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The red "thing" underneath the black "paint"

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by backline112, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008

    I have a GSR200 Ibanez,
    which I plan to properly clear coat it's neck this spring/summer. I also had the idea of getting the body's paint off and leave it natural. So I took a knife and just above the strap button I started to carve. I found a red thing (he's bleeding!):

    Is that some kind of... what is it? Why?

    I've read it is recommended to "strip the paint" off with some kind of chemical, and then sand to bare wood. I would guess it's because it is more effective than hand sanding. Which chemical is it? Which do you recommend?

    I also have this idea of getting all the "paint" off and then glue/put newspaper articles and funny headlines as in a collage, so that all the wood is covered. Then clear coat it. Would this hinder the wood's "breathing" or something? What do you think about it?

    I also have this other idea, of getting all the paint off, and then glue/put basslines, and other types of arrangements (written in staves of course) as in a collage of great compositions. Good idea? Bad idea?

    How much would this cost if I sent it to someone professional?
    If you live in Cincinnati and know how to do this would you do it? For how about much?

    Thanks! :)
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Probably primer?
  3. I suspect that you bass was originally red and then repainted black, probably at the factory. Maybe the red finish had a flaw and they just painted it black, on top of the red.
    Refinishing is a lot of work. You need to totally disassemble your bass, and I would recommed using "Aircraft stripper" available at most auto parts stores.
  4. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    Right, might be primer (google: stuff that make paint adhere to the wood.)
    Would this aircraft stripper get all that thick paint/primer?
    Nobody likes my ideas :crying:

    Could someone direct me to a site with the process? I swear I searched but I only found that aircraft stripper, a TORCH, but no description of how to do it.
  5. Aumakua


    Jun 22, 2008
    Funny, I was just about to post a question on how to get that same "stuff" off of my ibanez 300DX, I'm doing the same thing you are right now.
    Mine's tan colored, not red and looks like a primer coat but it's THICK and almost seems like epoxy. I've tried 3 different kinds of paint/poly stripper, none of which even softened the finish, and sanding through it is really really tough ( I've gone through 2 packs of coarse paper in my orbital sander and only one side is down to the wood at this point...).

    I would almost recommend getting the harshest aircraft stripper you can find, throw it all in a bucket and let the body soak for at least a few days ;).

    Seriously, it looks like NAPA Auto Parts (if you have them in Cincinnati) has aircraft stripper and here's a tutorial on how to strip a finish:

    Really you just brush it on, scrape it off, then figure out how to dispose of it without killing off all the wildlife in your area.

    Anyways let me know if you figure out how to get through that friggin "enamel finish", my arms are numb from sanding and I'm ready to get this over with!

    By the way if your Ibanez body is Agathis you might be suprised that the wood actually looks good. It seems kinda like alder and I'm guessing it'll look OK under clearcoat & some stain.
  6. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Planning your project and finding a best process is usually best 'before' you take a knife and start scraping on your bass.

    I'd suggest trying a product called Citrus Strip. There's at least one other thread here on talkbass where a guy uses is on necks and bodies. It's also safe and won't kill pets, siblings or parents who may be stuck in a room where you decide to us the product.

  7. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    Hey thanks man, that was useful. Yes, it is supposed to be Agathis wood on the body. I will probably start a thread with the process sometime later.

    AHAHAHA! I wasn't trying to peel it all off. I just wanted to see if it was only paint, or a thicker stuff. I think it actually helped planing my process.

    Citrus Strip, got it.
  8. ColdSteelRain


    Jul 27, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    If you're still having problems finding something that works, go to a local hardware store (or Lowes/Home Depot) and talk to the paint guys. You may have to use a combination of heavy duty paint stripper and a heat gun to get down to mostly wood.

    Don't be surprised if the body doesn't look all that good once stripped. Since it's an inexpensive bass and they weren't planning to stain the body, there's a good chance it's got problems that had to be fixed with wood fill.

    I think your idea of doing a collage sounds cool, but I don't know what the best thing to use for a clear varnish would be.

    Good luck!
  9. If it is polyurethane, hot aircraft stripper will do best. Scuff the surface with very course sand paper first. This will allow the stripper to penetrate. It may takes several applications to remove. Use a soft plastic or wood scraper so you don't gouge the wood. After striping, neutralize the wood so that any remaining stripper will not damage your primer.
    Remember, preperation 90% painting 10% is what is needed for a good refinish.
  10. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    Alright, thanks for your suggestions guys. But after taking a look at how would I proceed with the electronics, I decided to put the project off and wait until I have the money to take it to a repair man or until I have enough experience with soldering stuff. For now, I will just give the neck a nice epoxy finish and try to be another Jaco clone.
    This'll be my main bass when completely finished.
  11. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    ya i'm missing a chip of paint on my black squire, and there's definitely some red in there. mysterious...
  12. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    I think the colored under-coat is a deliberate choice to foster a better final color. I'm taking that from what I've seen on auto refin shows -- when repainting cars, they'll pick different primer colors to support different final colors -- e.g. yellow primer under a red finish. Might also allow for fewer color coats -- 3 black on red primer might look as good as 5 black on white primer, but would be cheaper for the manufacturer (saving 2 coats for every instrument produced).

    Just some theorizing...


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