I'm about to start a project customizing my 1988 Charvel Model 3DR. The #1 change is to strip the existing paint of the body down to the wood and stain(?) it to a natural dark wood finish, i.e. the Gibson SG Special worn brown or natural finish on the Ibanez s470. I'd like to know the best way to go about removing the paint, and then what I would use to achieve my desired finish. I do not want a glossy coat, but I do not want the wood to be soft. I had the SG I mentioned and found that I could make an indentation in the body with just my fingernail. There is also a rather large body wound that I'd like to repair but don't know how to go about doing so. I will take pics of it's current condition in the morning.