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Varnish repair

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by emilio g, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. emilio g

    emilio g

    Jul 16, 2008
    Jersey City, NJ
    For various reasons I have a few spots on my bass where the varnish is rubbing off. Mostly in the spots where the bass touches my body. Also, there was one spot where part of the wheels on my case wore though the lining and took a nice chunk on the varnish off.

    Is touching up the varnish a job I could do myself? If so, what do I need? Is there a thread somewhere that explains how to do this?
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Do you know what kind of varnish was used on your bass?

    Does it soften if you rub it with a rag soaked on alcohol? Lacquer thinner?
  3. emilio g

    emilio g

    Jul 16, 2008
    Jersey City, NJ
    I'm not sure what kind of varnish it is, or what kind of varnishes are used on basses.

    Its very soft. Its not very shiny, more of a flat finish, and it comes off easily using almost any chemical, or even just rubbing with a lot of pressure.

    A substantial portion of the varnish on the upper bout rubbed off just from touching my body when I play.
  4. smg_luthier


    May 13, 2009
    hey emilio,
    natural wear is perfectly acceptable, and will only enhance your bass, both tonally and esthetically.
    i think you should just leave it alone.
    just my opinion.
    if you don't like it, scroll down.
  5. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    If you aren't sure what kind of varnish was used and haven't had the experience maybe you ought to have a professional do it? Varnish touch up can be tricky and difficult even for those with a lot of experience.

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