Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Stratocaster, refinish or leave it as it is ?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    11
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 6/0
    Given: 10/0
    Rep Power
    0

    Stratocaster, refinish or leave it as it is ?

    Hey guys, i have this beautiful 2018 american special stratocaster in sonic blue, bought it new and intend to keep it forever, HOWEVER, i didn't expect the paint to be this sort of thick plastic coating (polyurethane) which i now reckon will never age (at least not like the vintage strats).

    I'm considering a NITRO lacquer refinish (professionally done), and i'm aware i'll be devaluing the instrument, just wanted to know what are your opinions on this because it's always good to see things from different perspectives and i might be missing something worth considering.

    PS: i've played for years with my father's 70s sunburst strat and i love it, this is why i got a strat with big headstock in the first place, it's supposed to be my definite/number one guitar


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    237
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 218/3
    Given: 111/3
    Rep Power
    4
    I also don't like those thick plastic-y feeling poly finishes.

    Some poly finishes are ok, like my older Deluxe Nashville Tele has. (sunburst)
    It's poly but seems thin-ish, and doesn't feel like the whole thing was dipped in plastic.
    Being poly it will never "age" like nitro, but I'm ok with that.

    If you are keeping it forever, then sure, strip it and have a nitro finish applied.

    Only caveat would be, if you go for a transparent or semi transparent finish, like a sunburst,
    you might be surprised at what is hiding under that solid color. (good or bad)

    If you have it refinished in a solid opaque color, then it won't matter what the wood underneath looks like.

    FWIW I stripped a cheap pawnshop Strat type guitar for the same reason. (thick plastic finish)
    It ended up being plywood, so I did a solid opaque finish.

    Good luck whatever you decide!

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    The world is full of people that are right.

  3. #3
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Mid-South USA
    Posts
    11,229
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 774/32
    Given: 775/14
    Rep Power
    22
    I wouldn't refinish it.
    I would instead trade it for a reissue that has the nitro finish.
    GL,
    T

    4 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Courage is being Scared to Death, but Saddling up anyway! (John Wayne)

    Terry

  4. #4
    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NEPA
    Posts
    797
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 173/1
    Given: 121/0
    Rep Power
    4
    Have fun removing the old poly. Not easy.

    It would be much easier to buy another body and finish it how you want. You can get generic strat bodies as low as $45.

    5 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  5. #5
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    171
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 77/1
    Given: 177/1
    Rep Power
    3
    I agree that refinishing is not the way to go. The easiest thing might be to get another body, either prefinished or finished to your specs, and then rebuild the guitar with that. That way you will still have the original body along with whatever value that has.

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  6. #6
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    6,042
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,011/1
    Given: 788/1
    Rep Power
    16
    If it's just the "too shiny" thing that bothers you (I don't like it either). You can take a Scotch-Brite pad and carefully scuff the finish a bit. Then, give it a light buffing to taste. It will take some time, but will dull the finish enough to make it look much like a nitrocellulose finish. I've done this on a few Epiphone Les Pauls and they look much better, IMO.

    Edit: Here's an example of one.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/9uV56

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by The Dude; 06-22-2019 at 12:28 AM.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  7. #7
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    La Jolla CA, Hanalei, Kauai
    Posts
    2,935
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 245/0
    Given: 29/1
    Rep Power
    14
    There is a plethora of boutique replacements bodies out there in infinite nitro colors if you look. You could also sell your new USA body for decent money. I guarantee someone wants it. Not everyone has the same asthetics...

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by olddawg; 06-22-2019 at 12:39 AM.

  8. #8
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    14,865
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,911/4
    Given: 2,149/0
    Rep Power
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    If it's just the "too shiny" thing that bothers you (I don't like it either). You can take a Scotch-Brite pad and carefully scuff the finish a bit. Then, give it a light buffing to taste. It will take some time, but will dull the finish enough to make it look much like a nitrocellulose finish. I've done this on a few Epiphone Les Pauls and they look much better, IMO.
    This works. But you have to use the "fine" scotch bright pad. The white one.

    But I think it's the "age to yellow pea green" thing that the OP is wanting. Something the catalyzed finish is never going to do.

    Have you seen the finish on some of the "distressed" guitars coming out of the Fender custom shops? I swear they look like they were done in a couple of coats with rattle cans. It's pathetic. You can actually do a very good job with rattle cans, but these look like two coats of hardware store Krylon straight to the wood with two coats of spray can lacquer on top left unpolished. Shameful.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

  9. #9
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    6,042
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,011/1
    Given: 788/1
    Rep Power
    16
    Oh yes. I agree- the fine Scotch-Brite pad. And, best to start on the back till you get the hang of it and see what it's going to do. Don't be afraid, you can always buff it back smoother. That polyurethane finish is thick. I also added a link above, so you can see the effect of doing this. As I said, I have done this myself and am quite happy with the results.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by The Dude; 06-22-2019 at 01:03 AM.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    11
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 6/0
    Given: 10/0
    Rep Power
    0

    Thumbs up

    thank you all for the replies, you gave me a lot to think about ! I should have also mentioned that i want to keep it sonic blue, it's the finish that bothers me

    Quote Originally Posted by galaxiex View Post
    I also don't like those thick plastic-y feeling poly finishes.

    Some poly finishes are ok, like my older Deluxe Nashville Tele has. (sunburst)
    It's poly but seems thin-ish, and doesn't feel like the whole thing was dipped in plastic.
    Being poly it will never "age" like nitro, but I'm ok with that.
    I also got a tele with poly finish but at least it is possible to see the wood grain, so i imagine it's either not as thick or simply transparent

    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I wouldn't refinish it.
    I would instead trade it for a reissue that has the nitro finish.
    GL,
    T
    There's one issue with my father's guitar, i has the three bolt on neck wich is sort of unreliable, 4 bolt is the way to go

    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    Have fun removing the old poly. Not easy.

    It would be much easier to buy another body and finish it how you want. You can get generic strat bodies as low as $45.
    I wouldn't be removing it myself, this would be done by a professional who's proven to deliver good paint jobs, he quoted me 150€ and 3 months to get it done (He's friends with a friend of mine who plays for a living).

    As for the generic strat bodies, i would need to check the quality differences between mine and aftermarket

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  11. #11
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    14,865
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,911/4
    Given: 2,149/0
    Rep Power
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by brunobliss View Post
    I wouldn't be removing it myself, this would be done by a professional who's proven to deliver good paint jobs, he quoted me 150€ and 3 months to get it done (He's friends with a friend of mine who plays for a living).
    If you have good reason to believe in this guy that's an amazing price for Sonic blue with nitro finish over existing or after stripping. A Warmoth body (alder, Sonic blue, nitro) would be about $390 US!!!

    The original paint on the vintage instruments was enamel (a vague term that could mean a lot of things actually) made by "Duco" (?) I think that was the name. And then plain nitro on top. Enamels of different types have their own age and discoloration properties. And then lacquer has it's own. I seriously doubt that one could hope for a vintage correct finish that would age like the original being applied by anyone now. JM2C.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    11
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 6/0
    Given: 10/0
    Rep Power
    0
    Well i been giving this a lot of thought and after considering it all i might leave it as is, maybe in the future i'll just end up getting my own custom shop strat and make it right. For now i'm keeping this all original <3


    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  13. #13
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    14,865
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,911/4
    Given: 2,149/0
    Rep Power
    29
    Well there are still options. Maybe in five or ten years when it has some scratches and dings, the "new guitar smell" has worn off and if you find it's not becoming a really expensive collector model you could "distress" it and spray on a coat of amber tinted finish to get close to that sickly green color everybody loves Sure, it's fake mojo, but it still looks cool.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    11
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 6/0
    Given: 10/0
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Well there are still options. Maybe in five or ten years when it has some scratches and dings, the "new guitar smell" has worn off and if you find it's not becoming a really expensive collector model you could "distress" it and spray on a coat of amber tinted finish to get close to that sickly green color everybody loves Sure, it's fake mojo, but it still looks cool.
    knowing myself very well, the idea won't go away until i do something about it only time will tell

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  15. #15
    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Great Black Swamp
    Posts
    2,166
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 359/0
    Given: 915/1
    Rep Power
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by brunobliss View Post
    Well i been giving this a lot of thought and after considering it all i might leave it as is, maybe in the future i'll just end up getting my own custom shop strat and make it right. For now i'm keeping this all original <3

    Oh, now that's real nice guitar porn

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


  16. #16
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    14,865
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,911/4
    Given: 2,149/0
    Rep Power
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by eschertron View Post
    Oh, now that's real nice guitar porn
    I hadn't even considered that angle. It's on the bed. It's strap is off the buttons. The lights are down low...

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

  17. #17
    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Great Black Swamp
    Posts
    2,166
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 359/0
    Given: 915/1
    Rep Power
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    I hadn't even considered that angle. It's on the bed. It's strap is off the buttons. The lights are down low...
    Yeah, it's the old lecher in me, I guess...

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


  18. #18
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    14,865
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 1,911/4
    Given: 2,149/0
    Rep Power
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by eschertron View Post
    Yeah, it's the old lecher in me, I guess...
    Gotta give you props for actually experiencing that sensation looking at a guitar (in any context). I mean, we joke about it, of course. But you actually saw, and cognitively processed the connection. That's a guitar man if I ever knew one

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Never bet your life on somebody else doing their job." SoulFetish's good friend

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

    "Back to the amp. It makes horrible sounds when I play my guitar thru it... because I suck at playing guitar." Mike6158

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Class D - ok to leave on channel unused?
    By Guitarist in forum Theory & Design
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-24-2016, 12:11 PM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-23-2015, 03:33 AM
  3. How to leave my '72 Bassman ?
    By Chevy in forum Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Repair
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-20-2014, 05:03 PM
  4. stratocaster
    By popoahi in forum Guitar Tech
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-12-2014, 10:44 PM
  5. How to refinish mahogany body?
    By casey73 in forum Guitar Tech
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-16-2008, 04:01 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •