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Removing silkscreen logo from bass body


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Hello,

I've just bought a Steinberger XT-2, partly for a tribute band project, and I want to remove the "Spirit by Steinberger" branding from the body (basically, I'm trying to make it look more like a Steinberger L2). I think it might be silk screened, but I'm not at all confident. I've seen lots about how to do this on headstock decals (understandably), but since this on part of the instrument that's painted, I wasn't sure if that would make a difference to how I go about doing it. Obviously I just want to leave plain black behind, and restore the gloss finish, so it looks like the logo was never there.steinberger.jpg

If it's not realistic (without refinishing the whole body - which I'm not willing to do) then second prize would be to create a 'Steinberger' sticker (somewhat like the L2 used to have) and use it to cover the logo. This is less than ideal, partly because in order to cover it up fully it would have to be bigger than the original and not quite in the right location, and partly because the bass I'm trying to replicate didn't have the sticker on.

I have some 0000 grade steel wool, and was thinking to try removing the logo with that, and then buffing it (not sure with what though - I have some Scratch X stuff, possibly that would work?) to restore the finish. But, not knowing how the logo was applied, I'm not sure whether I'll need to go all the way through the gloss poly finish and down to the black paint to remove it, and therefore not have anything left to buff (and therefore presumably need to refinish that area - and I've no idea if it's possible to do that without it looking bad).

Any thoughts anyone has about how to achieve this are greatly appreciated.

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If it's silk screened there's two issues that have to be addressed.

First, is there a layer of clear lacquer over the logo? If you have to scrape the clearcoat off, blending a new layer can be difficult. Even if you sand the entire surface matte the edge may end up visible at least at certain angles.

Second, has the white paint diluted the black and partially blended in? If so, you'd have to take quite a lot off which poses a risk of sanding through the paint.

It looks like the logo is just white paint silk screened over the glossy black. I'm sayin this because the "R"  has worn out a bit. Try to feel if the letters are proud with your fingertips. You can try to scrape that "R" a bit more with a scalpel or razor blade - very carefully, you don't want to dig any grooves! Use the blade like a scraper, working your way from the outside in. If that works, continue with the entire area. Of you can try with the steel wool right away, although I suppose the bolder letters would be a pain to remove with that.

If you can scrape the text off, the next step would be to sand the area matte starting with some premium quality paper. 3M makes some very good papers that shouldn't clog or stick even when used dry. Wet-or-dry paper can also be used with a drop of soap added to the water. Start from about 600 grit to remove the scraping marks, working in one direction only. Continue with higher grits changing the sanding direction by 45 deg at every grit change. After 2000 you can move to a scratch removing compound and finally buff and wax.

 

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3 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

If it's silk screened there's two issues that have to be addressed.

First, is there a layer of clear lacquer over the logo? If you have to scrape the clearcoat off, blending a new layer can be difficult. Even if you sand the entire surface matte the edge may end up visible at least at certain angles.

Second, has the white paint diluted the black and partially blended in? If so, you'd have to take quite a lot off which poses a risk of sanding through the paint.

It looks like the logo is just white paint silk screened over the glossy black. I'm sayin this because the "R"  has worn out a bit. Try to feel if the letters are proud with your fingertips. You can try to scrape that "R" a bit more with a scalpel or razor blade - very carefully, you don't want to dig any grooves! Use the blade like a scraper, working your way from the outside in. If that works, continue with the entire area. Of you can try with the steel wool right away, although I suppose the bolder letters would be a pain to remove with that.

If you can scrape the text off, the next step would be to sand the area matte starting with some premium quality paper. 3M makes some very good papers that shouldn't clog or stick even when used dry. Wet-or-dry paper can also be used with a drop of soap added to the water. Start from about 600 grit to remove the scraping marks, working in one direction only. Continue with higher grits changing the sanding direction by 45 deg at every grit change. After 2000 you can move to a scratch removing compound and finally buff and wax.

 

Thanks so much for your reply. The area feels completely smooth to the touch, so presumably there is some clear coat over the text. From certain angles I can see the edge of the lettering, and say it looks more recessed than embossed actually (but I could be wrong). But in any case it feels smooth to the touch.

I haven’t dared try to scrape away at it yet. I did try to use a bit of the scratch removing compound on the area just to see if it had any impact on the lettering - and it had none whatsoever.

If the lettering is under the clear coat then presumably removing it means having to recoat that area afterwards, and I’ve no idea if it’s possible to do that without it always looking messy. Unless there is clear poly underneath the lettering as well? I’ve no idea if it would have been done that way.

Regarding whether the white paint has blended with the black… that hadn’t occurred to me. Good point. Do you think maybe doing this and leaving a good finish isn’t feasible?

Another idea that just occurred to me is trying to cover the lettering with black paint rather than remove it. Although presumably I’m still left with the problem of trying to put a clear coat on and blend with the existing finish.

 

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16 minutes ago, Peter Wright said:

Another idea that just occurred to me is trying to cover the lettering with black paint rather than remove it

I was thinking similarly. Actually my thought was very ghetto: Use a black Sharpie! If it looks too bad it comes off with alcohol, maybe some polishing needed after that. A layer of black paint over a clear coat would look similar to having a glass painted black on one side and patched on the other side. That would definitely show no matter what!

17 minutes ago, Peter Wright said:

The area feels completely smooth to the touch, so presumably there is some clear coat over the text.

That's what I feared. If it doesn't come off at all with either 0000 steel wool or a mild abrasive buffing compound then it's definitely under a clearcoat. In that case I'd leave it as is or go the least destructive way (Sharpie).

It is possible to sand and scrape the clearcoat and the text off, then sand it all matte and apply a new layer of clear. But there's the risk of sanding through the black as well although you might be able to blend the new clearcoat by sanding the old clearcoat matte. But there's lot's of "if" and the location is very visible. If you want an L2 instead of the XT-2, selling the current one and getting what you want would be much easier and potentially even more cost effective. The clear Steinberger uses isn't just some rattle can stuff you can spray on your porch.

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4 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

I was thinking similarly. Actually my thought was very ghetto: Use a black Sharpie!

Haha! Nice thought, hadn't thought about that. Might try it!

4 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

If you want an L2 instead of the XT-2, selling the current one and getting what you want would be much easier and potentially even more cost effective. The clear Steinberger uses isn't just some rattle can stuff you can spray on your porch.

Yeah, I don't have the budget for an L2, it's pretty much an order of magnitude more valuable than the XT-2. I think I will go for either the Sharpie option or the sticker option. Thanks so much for your advice :)

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