I got an Ibanez RG470 from a friend of the family as sort of a graduation gift last summer. It plays beautifully, the floyd rose is in good shape, and I love its light weight body and slim neck. The guy who gave it to me played out quite a bit and as a result the copper penny finish is pretty chipped to hell. I was thinking about sanding it down and giving it a nice wood finish as a summer project, but I did some research and found out that the body is bass wood and after a quick google search, I realized that basswood doesn't have the most "defined" grain. So i was wondering if there was any way to increase the appearance of grain in the wood or should I just scrap this summer project?

tl;dr - How does one increase the appearance of wood grain in a basswood body?
stain it?

basswood is pretty meh looking, a dark stain might bring out the grain a bit. you just have to hope that you got a particularly grainy sheet of wood.

edit: heres a comparison of decent/bad basswood


bad, this one is pretty bland looking
Last edited by rickyj at Apr 4, 2011,
A user on here by the name of "Wesbanez" clear coated a basswood RG and it looks phenomenal. Check it out, it looks pretty good with just lacquer on it.
I would do it if I were you because you might get a nice surprise and find some nice grain or at a stretch a figure although highly unlikely, but worth a crack and if it looks boring then you can just repaint it......or better still swirl it