Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Refinishing a bass (Update 1)


fingertalkin

Recommended Posts

I was wondering what kind of paint to use. I found some cool links to sites that sell guitar paint and finishes but would rather get something locally. From what I gather so far is that I need to use a nitrocellulose paint. I also believe this to the same as automotive paint?

 

I am refinishing my starter bass. I already tried to de-fret it. Well I guess I did it. I learned a lot about it. Definitely should knock the frets through from the side instead of pulling them straight out. Anyway, bought a new neck from the aforementioned Rondo Music based on your reviews. I got the maple neck with Pearloid inlays. The bass was just your typical starter p-bass- black with white pickguard and a rosewood neck. It was a "SLAMMER" by Hamer. I will post picks when I am done.

 

Also, I sanded down to the bare wood. I am not sure if I had to do that or not, but it only took a little while longer. I like the fresh start.

 

Shane

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 23
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Thanks for the link. I was looking for a solid gloss other than black. The only other ones that I saw were tints. I also don't have a spray gun so I was hoping for an aerosol. I will have to look harder at the site to make sure that I didn't miss it.

 

Shane

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi fingertalkin, Refinishing basses is one of my favorite hobbies. Everything you need can be purchased at your local Auto parts store or Home improvement center. First and foremost, the finish you achieve will be the direct result of the initial preperation of the wood. Since you have sanded the old finih off, you will have to build up the basecoat/primer. The easist product you can use is called "Kilz" available at a paint store in spray cans. Hang your body by a wire while applying all finishes to keep from damaging the wet surface. You will probably apply 2 -3 coats of Kilz and block wetsand each coat with 320 or 400 wet-or-dry sanding paper from an auto store. When you have a perfect base built up, beging to appy your color coat. I like to use Acryllic lacquer, also from the auto supply. Apply 3-5 coats, sanding each coat with progressivly finer wet-or-dry sanding paper, 400 grit then 600 grit. You can then begin to apply a clearcoat, also, Acryllic lacquer, wetsand these clear coats with 600 grit,then 800 grit,then 1000 grit to prepare the surface for polishing. If and when you get this far, let me know and we will talk about polishing.

Good luck.

 

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As WCrisley mentioned, stewmac.com is a excellent source for materials. Another is

 

http://www.reranch.com/

 

Guitar Reranch has some very good reading material on their site, and I actually prefer their nitrocellulose lacquer in aerosol cans to what StewMac sells-- it has a bit heavier body, more solids, and builds up faster.

 

Nitrocellulose lacquer is the traditional finish, but there are a lot of drawbacks to using it-- it is highly toxic and highly flammable-- don't even think about using it indoors, or without the best respirator you can find. I have not used the acrylic lacquer that Rocky mentions, so I don't know whether that's safer or not.

 

The up side to nitrocellulose is that if you screw it up, or damage it, it is very forgiving when it comes to repairs. You can fill chips, cracks and dings with a drop of fresh lacquer or even just a drop of lacquer thinner, and it will melt right in. Once you sand it out and polish it, the repair is invisible.

 

I learned this the hard way-- my second bass is finished with nitrocellulose, and as I was doing the fine sanding, the finish developed several long cracks. I was using wet-or-dry sandpaper, and the bare wood in the electronics cavity soaked up water, swelled, and cracked the lacquer. I touched it up with fresh lacquer, resanded (dry this time) and polished, and you can't see where the cracks were at all.

 

I'll second Rocky's recommendation that you need a good base before you start applying the color and clear gloss-- if there are ANY pits or other problems with the base, don't think that color and clear gloss finish will cover them up-- every flaw will show through. The base coat should be as smooth as glass before you start the finish coats.

 

Good luck, and have fun.

 

Ed

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very time consuming though... but interesting.

 

I find I save a lot of time by first sealing with shellack, then I brush a thick varathane layer or two, then a thinned out varathane layer, and finally a very thinned out varathane layer. The thin varathane smooths itself out to a glass like finish.

I use a foam brush, I found this the best result, I throw them out when finished.

 

If I need to put a base color I do so underneath the varathane.

 

I have very decent results. Though I could do more sanding and surface preparation to get factory finish results.

;^)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An additional note, Lacquer, Nitro or Acryllic, will not cover any flaws in the base/primer. Your base primer coat must be as flawless as you can make it. The final sanding of the basecoat should be done with wet/dry paper no courser than 400 grit or the sanding scratches will show through. The products available online as mentioned above are excellant products but a little more expensive. Take your time, do it right the first time, have fun.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I use any kind of paint or does it have to be lacquer or the others? I thought that I could use anything oil based. The selection of colors is quite limited with the lacquers and such.

 

I bought the kilz today. I will probably do that tomorrow. I need to go get wet/dry sandpaper. I also got tack rags.

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just searched the sherwin-williams site and found a link to automotive acrylics that they sell that I did not see yesterday. Awesome.

 

I was thinking a red like Lincoln had on some of their late 90's Mark VIII's but I bought a deep blue that I really like. Now that I found that site and a local store, I will probably change my mind.

 

decisions...........

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One note; DO NOT use waterwhile sanding at any stage... You have to use more paper but again, if water gets anywhere into the body you have a great possibility of of swelling, then cracking then you using the body as a bat and start smashing stuff. You can use wet sandpaper but have a towel or paper nearby to wipe off any excess before you start to sand.

IMO I would not use anything coarser (is that a word?) than 600 or even 800 for the basecoat sanding if needed. (All of your primer/sealer sanding will determine your final finish so take your time with this (and all the other) sanding stage.

 

Urethanes that are used for automotive give GREAT results but wear a proper mask when using these materials. http://www.brocko.com/albums/Music/FlmBassW.sized.jpg

 

Good Luck

 

Brocko

Don't have a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. ~ Johnny Carson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finishing wood with paint is an art form unto itself. If you want to do it the best advice I can give you is to do a lot of research and sort out what's best for you. There are a lot of options and not every one is going to be ideal. Try out different finishes on a worthless piece of wood (like a 2x4) first and then do it to your bass.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay.....so I got the bass sanded down and found a color that I liked. I tested on a piece of wood (small) and liked the way I thought it would look. I put it on the bass and still liked it. As I was finishing off with the clear coat, the neck that I ordered came in. The neck is very nice from Rondo Music. After I put the neck on, I decided that I didn't like the color. I should have gone with my gut and did the maroon/burgundy that I had originally wanted. The color that I chose was supposed to be "deep blue". It didn't turn out to be the color that I thought when I was in better lighting.

 

I have it stripped again and will give it another go tomorrow. I was kind of waiting around for my new pup's to come in. I ordered a set of EMG passive P/J combo for my Aerodyne and will be using the P pickup from said Aerodyne in the frankenbass.

 

I didn't know what kind of wood that the Slammer bass was made of. The website says it is hardwood. Is plywood considered a hardwood;)?

 

As said many times above, be patient with sanding. I got pissed and seriously messed up some areas on the bass. I am going to have to reshape some of the edges by sanding. Frustration is not good.

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are definatly learning. Congratulations, don't get discouraaged. Remember, the preperation is 90% of the finished product. Plywood most likely is not a hardwood. However, it may have a hardwood veneer top. :thu:

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NEXT! Man can I destroy a piece of wood (ply)! New lesson learned. Don't break out power tools when completely frustrated. If you are looking to do a quick job for instant gratification....go buy a bass the color that you want:)

 

Back to the drawing board. I won an auction of ebay for one of those thousands of basses that are on there for like $9.95. What a bargain. It was a lot cheaper than buying an unfinished body that I could find. So I will give it another go. This time I will be more patient. I am still waiting on my pup's from Musician's Fiend. Apparently stuff can go across the world faster than halfway across the country:(

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't break out power tools when completely frustrated.

I had a student once who didn't like the color of his bass. (It was a cherry sunburst).

Every lesson he would show up with more of the finish sanded off.

 

He must have got frustrated....one week he showed up and he used a belt sander to the bass. He sanded everything, front and back of the neck, right over the frets!

 

I told his mom...."your son has just destroyed his instrument. I guess lessons are over for a while." That's the last time I ever saw him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
I got that bass from ebay and actually really liked the color. I put some new flatss and that neck from Rondo on it could actually become my everyday bass. The thing sounds good. Well out of my practice rig. I hate the way my Fender sounds out of it but love it in my gig rig. Hopefully it won't be the opposite way around. What a bargain for around $100. I will post pics soon.

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you use acrylic, you can get almost any color under the sun.

 

I found this chart on a custom auto supplies page:

80 colors

 

My vote is for: Sparklescent Nightmare Blue http://www.tcpglobal.com/images/4587.jpg

 

:rolleyes:

 

Brocko, that's some mighty fine work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...