View Full Version : guitar refin ?

03-20-2005, 06:02 PM
I recently got a '57 Fender Duosonic. It has been painted over by a former owner and covered with stickers.

My question is how do I remove the top layer of paint (latex I think) without damaging the origional finish underneath it ?

03-20-2005, 11:16 PM
It should peel right off if it's latex.

And is the underlying finish the original finish?

It's hard to recommend a way to go without that knowledge.

03-21-2005, 05:12 AM
Ask a pro. As long as those are two different kinds of finish, thereīll be paintstrippers thatīll let you strip one layer without damaging the other.

03-21-2005, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by Cathedral
It should peel right off if it's latex.

And is the underlying finish the original finish?

It's hard to recommend a way to go without that knowledge.

I haven't tried to peel it off yet. The underneath seems to be the OG based on the color (it was a student guitar 22 1/2 in. scale that only came in one or two colors). I'll try pulling a sticker or two today and find out what happens.

I hope the origional finish isn't all fucked up underneath. This guitar could be worth some bucks if I can restore it.

(I got it for $50 from my neighbor who doesn't really play anymore)

03-21-2005, 02:12 PM
If it is a latex paint and it has been on the guitar for a long period of time it may not peel off.
It will be cured and probably will be very hard.

In that case i would suggest a product called "Lift Off #5", and it is about $12.00 for a 22 oz. spray bottle.

It removes fresh latex paint as well as old dried paint from all surfaces. It removes all types of latex based paint pretty fast.
But i strongly suggest that you test it on a small area on the back if there is doubt as to what is underneath it.

A good polishing with very very fine sanding paper (2000 grit or higher) and some rubbing compound with a buffer will bring that high gloss back if it needs it. You will have to take the guitar apart to do this though, so you can avoid snagging the buff pad on the hardware and pickups. (You need to understand how to use the buffer around edges. you don't want it to snag it on the sharp routed corners)

Or you can rub it out by hand if you don't have a buffer, but it will take some muscle and a bit more time.

Then hit it with some polish and put it back together, you're done.

This is only a rough guide though, because I personally don't know whats actually on that guitar.
Make sure you do a small test area on the back first.

Roth On!

03-21-2005, 02:48 PM
I would make an attempt with Naptha.

Strip the body of the neck and parts and bag them together in the case.

Now with the bare body you can use Naptha soaked in a sponge to remove the decals, lifting at an edge with a safety razor, then peeling and soaking from underneath with the sponge.

Naptha will evaporate in 2 mins completely, it is alright if it gets into bare wood so use liberally.

Once you got the surface cleaned of all crap, take some burlap or rough cotton material like jeans denim and start rubbing in a circular motion. If it starts to loosen up you can use one of those drill-mounted 4 or 6" diameter cotton DICO polishing wheels soaked in the Naptha and maybe some Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound to grind thru the housepaint to the original surface.

I have redone a few of these Duosonics, Mustangs and Musicmasters (a single-pickup Duosonic). People cutout upper-horn cutaways in 'em, they sand them down and repaint them like this and I have yet to get down to an original finish this way.

Usually the case is that they've felt it necessary to sand down to the bare wood as I think you will find is the case with this piece.