So I have a fairly brand new epiphone DOT in sunburst. Im wanting to completely overhaul it. I would like to strip the finish replace it with nitrocelulose and upgrade the pickups and all the electronics and would prefer coil taps. I was just wanting any and all advice or thoughts its pretty much just a thought in my head at this point but it would be nice to get a clear picture and plan before i start it as i would like to do it all at once and not in peice meal fashion.

I guess the first real question I have is is it possible to sand the finish away without removing the sunburst paint/stain. I have seen really good youtube tutorials on doing that kind of paint job but it would be nice to save the time and money if possible.

Second is what pickups do you suggest for a country/southern rock style in this guitar.

thanks for all the help.
I don't have much experience in finishes really, but as for southern rock pickups, I've heard good things about the dimarzio super distortion believe it or not. I might consider looking into some of gibsons vintage pickups as well.
A DiMarzio Super Distortion (Bridge) and PAF (Neck) will work wonders for you.
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I am currently doing the same thing to a dot. You'd have a mighty tough time getting the finish of. Those poly finishes are very thick and very tough. The color is likely suspended inside the poly. Also, you'd have a tough time getting it all off without damaging the binding. You best bet is to do a refinish over the poly or, if you like the burst, just keep it.
Replace the nut. The plastic one on there is crap.

For pickups, I would avoid the aforementioned super distortion. It'll get noisy in a semi hollow and you'll have limited clean tones. The PAF is nice. I really like the Seymour Duncan 59 for this kind of situation. My number one guitar (75 SG-I) has a new Gibson 498 in it that I love. Granted the guitar makes a difference but it can do gritty and dirty just as well as it can be clean.

Good luck,
Thanks for all the help. Ive actually been looking at the 59s. i think ill stay away from the super distortions cause i dont think thatll be super condusive to country. Also i think anything vintage is out of my price range. I was looking at my guitar today and i honestly think changing the electronics (switches, wires and pots) will be a bitch in the semi hollow body. I may not do the finish i wanted seems like a ton of work and i think the nitro over the stock finish would be hard to make look right and when it wore down it would be a mess and it wouldnt help the sound like i had wanted. thanks for the nut replacement tip ill look into getting one. Im just not happy with the sound of the Dot right now i honestly shouldve bought a tele but i think if i go through with this ill have one hell of an axe.
My (newly discovered) least favorite thing about the dot is that, unlike a Gibson 335, it doesn't have an access hole under the bridge pickup. I tech for a guy who plays 2 vintage 335s so I'm constantly going inside them. Even with the access hole it's a pain to work on those. I actually just cut a panel out of the back of my dot because in my opinion those guitars aren't sounding so amazing on their own that cutting a bit of the back out would be detrimental.
Yea i agree. Ive been trying to get more familiar with my DOT and it is going to be a pain in the ass to deal with. I may just stick with switching the pickups and the nut and call it a day. Changing the wiring, pots and switches make me tired just thinking about it. I dont know i may just sell it and buy a tele. As far as refinishing this thread and further research has convinced me that the hours of labor required isnt worth what benifit could be earned.