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Sanding A Sunburst Finish - Heatgun Or Sanding?


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Greetings- New to the forum.

I have an old Aria Pro II guitar that has a Sunburst finish on it. It's kind of a special guitar to me as it is kind of shaped like a Yamaha SG2000 and has neck middle and bridge soapbar P-90s in it.

This guitar has several large nicks in it where it looks like a bit of wood is missing (not just the finish).

I am thinking of sanding it and just putting a natural Tung oil and beeswax finish on it as a way to repair/ cover the nicks in the guitar. It also has a painted neck (back of the neck)- like a dark red/wine color that I am thinking of sanding and removing and just applying tung oil to.

I'm choosing this type of finish because it's easy to do, looks good, and is uncomplicated and since I am a novice, it suits me fine.

Other than time consuming, does this sound doable? Is there anything special I should know about sanding a guitar with a sunburst finish? Do you recommend using a heatgun? or just straight sanding?

The reason I am refinishing it is because I've heard that if I took this guitar to a repair guy and told him to refinish the guitar/ repair the nicks it would be quite expensive- even just to repair the nicks I'm sure would cost like $500 bucks maybe.

Anyway, thanks all for any responses.

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+1...leave it

personally I'd leave it, you never know what you'll find under a finish & sunburst's are no different. The front might be just a veneer covering plywood, it might be just the top layer of plywood, the sides & back might have knots or filler...you could open a whole can o' worms. It can also be tricky removing certain finishes, I spend about 3 days chipping away a thick black finish from an Ibanez Roadstar body once because neither heat or stripper would touch it & even then the paint had stained the body black so I covered in a solid colour anyway.

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