1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Removing poly paint?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Coloradotwanger, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Coloradotwanger

    Coloradotwanger Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    312
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado Cattle Country
    I have a black 2004 Fender MIA jazz bass i bought some time ago.It has some small chips and dings from the previous owner.I would like to have it refinished in nitro vintage white/butter cream.I hear getting the thick poly paint off is a chore though?Does anybody know if using a heat gun REALLY works for removing the poly paint?
     
  2. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,095
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    Kansas
    A heat gun works pretty dang good, but you have to be careful not to scorch the wood underneath. I've never stripped paint off an MIA so it could be a different style/blend/consistency, but the couple Squiers I did had that thick horrible stuff on there. I used a stripper of some sort because I didn't know about the heat gun at the time. This was 12 years ago I think. I'd recommend the stripper too. It's nasty messy stuff, but you pour it on, let it sit and then scrape it off with a plastic puddy knife or the like. Be prepared to have more than one puddy knife because it will melt it. Same goes for binding or side dots if you plan to strip the neck. It'll melt those right out!

    I'd highly recommend either one of those before sanding. Don't sand it!
     
  3. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    4,495
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere out on that horizon
    I took the poly off a Squier Strat with a heat gun, worked pretty well. Keep it moving so as not to scorch the wood.

    You'll need to give it a real good sanding after the finish is off to get rid of the sealer, though.

    - D
     
  4. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    1,404
    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Location:
    Lake View
    Sometimes the sealer comes right off with the top coat. It depends on the finish process.

    The one I stripped was from the 80s was polyester sealer with polyurethane color coat. The only issue I had was that I caught the grain with the corner of the putty knife and tore a tiny triangle gouge in the wood. The refin was a solid color so a little epoxy filler fixed it without being visible.

    But you got good advice above, keep the heat gun moving and be careful with the corners of the putty knife.
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    I can't help but think of how old wooden windows are often stripped. They use a steam booth. Supposedly this floats all the paint so that it can be removed easily. Anyone ever try this on a guitar body or neck?
     
  6. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,557
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    dublin
    i stripped the paint off a squier body last weekend; only took about 40 mins with a heat gun but as strangerny above says, it's another hour with a sander to get the sealer off - 80 grit first, then 120 then 200. i'm going to do an oil and wax finish on mine. the edges inside the cutaway was the biggest pain because you'll have to do that by hand.
     
  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    8,375
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Antelope, California
    I remember trying to strip the poly off an Epiphone LP body - heat didn't do a thing. Ended up having to sand it off.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.