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First Project... Best Paint Removal Technique


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Hi All,

I am just about to embark on my first guitar project!

As it is my first attempt I am not spending too much cash (due to the high probability of disaster!).

So I brought an old Squire Strat body from Ebay, it is a ply body (very cheap!!). The previous owner has sanded the old finish (not completely, just to roughen) and then sprayed it grey (it looks bad!). There is no clear coat on the guitar.

I can't figure out the best method of taking the body back to the wood, I have read the tutorials on sanding, stripping and heat removal, but cant figure out which to attempt!

Does any one have any advice? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Try them all and make your own mind up.

I tend to like heatgun and paint scraper followed by sandpaper. Sometimes it's just easier to sand, depends on the finish. I disslike chemical removers, however I do use them sometimes for tricky areas, but they do make a mess and you cannot touch the stuff.

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Here are my thoughts. I tend to not like chemical strippers, but more than likely the current gray finish is from a spray can and will come off easily with one of the more mild strippers. But the original clear coat that is still there should be polyester which won't be touched by anything by the harshest stripper. Remove the current paint, clean and lightly sand the original paint just to roughen it up and then paint over that. Use the original paint as a nice primer/base coat.

If you want to go back to straight wood I would go with a heat gun and scraper and then sand. These guitars have a thick sealer coat on them that I would just sand to and not go all the way back to the bare wood. Use the stuff that is on there to save you work.

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It would be cheaper in the long run to reproduce the body using the original as a template. The amount of money spent on chemical strippers or time spent with a heat gun and sanding back the polyester soon racks up to that at which you might as well consider a replacement. Just saying....different angle, that is all....

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