no fans with motors that have exposed armatures and definitely, no smoking (don't think people haven't smoked while using this stuff). I wouldn't drink alcohol, either. You never know what kind of reaction a body will have.
  7. thunderbird66


    Sep 30, 2012
    west Texas
    I've ran into this problem alot. A heat gun or sanding was about the only solution i came too ( unless you have access to a bead/sandblaster ). Heat guns work great but its really easy to burn the wood so be really careful with this process.
  8. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    Stripes are hard to pull off. Sometimes making stripes with tape is easier than painting. If you want painted stripes, use a good quality painters tape to give you good, hard lines. Don't leave the tape on too long after painting because the paint will "wick" underneath the tape and cause you grief.
  9. I would be tempted to power sand that Ibby. I would try to carefully use a belt sander to start then switch to an orbital sander to minimize wood loss and the potential for grooving.
  10. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    No stripper that you can buy will remove that stuff. You need a heat gun, bottom line.
  11. This.

    Some of those finishes are as though they dipped the body in plastic, but it's actually sprayed-on plastic (poly).

    YouTube videos make it look easy but it makes a huge mess. I recommend doing it outside because of the mess and the FUMES. I did a MIM Fender Jazz and it ain't easy. If you overheat the body wood, it will delaminate.

    Good luck!
  12. recycled rocker

    recycled rocker

    Dec 22, 2010
    When did you work there i was there from 89 to 93
  13. kentiki


    May 14, 2008
    why strip it at all? Just sand it smooth and paint it.
  14. 1986-1987
  15. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008

    Hit it with 220 grit, prime and paint.
  16. KhzDonut


    Jan 7, 2013
    I've worked in the finishing department of a couple medium-sized guitar manufacturers, and currently work for a small guitar paint shop. If Ibanez uses a basecoat that's anything like the ones I've worked with (and I would be willing to bet it is) it's some sort of polyester or polyurethane.

    I would recommend:

    1. Heat gun and scraper, preferably with good ventilation, as it can smell pretty nasty after awhile or if you over-heat it. Not sure on the toxicity of heated basecoat fumes, though I'm sure it's not entirely friendly.


    2. Orbital sander + some other choice sanding tools for inside the horns and other such areas, preferably with adequate dust collection and proper particulate mask/respirator. You don't want to breath in basecoat dust.

    Any chemical that could strip the basecoats that most manufacturers use are chemicals that you don't want to be around. Seriously.