Stripping the "refinish" and saving what's underneath?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by don21480, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. don21480


    Mar 17, 2006
    Any suggestions on how to do this. I have an early 60's jazz bass (has the router hump, holes for the felt mutes, no route for the ground wire and the nail holes for the drying stage back in the day) that was refinished semi professionally from the looks of it to white. The control cavity after removing the grounding plates appears to be sunburst. I'd really like to strip the white and the grey primer under it and see what the original finish is and what kind of shape its in. Thanks for any advice you can offer -
  2. I've sanded a couple of resprayed bodies and got back to original finish. Kinda got to figure what they used for the refinish, ie , clear, color, primer and work your way back.
    I started off with 180 to get clear or color layer removed, continued sanding one layer at a time until that layer is completely removed. Once I got the clear and color coats removed, changed to 220 or 320 to get primer removed. Luckily they just sprayed over the original, sanded until all the primer was removed, bringing the original clear coat up to the top
    They didn't need any repair, so I just polished the clear. Looked great and played them for years
  3. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    Careful with that, sometimes those refinishes were done at the factory.
    There a a lot of guitars and basses with a custom color sprayed at the factory over sunburst.
    But if you know for sure it is a later refinish it might be worth a shot to lightly sand it ;)
  4. Probably worth considering whether you might need to clear coat them after sanding back too.