the finish on my Carvin / kiesel bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by murph7489, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Well I bought this bass awhile back..bout a year n a half...and I love the bass itself..but not real crazy about the finish...would you change it...and how? I was thinking maybe clear coat to give it a glossy shiny finish...

    LowActionHero likes this.
  2. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    If you think you'd prefer a glossy finish and think you'd ever want to sell it I would have a professional spray it on.

    If you think this is a forever bass for you then you could do it yourself, or use some wipe-on poly.
    CTBassGuy, MonetBass and MynameisMe like this.
  3. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for?

    Dec 31, 2018
    I’d leave it alone. It’s very unique looking.
    I like it.
    Nevertheless it’s yours.
    Who is anybody to tell you what to do.
    I’ve ruined many items by improving the look before.
    They’re not making the Carvin brand per say anymore so you could ruin a relic.
  4. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for?

    Dec 31, 2018
    If to just too bare for you I would look into one of the oil rubs for a different look.
    I like wood grain myself.
  5. CTBassGuy


    Feb 3, 2018
    Danbury, CT
    I’m actually trying to undo the results of what you are suggesting. This ‘88 Carvin LB90 Koa had a finish applied somewhere along the way and the result was unfortunate (horizontal cracks in the finish).

    If you want to add a finish to it, I agree; unless you are an accomplished woodworker, have a pro do it.

    (BTW, I am having a pro do the refinish on this one, as I want it to be a long-term-for-me bass)
    mikewalker likes this.
  6. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    It comes down to individual taste. I like matt finishes too and think your bass looks good as is. I actually also have a similarly styled bass with a walnut top and maple board which to me is quite sharp looking. :thumbsup:;)

    Keger Jupit, PaulS and kev451 like this.
  7. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Personally I'd leave it alone, but if you must, look into applying Tru-Oil. It's very simple to use and hard to screw up.
  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    A wipe-on poly would be appropriate...
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    We're talking about a Carvin here. If the plan is to sell it, the cost of a pro-refinish is already pushing the limits of what it will sell for.
    CyberSnyder and HeavyDuty like this.
  10. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Is this a factory finish or something someone did on their own?

    Is it clear poly satin or an oil rub?

    *Also, your pics are REALLY yellow. Can you try taking some shots with better white balance?
  11. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I've always liked these thin matte natural finishes on basses. If you plan to hold on to this one though, nothing wrong with having it refinished in gloss
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    sounds like you're bored with your ax. you may want to take it to the woodshed, a bunch, and then decide...after talking it over with the object of your affection. good luck! :thumbsup:
  13. cheapimitation


    Mar 23, 2007
    Kiesel matte finishes are supposedly the same as their gloss, just not buffed. I would try auto polish and maybe compound if gloss is your only goal.
    pjbassist and IconBasser like this.
  14. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    Are these oil finished? Wouldn't you have to sand, seal, then apply poly?

    If it was me, I'd lightly sand it, give it a naptha wash, then apply a few coats of Tung oil. That, after a while, buffs up into a light gloss.
  15. I would verify with Keisel first, but if it can be simply polished out, that would be the best option.
  16. cheapimitation


    Mar 23, 2007
    Most Kiesel matte finishes are poly, but yes they do offer an oil finish option -- I should have mentioned that in my post, you should indeed verify which one you have, perhaps with bit of polish in an inconspicuous area.
  17. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    They only do 3 coats for Tung Oil. It should be obvious, if its oiled from the factory. But I'm wondering if this was a project bass and not a complete build from the factory. Its an older build, as they stopped using that bridge around 2010. And I don't think they were finishing ash like that, back then, from the factory. I could be wrong, however.
    murph7489 likes this.
  18. you are right it was a kit build...don't get me wrong, I love the bass it is awesome...has super tone and plays fantastic...just probably over thinking it...
  19. thetragichero


    Jan 4, 2019
    i am still learning on the finishing end of things, but my gut tells me the finish never bonded to the bass and only to itself?
    the more i paint (houses or basses or whatever), the more i realize most of the hard/important work is done in the prep phase and any skimping leads to terrible results (like all of the wallpaper they decided to paint over in my house..................)
    murph7489 likes this.
  20. most of the hard/important work is done in the prep phase
    I used to work in a car paint shop..THIS was hammered into my dna...ALL the work is in prep...prep prep prep....if the prep is not perfect than the final result will be true. Yeah prep is also the crap work, usually the hardest part...but also the most important.