Guitar Color Change? Can I Do It Myself?

Discussion in 'Restoration & Repair' started by Norke, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Norke

    Norke New Member

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    Hey!
    Ok so i already watched some videos on youtube about how to sand or change the color of a guitar body. I also posted on facebook but all i got is: "no, don't do it, it's fine like it is" or "if you don't know how ask your luthier". So let me be clear, if i post here that's for having help on how to do this in my particular case.

    I know a strat is common but it's a blonde color and we can see the wood grain already under and i like it so i may just have to sand and some finish? Can i leave it natural without a finish? How can i make it look like a natural wood without the "blonde" effect? I'm really not a luthier, i'm used to setup my guitars and i'm good at soldering if i need to remove all the parts but i'm really not sure how i should proceed so that i get the best results on this guitar. Also i don't mind taking up to 1 year to do this, but i want to do it myself and i want it to be well done.

    I have a friend who just used sandpaper on his flying v white, then he painted it, it's cool but it's not perfect. I thought my case would be simpler as i don't have to repaint it, i really like the "natural" look.

    It looks more blonde than it is in real life but i'm sure you all know how blonde guitar from fender are.

    Here's a picture of my guitar first and then how i would like it to be when finished.
    Thanks a lot i really appreciate all your help.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. EvilAsh

    EvilAsh New Member

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    I'm no expert on finishing. But I can say that when you're done it will look a hell of a lot better than that strat in the pic - I've never seen a two piece body join two thirds up the body before!

    I recently stripped down a flying V. It was really tough, the paint and undercoat was really thick to hide the fact that they hadn't even sanded the wood properly. I don't think it will be very hard at all to sand the lacquer off your strat, it must be fairly thin. Also stain only goes a few microns deep I believe (I read that somewhere) so I doubt sanding that would be too bad either.

    When I'm sanding off paint, I don't like to use too low a grit, getting out some sanding scratches can be a bitch. I usually start with a random orbital sander on the flat bits, then do the rest with sanding blocks and sanding pads.

    If you want a natural finish, you could just oil it with danish oil or the like, or use matt polyurethane varnish mixed 50/50 with white spirit (poor man's wipe-on-Poly). It takes a long time to built up, so should still look natural after a few coats. Oh, and I'd also use sanding sealer.

    Anyway, I'm no expert, but I' sure someone else more qualified can help. :)
     
  3. Norke

    Norke New Member

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    haha yeah that's the first image i saw randomly on google, i think mine will not have apparent joins on the top.

    hm what is a sanding sealer?
     
  4. EvilAsh

    EvilAsh New Member

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    I'm pretty new to this, I've only finished three guitars and a few necks, so I've not got a huge amount of experience!

    Sanding sealer is mainly used to achieve a glassy finish, as it stops the top coat soaking in. So I doubt you'll need it since you're going for a natural finish. Probably shouldn't have meantioned it!
     
  5. Norke

    Norke New Member

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    Ok i'll check this out thanks!
     
  6. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

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    I have no doubt you could take the guitar apart and sand the body down to bare wood. All it takes is lots of patience and time. The clear finish, however, is a whole different story. That requires skill, experience, and the proper safety equipment to do right the first time, particularly if you want to use lacquer. Otherwise, you will end up going through this cycle multiple times.

    I highly recommend you prepare the body, then take it to your local guitar builder/luthier for the clear finish. This will save you money and get the job done right.
     
  7. Norke

    Norke New Member

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    yeah that's a good idea!

    what do you think about the neck when i remove it from the body? Should i loose a bit the trus rod?

    any best practices to avoid problems with the body being removed for a long time?
     
  8. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    You can probably achieve this or close to it with a simple wipe on poly finish. It might be slightly amber tinted, but it should be pretty close. The only other way to really get it, in my opinion, is a lacquer or polyester finish. Those aren't easy, wouldn't recommend them for a beginner. If you want to dabble in finish, start with oil or wipe on poly, get good at that, then move to hard finishes. I'd sand it to raw wood using 80 grit (or strip with a heat gun and a scraper), make sure you get all the sealer off, and you should be good to go. Those blonde finishes like that aren't done with stain generally, so it should be as simple as sanding it off. After sanding to 80 grit, go 150 grit, 220 grit, wet the entire body with a damp paper towel, let that dry, then finish sand at 320 grit and apply oil/wipe on poly.
     
  9. Norke

    Norke New Member

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    Do i have to change the trus rod before i remove the neck from the body to avoid some kind of too much stress on the neck due to the fact that the strings are not installed anymore?
     
  10. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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  11. Norke

    Norke New Member

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    Ok thanks :)
     

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