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stripping paint of my bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fenderbluesdude, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. i own a fender MIM jazz bass the color is blue agav which i dont really like, it originally came with a white pcikguard but then i changed the pcikguard to black it looks alot better but i still dont like that blue, it even has sparkles in it, that sucks really bad!! anyways i hear you can strip the color and the acrylic off the bass with some kind of chemical what chemicals would i use, how much would they cost, and could i do it myself?
  2. lull&smooth


    Jun 21, 2004
    you will find reranch.com helpful.

  3. AB53211


    Apr 15, 2004
    you may want to post this in the Luthiers Corner to get more responses. Good luck with the paint.
  4. I heard that if you strip away the paint to get a natural finish, it is possible that it won't look like a regular natural at all, because natural finishes are more modified than regular finishes, or sometimes even other woods.
    So you might be lucky and get a beautifull natural finish, or just a brown body
  5. rotorheadcase


    Apr 20, 2004
    I've just gone through this process and I came out of it feeling like I had been smacked about the head!!

    The finish on a MIM bass is a polyester paint and VERY, VERY tough! You will barely budge it with most strippers available on the market. All they will do is dull the finish and make you look like the incredible melting man. So tackle this only if you are very brave!!

    Unfortunately a combination of stripper, scraper and sanding is really the only way to go but you may not like what you see in the end. If you're planning on a painted finish then fine, but if you're hoping to find wood that is good enough for a natural finish then you may be dissapointed. Fender generally use the less visually appealing wood for their painted finish basses and may use up to 3 pieces for a jazz body.
  6. If you are looking for a natural finish, you will be disappointed when you get down to the bare wood. Generally, alder is not very good looking. If you are just looking to get it painted another color, you may be able to spray it on over the existing finish. An auto body shop may be an inexpensive way to get a good quality paint job, by the way.
  7. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    I work in a body shop and have 1 of my basses painted with a base coat/clear coat urethane finish. That is definitely the way to go with this bass. You can pick any color that you have seen on a car or you might get a good deal if you just pick through the cans of leftover paint that they have.
  8. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Apparently there is an "Aircraft Stripper" product found at some automotive stores that is a lot stronger than regular paint stripper. I used a gel-based product to strip an old schecter P-Bass body. Took me about two weeks until I got the clear coat and black paint off.

    I re-painted it using an acrylic lacquer found at AutoZone (Krylon John Deere Yellow - a Farm and Implement Paint). Then I clear coated with some nitrocellulose clear laqcuer found at reranch.com. Both products were in spray cans.

    The results aren't bad. I just wish I sanded more between coats.

    Good luck.
  9. I would concur with the reranch.com suggestion. I recently stripped a body down to the natural wood. The stripper I used was not particularly messy, it cleaned up with water. The stripping process was quite easy, but the sanding process has been much slower and more complicated. I have enjoyed doing it though. In the end, I found that the wood was in reasonable condition with some small knots here and there and all one piece. However, mine is not a MIM body, so I can't tell you what would happen when you got down to the wood. If the wood is nice, I think natural alder looks real nice...I have a alder natural Yamaha bass that is quite beautiful.
  10. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Home Depot paint aisle. Jasco makes a killer gel paint, just about anything stripper really. I used in on my Ibanez and it took about 2 hours to get all the clear/paint off. You just spread it on and watch it go. It's really cool.
  11. Another point. I wouldn't not go through this process if you are in a hurry and want to use your bass right away. The stripping and sanding process can take a while and the painting can take a long time because you will want to sand between coats. I have been stripping and sanding for several weeks now and have just put on a pre-coat and will be sanding some more. I have set a side a month for the project.
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    waste of time on a MIM. Unless you are incredibly lucky, the body wood won't be good enough to go natural or even transparent with. Grad an aftermarket bodyu and do it up right! The Mity Mite bodies aren't bad. USA Custom Guitars are very, very nice but not inexpensive. You'd pay as much for the body as you did for he bass. But, you would have a heck-uv-a nice bass when you got done. You could think about going rear route, tone chambered with no PG for instance ... But that body will run almost 3 C notes vs 2 c notes in Swamp Ash. I used a wipe on poly urethane, satin finish on mine and it's sweet. Tommy at USACG can help with good advice if you go that way.
  13. Forget the chemical strippers if you have a tough "clear" base coat, it won't even make a dent. Get a heat gun, it'll take it off quick with a metal scraper helping. Be sure to wear safety glasses.