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Thread: Strippers.....

  1. #1
    That Video Guy crgtr's Avatar
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    Cool Strippers.....

    Ok. Got your attention. Does anyone have any experience with stripping the finish off the top of an SE? I know it's got a veneer. Not sure if any of the standard strippers would damage the veneer. The SE is blue (Sergio) and must be changed! I know a guy whose wife spilled nail polish remover on his DGT and it removed the "burst" from the finish. It actually looked pretty cool. Anyway, before I start dumping toxic chemicals on the SE I thought I'd ask 1st.
    Of course there's always the lighter fluid "Hendrix" finish remover........
    Chris Reynolds...Nashvegas TN
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  2. #2
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I'm not speaking from experience, but I'm pretty sure the ONLY way to remove the finish is by using the lighter fluid technique. I'm just sayin.

    Oh, and make sure you have the video camera running!

  3. #3
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    The SE's use acrylic urathane topcoat so naptha isn't going to remove it. We sand the finish off if needed, but there may be some kind of chemical that will do the trick.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    There was this nasty stuff called gasket remover that car people use to melt gaskets off engine parts that might do it, haven't gone looking for it in years and it might be outlawed now but I was able to melt the poly finish off a Pilot bass with it. Did a fantastic job.

    When I sanded off the finish of that SE CU24 this summer it wasn't too hard except for the tight areas around the neck pocket which required a few margaritas and hand sanding.

    Another guy who's thinking about an SE project? Between you, Hopeful, and Wedge there just might be enough people for a Design on a Dimebag Contest! I just have to come up with a prize.....

  5. #5
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    IMHO, with the thin veneer on top, you're probably going to be better off planning on a solid color - in which case, you just need to rough up the highly polished urethane and start spraying!

    However, if you really want to try, a product called Soy Gel has been recommended on other message boards to melt the urethane off chemically. Supposedly since it's a soy derivative it's not as caustic as some chemicals, easier on the lungs, etc. It's worth a shot!


    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Another guy who's thinking about an SE project? Between you, Hopeful, and Wedge there just might be enough people for a Design on a Dimebag Contest! I just have to come up with a prize.....
    I wish I had the time to get in on something like this!!
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  6. #6
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    Here in the UK we have a product called Nitromors that will strip pretty much any kind of finish. When it's used properly, you can just scrape the softened finish off and leave bare wood. On the downside, it will also soften things like fingerboard dots and any other plastic you might want to keep.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Oh yeah... Forgot to mention; the SE I have was a transparent top guitar and under the top coat color and poly there was another layer of poly/sealer that the color was shot over...So if you're thinking about doing something like stain you'll have to remove that too, and as John mentioned the veneer is super thin so be extra careful around the edges. I doubt you'd be able to really sand or strip the base stain color out without getting down through the veneer and into the plain maple cap.

    If you have any questions or need anything don't hesitate to ask.

  8. #8
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    The maple veneer on the SE I stripped had no color on the actual top. It was all color on too of poly... Should be good to go with a stripping agent.

    What ya planning CR???

  9. #9
    That Video Guy crgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeful Sinner View Post
    What ya planning CR???
    I have a Santana here at the school I work at that the boys want to refin. Blue isn't the school color.
    Chris Reynolds...Nashvegas TN
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  10. #10
    Junior Member Duffy's Avatar
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    As has been already said, stripping the finish can be risky.

    Another thing to consider is that if you are just going to prepare the existing finish by "roughing it up", I would use very fine sandpaper. Since the existing finish is acrylic urethane, you have to use acrylic urethane to re-spray it. Also, I personally would spray the prepared finish with "primer" for acrylic urethane. This will adhere to the existing finish very strongly and will allow the new coat of acrylic urethane to adhere very strongly to the primer. This should yield a very hard finish that can't be scratched off with a finger nail. You will not want, most likely, to use the wrong paint and have a soft and non-durable finish. Finally you will want to sand the new finish with super fine sandpaper available at auto paint stores that auto body shops buy their paint supplies at. These are like 2000 grit or higher. Work up to the high grit from lower super fine grits and then clear coat it with a clear coat made to go over acrylic urethane paint. Then sand and polish the clear coat without burning it.

    Doing this refinish so that it will be super nice looking will be a lot of work, time consuming, and expensive.

    It would probably be cheaper to prepare the existing finish and take the guitar, stripped of hardware, etc., to an auto body shop and let them spray it. They already have bulk paint that is super hard and would probably be compatible with the existing finish; meaning that you would not have to strip the entire finish down to bare wood, or spend a "lot" of money on paint and clear coat plus other needed supplies. An auto body shop would probably do it for a very reasonable cost, especially since it is for a school. Just prepping it would be a good learning experience for the students.

    To do a really top quality job requires a lot of spray painting expertise and specialized materials and equipment.

    Good luck with the project. I'm sure you will try to do your best job.
    "Now all the things that use to mean so much to me has got me old before my time." G. Allman, "Old Before My Time", Hittin' The Note cd.

  11. #11
    That Video Guy crgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    As has been already said, stripping the finish can be risky.

    Another thing to consider is that if you are just going to prepare the existing finish by "roughing it up", I would use very fine sandpaper. Since the existing finish is acrylic urethane, you have to use acrylic urethane to re-spray it. Also, I personally would spray the prepared finish with "primer" for acrylic urethane. This will adhere to the existing finish very strongly and will allow the new coat of acrylic urethane to adhere very strongly to the primer. This should yield a very hard finish that can't be scratched off with a finger nail. You will not want, most likely, to use the wrong paint and have a soft and non-durable finish. Finally you will want to sand the new finish with super fine sandpaper available at auto paint stores that auto body shops buy their paint supplies at. These are like 2000 grit or higher. Work up to the high grit from lower super fine grits and then clear coat it with a clear coat made to go over acrylic urethane paint. Then sand and polish the clear coat without burning it.

    Doing this refinish so that it will be super nice looking will be a lot of work, time consuming, and expensive.

    It would probably be cheaper to prepare the existing finish and take the guitar, stripped of hardware, etc., to an auto body shop and let them spray it. They already have bulk paint that is super hard and would probably be compatible with the existing finish; meaning that you would not have to strip the entire finish down to bare wood, or spend a "lot" of money on paint and clear coat plus other needed supplies. An auto body shop would probably do it for a very reasonable cost, especially since it is for a school. Just prepping it would be a good learning experience for the students.

    To do a really top quality job requires a lot of spray painting expertise and specialized materials and equipment.

    Good luck with the project. I'm sure you will try to do your best job.
    Thanks for info Duffy. This project has been out on hold for the moment. Students have been cramming for the 1/4 & now we are in Spring Break. Hope to use all this info very soon!
    Thanks again!
    Chris Reynolds...Nashvegas TN
    CR Guitar Demos
    More guitars than I can afford!
    #1 fan of Doug "DA MAN" Sewell!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member toothace's Avatar
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    I picked up a can of Crown Tuff-Strip for an SE project i am working on. The label says for paint, enamel, polyurethane, and epoxy. I am planning to take it down to the wood. The guitar is a 2nd year SE Santana, and where paint has chipped off already there does not seem to be a veneer on this one. The weather is still pretty cold here in CT so I have been waiting for a warm enough day to do this outside. Will post pics once it's done.

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