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Prepping a stained guitar for an opaque refinish

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Rebirtha, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Rebirtha

    Rebirtha TDPRI Member

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    Hello all. I have a project tele body that's I've refinished a couple of times. Itching for a new project, I'm going to refinish it again.

    It's an ash body, stained with minwax (walnut), with about 4-5 coats of tung oil applied. I'd like to refinish it with an opaque white Nitro paint and clear. I'm not all that concerned with perfection, just FYI.

    I'm sure at one point I used grain filler on this body, but I'm not confident enough to assume that it doesn't need it again.

    Should I sand down, use grain filler, sanding sealer, primer, then paint? Or should I just lightly sand, primer and paint? Any recommendations for inexpensive Home Depot/Lowes/Woodcraft items I could get locally to avoid ordering online?

    I plan on using Reranch to guide me. Any advice is much appreciated! Cheers!
     
  2. bier

    bier TDPRI Member

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    If this were my guitar here's what I'd do.
    Block sand with 220 to flatten things out and scuff the surface.
    Get some Bullseye dewaxed shellac locally, and brush on a coat or two
    Sand this with 220
    Apply grain filler just to ensure you get the flattest surface you can. Timbermate or AquaCoat should be available at Woodcraft
    Sand that, and then move to primer and paint. Woodcraft should have Mohawk aerosols, and Minwax Lacquer might be available at other stores local to you.

    In summary, no need to go to bare wood, but since you're refinishing I'd take all steps to get you towards a damn near flawless finish.
     
    Peegoo likes this.
  3. Rebirtha

    Rebirtha TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, Bier. Sounds like a solid plan
     
  4. bier

    bier TDPRI Member

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    You got it. And since i didn't mention it in my post, the shellac will more or less seal in the old finish, acting as a barrier coat to your next steps. Since you previously used an oil, I'd take this precaution.
     
    Boreas likes this.
  5. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    220 may be too aggressive remember you're smoothing finish, not wood. 220 will leave scratches that print through the next coating. I'd start with 320 or 400 - actually on a good exisiting finish 600 will be enough to get some tooth for the next coat to adhere. Grey nylon abrasive pads from Klingspor are 600 grit. When you've block-sanded it see if you still see grain divots in bright sunlight and you'll know if a grain filler is required again. Shellac is a great barrier over old finishes, but might not be necessary with a good primer.
     
  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Since I have never done iit, the idea of applying solvent based lacquer over anything with "wax" or "oil" in its name scares me. If it was my guitar I would strip it to bare wood with chemical stripper, start sanding at whatever grits I felt were necessary to get as much of the old stuff off as possible, go up to 320. I would seal with either shellac or vinyl sealer (which is what I use for all my lacquer finishes), then spray the color and clear lacquers as usual.

    It might be that you don't have to do all of this but why risk it?

    Edit to add, if I went to bare wood I would probably re do the pore filling. Once again, it might not be needed but why skip the step only to find out it was.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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