Refinishing a guitar?



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Refinishing a guitar?

Postby MrNovember » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:29 am

So I'm toying with the idea of refinishing my baritone Jazzmaster:
Image
I'm thinking about blue with a matching headstock. Kind of like this:
Image

Only problem, I have absolutely no idea where to start with refinishing. What type of paint? Finish? Techniques?



Also as an aside, I'm thinking of putting one of these in the bridge:
http://www.guitarfetish.com/KP--GFS-Gol ... 21935.html
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Re: Refinishing a guitar?

Postby Mudfuzz » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:01 pm

if you know nothing this is a good place to start http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Books/Gui ... -Step.html

Where you get you paint is going to be the hard part.. if you know the type of finish that is already on the guitar and you can find the finish you want in the color you want and it it the SAME chemical makeup you could clean up the body, fill any dents and spray right over it... but if what you use is a different type and has a solvent that reacts badly with the original finish you could have issues and you'd have to remove the original finish and start over..
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Re: Refinishing a guitar?

Postby Corey Y » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:45 am

If you're interested in getting into DIY refinishing because you want to achieve a specific result with an instrument, I would strong suggest doing some projects to practice FIRST. I've had some experience with rattle can and HVLP spray gun style painting through old jobs (as an occasional thing, not the main job) and decided to do the finish on a bass body I made myself. I did A LOT of research beforehand too, even to the point of emailing with someone professional who had a lot of experience with the specific product and tools I was using. Everything went pretty well, until I did the clear coat and had a weird interaction problem I hadn't read about and didn't expect. It took a lot of elbow grease for me just to undo my mistake and strip the body down to the wood again, because I was using polyurethane and it cures like hard plastic. I even did a test piece beforehand, but I didn't do the clear coat on that, just the color coat (and I didn't prime it the same way, which was my mistake with the main project), I still had a catastrophic mistake that took a long time to fix. Eventually I traded in a favor with a pro builder to finish it for me and he did a nice job.

Anyway, that's a long winded way of saying don't pick a project you care about to learn a new skill. Just practice on some scrap material or a beater instrument or something broken you don't care about first. Buy a cheap guitar off CL for $50 or less, go to a flea market and find a half broken instrument for $20 or something and practice on that. There's tons of information, how to videos and all of that online, you can just type in "guitar refinish DIY" or something into Google and fall down a hole with that, but with almost any new skill you're going to screw up the first project you do, at least.
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Re: Refinishing a guitar?

Postby Muff_Diver » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:52 am

http://www.reranch.com/101.htm
http://www.reranch.com/basics.htm

I reranched my guitar and it came out awesome. Just follow the instructions exactly. Their forum has a lot of help, as well.
It is definitely easier to finish a raw guitar vs stripping and refinishing one.
As far as type of finish, you want to be consistent. If you use a lacquer color, use a lacquer clear. Mixing two different types generally yields catastrophic results.
Take a lot of time doing every step correctly before moving on. Anything you goof early on will be visible at the very end.

Here's my reranched saylor jazzmaster.
Image
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Re: Refinishing a guitar?

Postby MrNovember » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:55 am

Thanks for the tips guys! This is sounding like it may be way above my skill level. I'll do some more research, but I may have to either look into a pro builder or just leave it as is.
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Re: Refinishing a guitar?

Postby JonnyAngle » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:43 pm

MrNovember wrote:Thanks for the tips guys! This is sounding like it may be way above my skill level. I'll do some more research, but I may have to either look into a pro builder or just leave it as is.

My suggestion is to do a refin over the existing. It's already flatter than a newb will get it. I assume you'll be using a rattlecan.

Do 500 light coats. It will dry in minutes and will not run. It will take forever, but you will be happier with the result. When I say light coat, I mean just a dusting.
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Re: Refinishing a guitar?

Postby MrNovember » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:50 pm

JonnyAngle wrote:
MrNovember wrote:Thanks for the tips guys! This is sounding like it may be way above my skill level. I'll do some more research, but I may have to either look into a pro builder or just leave it as is.

My suggestion is to do a refin over the existing. It's already flatter than a newb will get it. I assume you'll be using a rattlecan.

Do 500 light coats. It will dry in minutes and will not run. It will take forever, but you will be happier with the result. When I say light coat, I mean just a dusting.

Hmm, I might try this out on the cheap Sterling guitar I have to test it out.
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