Strat Re-finish Questions - Advice Appreciated.

Discussion in 'Glues, Fillers & Painting' started by Kenni, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Kenni

    Kenni New Member

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    Hi there.

    I have an old Strat body where the finish is really matt and dull.. Not that pretty looking and somewhat cheap...
    I've wanted to re-finish it for quite some time now, and I think the time is right!
    Before I go ahead and do anything, I want to lay out the way I'm planning to do it - and hopefully some of you guys can agree or give me further advice on the subject. That would be much appreciated!

    Okay, so here goes...

    I plan on removing the old finish using a heat gun (very carefully) and a spatula. Then sand down the body nice and smooth, to the bare wood. From there fill the pores using a grain filler and sand out the grain filler. After the grain filler I'm going to apply the wood stain/dye and keep applying coats till I'm happy with the result - maybe sand it back a little to make the grain pop, if possible. Then apply a coat of sanding sealer - just to smoothen everything out nice and even, and give the lacquer a good base to be sprayed onto.
    Then apply several coats of lacquer, leave it to dry, sand it down, apply more coats, let dry and cure for a good couple of weeks. Come back to wet sand, buff and lastly polish up the finish.

    How does that sound - am I on the right track?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    Not really.
    But first - some questions. What kind of finish is already on the guitar? Lacquer? Polyurethane? Something else? Has it been stained already?

    Whatever you do to remove the finish, no sanding is required... The body is already flat and smooth, right? That's why the maker already finished it.

    As for several coats of lacquer.... What constitutes several in your mind?
    I ask because I've been doing lacquer finishes about 40 years.... And most guitars require about 25 to 40 coats of lacquer to really look nice and shiny.

    I think it's time for you to ask A LOT more questions before you jump into this, OK?
     
  3. Kenni

    Kenni New Member

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    Hi Chris!

    Thanks for the reply!

    Oh, okay... Well, I'm glad that you took the time to help me out here then :)

    I believe the finish is poly, and it is a solid color - cream white, or like that.

    Well yes, the body is flat, but isn't it required to sand the body a little?? Just to get it down nice and clean?

    Several coats for me would be along the line of 15-20 coats. I'm no professional, but I want to learn.

    I've been asking questions on several forums, reading about it and watched hours of videos.
    Well I know that's not enough, but it's a start.
    I'm going to buy a couple of books on the subject, to get deeper into it.

    What questions are you talking about, Chris?
    Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks and cheers!
     
  4. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    If you can get the poly off with a heat gun, use chemical stripper for any residue. Remove with Scotchbrite. Wipe it down with acetone or lacquer thinner for your final cleaning. NO - it does not require sanding. It's already sanded!

    There is WAY too much bad info out on the net - suggest you get your best info from places like Luthiers Mercantile, etc. Also - you could join the Official Luthiers Forum. It's a community of working luthiers - repair guys and builders. GOOD info there. Don't doubt me.
     
  5. Kenni

    Kenni New Member

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    Alright, I'll try that - seems logical :)

    Okay, I will not sand it once the finish is off.
    The sanding process is only for instruments built from scratch then, or?

    Yeah, that was some of my thoughts too, when I decided to ask around on the subject.. I'll try the Mercantile and the Official Luthiers Forum too!

    I seriously wouldn't doubt you, sir, you've helped me out a good amount of times, when I've had questions!
    I really appreciate it, Chris - trust me! :)

    I'll see what I can find out!
    Cheers :)
     

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