Turning a Poly Finished Guitar into a Nitro Finished One

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chilipeppermaniac, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone ever had experience doing this?

    I have had experience sanding drum kits down to bare wood and then repainting them with Automotive finishes such as 3 stage Basecoat, pearl coat, clear coat Pearlescent White with a lacquer clear. They turned out beautiful, But I learned a lot. White and curvy drums are very hard to see full and even coverage of the pearls and clear coats.

    I have often pondered what it would be like to sand off the clear coats from let's say, my Squier Classic Vibe Tele, or My Epi LP and re spray them with Nitro.

    Has anyone ever sanded their Poly off and been able to keep good color and yielded a flawless nitro guitar instead? Or will I likely need to re- color before applying nitro?

    Thanks
     
  2. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    I would go right down to bare wood. "Tabula rasa" and all that.
    I'm not sure if they stain the guitar then clear coat it or if they mix the stain with the poly. That's why I would go to bare wood.
    Get ready to buy lots of sandpaper! Polyurethane is a HARD finish.

    Good luck Bro and show us pictures along the way!
     
  3. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    It looks like a refinish thread in the making!
     
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  4. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    Sure hope so! I love watching the process.
     
  5. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Shreds, no project in immediate future. Was mostly curious. I have seen tutorials on doing burst finishes on guitars via youtube, however. No method for bursts show color and clear in one step scenario.
     
  6. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand the Poly finishes almost need to be peeled or heated off they are so thick. I have a MIM Telecaster body here that got pretty beat up in shipping. It would be a great candidate for stripping. If it was ruined...no loss...
     
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  7. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    What I am referring to is called "toning" the wood. You mix stain and clear coat and spray it on. Then you apply a final clear top coat.

    Too bad you aren't doing a project, I was looking forward to another refinishing thread.
     
  8. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Well-Known Member

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    Back in the mid 90's a buddy of mine stripped his mim strat. Don't remember how he said he did it. It looked cool and sounded awesome though. Also he put a tele humbucker in the neck position. It was one sweet strat.
     
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  9. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    I adopted a seriously trashed '97 Gibson All American II in poly black. Heated and peeled about 95% of the poly off - which came off easy. The last 5% was a pita. Sanding, pore filling, cherry stain, and nitro later... and it looks decent:

    Before.JPG

    After.JPG
     
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  10. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Wow much better
     
  11. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Great job, Sysco. That's the kinda stuff I was looking for with this.
     
  12. Sweetums

    Sweetums Active Member

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    +1 to heating the poly. A heat gun really helps. I got this MIM Fender jazz bass for $40 at a pawn shop because the original black poly was cracked, missing knobs, stickers, missing a string, etc. Heated it up and refinished it, new knobs, new strings.
     

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  13. WavMixer

    WavMixer Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if Dirty Girl was poly, but I gave her the heat gun treatment to get down to actual grain.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  14. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    When did you do that? Wav.

    Those 3 lines in the body are interesting. it looks like wall paneling, ( weird)
     
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  15. WavMixer

    WavMixer Well-Known Member

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  16. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Another heat n peel pic of the same guitar... he-he-he, I scorched its butt-hole... :D

    Sept. 16, 2012 (2).JPG
     
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  17. WavMixer

    WavMixer Well-Known Member

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    This is the EXACT REASON that I prefer wood grain over paint!!! Excellent job Sysco, very well done even with the burnt butt :bowdown:
     
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  18. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    The epiphone "worn" finishes are really strange.... I'd be surprised if they heated and peeled off. I'm in the middle of a complete neck off overhaul of a vintage worn g400. Hard epoxy finish is my guess...Tons of sanding, but it came off.

    The body of my project is extremely light colored "mahogany ". The neck is a completely different grade of mahogany.

    Syscokid....do you remember what you used for grain filler?
     
  19. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    NORTON ! What are you hiding from us ?
     
  20. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Norton, I would think an Epi WORN finish would be like a Gibson Worn finish with Barely ANY lacquer on it.

    SO,I am confused.
     

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