Removing the Finish from a Baja

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Butch Snyder, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi all,

    I have a 2006 Baja Tele in Desert Sand. I have read where the original desert sand finishes were notorious for chipping; so much so, that some guys have gone ahead and removed the finish altogether, with a putty knife.

    I am thinking of removing the finish and staining with something to give it a nice light amber color and go with a kind of Nocaster motif; but not the light Nocaster blonde color.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

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  3. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Holic

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    If it were me I would sell it and buy a different guitar instead of devaluing the Baja. I like to keep things stock and I never buy anyone elses hack job.
     
    RodeoTex likes this.
  4. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    I don't recall - are the desert sand Bajas a translucent or opaque finish? If the latter, you may find that the wood doesn't lend itself well to staining (i.e. obvious mismatches of wood color/grain, etc.) and you may end up wanting to apply an opaque finish.
     
  5. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    I would agree if you don't know for sure that your Baja is a "keeper" - because you are almost definitely going to lower any resale value.
     
  6. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    If it's a poly finish...it's could be a lot of work. I once removed a poly finish from a late 90's American Standard, it wasn't easy. It was all but impervious to stripper and required a hand sander and really rough paper.
    A reissue nitro finish I once removed literally fell off the guitar with paint stripper.

    You might also remove the finish to find that the wood underneath isn't matched well... CD1CB430-A59C-4C1E-A0ED-2B8859016B58.jpeg
    An exaggeration, but it was the first mismatched Tele body pic I found.
     
  7. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    It was a hack job when I bought it. Bought it at GC a couple of years ago. The original owner tried to relic it by sanding the finish off much of the neck. Feels great though. He also hacked up the electronics. I bought a new control assembly, 3-way and no S1, for it.

    This finish is chipping like crazy. I could probably remove it with a putty knife pretty easily; like others have.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
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  8. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Holic

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    In my opinion, if it was a keeper you wouldn't be ripping the finish off.
     
  9. Dick Hutchings

    Dick Hutchings TDPRI Member

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    Being a keeper doesn't mean it was owned by some guitar God and will be worth millions if you only left that crappy finish on it. They spit these instruments out like candy. I say, have fun with your guitar and do what you want with it.

    Or sell it, because it's worth so much money and we do we need expensive guitars anyway. Some of my favorites I got for under $100.
     
  10. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    This guitar is one of the best feeling guitars I have ever owned. That's why I bought it. That said, the finish just keeps chipping and chipping. I guess I'll leave it alone and let it do what it does.
     
  11. Jon S.

    Jon S. TDPRI Member

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    To paraphrase Bonnie Raight, it's not a porcupine - take off your kid gloves and share pics of the stripped and refinished guitar!
     
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  12. whoanelly15

    whoanelly15 Tele-Holic

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  13. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I keep waiting for the finish on my '09 to peel off in sheets, as it reputedly must, at some point. When that day happens- and the guitar lives a busy life- I'll re-finish it, without a second thought. It's a workhorse. My most reliable and versatile Tele ever.
     
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  14. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    If you get the paint off then you will need to take the sealer off as well in order for your stain to take into the wood and even then it may come out splotchy . That sealer will be worse than the poly color coat. I would suggest to buy or mix the color you want for the guitar with lacquer and shoot the tinted lacquer over the sealer.
     
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  15. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I don't know what type "Desert Sand" they put on the Baja 50s. The two types of 50s Desert Sand were opaque.
     
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  16. takauya

    takauya TDPRI Member

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    Do it! For me Baja is a perfect guitar for modding. I don't like the stock pups and switches, etc, but I just like the neck so much that I bought another one. Can't wait to replace all the parts.
    I don't think Baja would hold its value in used market either way. I payed for each of mine much less than half of the retail.
     
  17. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    The thing is, the finish just chips with her I want to or not. Another chip happened on the lower about the cut away yesterday. I’m pretty ginger with handling my guitars. I don’t slim around but it seems if the wind blows right this guitar just chips.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. wblynch

    wblynch Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Go for it. Heck you can buy a factory new Fender finished body for $250 or less if it gets too messed up.
     
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