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Refinish Fretboard...


~Maxx
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This is the second time I've been here asking about this subject (see my thread from several years back ---> here ). You guys steered me right the first time - and I thank you. No doubt someone can help me with this as well...

So I have another Strat which I'm prepping to be refinished. My goal is basically to make it a copy of my current Strat, which is going to require stripping the fretboard in order do paint/dye it black. Last time I removed the frets which allowed me to get all of the finish off the fretboard before staining it. Then i just had new frets put back on. It was worth every penny and came out better than I thought it would.

This time however, there are a couple of new obstacles. First off my uncle just had the frets replaced not six months before he traded the guitar to me (for a really old PC - I came out on the better end of that deal if you ask me!). He had the jumbo frets put on, which I love - so I'm finding it hard to justify a refret. In addition my fiance' seems to think that any significant amount of money we spend should go toward our upcoming wedding. So she'll really flip if I dump more than a few bucks at a time into this thing. Go figure! :D

So does anyone know how I might go about refinishing this thing without refretting? The neck and body will be finished with a black stain (two or three coats to makes it nice and dark, but still leaves the relief of the wood grain showing), but I wouldn't be opposed to actually painting the fretboard if it would hide the areas around the frets that I won't be able to sand completely. Perhaps a coat of primer might help as well? One thing that would be nice about painting as opposed to staining is that the fret dots would be covered this time (you can still see them through the stain on my other Strat - bugs me sometimes).

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanx a bunch!

By the way - It came with the Lace Sensor p'ups with the white housing. I figured I could just spray paint them black for now - but does anyone have any other suggestions?

~Maxx

Edited by ~Maxx
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  • 2 weeks later...

So who else is in the midst of this ice storm? Sheesh!

I've gone ahead and sanded down the fretboard - which, by the way, was entirely too much work - and lightly primed it. I managed to get two coats of paint on today before the weather got bad. It seems to have done the trick. There are still a few flaws right up against some of the frets, but I'm willing to live with that. It's black after all, so they're not likely to show as much. I read somewhere that taping off the fretboard and applying some auto wax will make the frets easy to clean off after refinishing. So once the paint cures I'm going to do that before proceeding.

A couple of things I'm wondering about though... I've decided to go with a satin clear coat on this one in hopes that it might help prevent my hand from sticking on the neck when I play. Can I assume that I'll need to clear coat the fret board with a separate treatment of glossy finish? Or is there some chance that I'll be okay using satin all the way around? I'm also wondering how best to go about replacing the fret dots on the side of the neck. I allowed them to be covered on my other guitar, and (while I get by without them) I've often wished I hadn't. I still haven't come up with anything regarding the pickup housings either (changing them from white to black).

Thanx a million for any advice! If I get a new camera for Christmas I'll post some pics. All the best!

~Maxx

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