Hi guys, I have an indie guitar which I absolutely love but over the 10 years or so I've had it, it has become pretty battered with dings and blemishes... I want some advice on re finishing it or even sanding the Matt black finish off all together and exposing the wood underneath just to experiment... The body is all mahogany, no cap or veneer, it has a carved inlay pattern on the body too, I tried uploading a pic but UG won't allow JPEG format. Any advice on how to approach this would be great
Last edited by mr frusciante at Sep 27, 2016,
I tried uploading a pic but UG won't allow JPEG format.
You have to upload to an image hosting website like imgur or something and the use the link it gives you to post the picture in img tags.
The4thHorsemen Hi, I think this should work. Indie guitar https://imgur.com/gallery/C3wyJ
Is that vine "inlay" design like carved and painted? Seems to me like it could be easy to screw that up. If you do it I'd say try to take it a little at a time and try to preserve the vine looking stuff. If you screw it up and have a dremel and an appropriate tip (and some skill and/or patience) you could use that to get all the paint out of the grooves (if that's what it is and not an actual inlay) and repaint the vine. I think it'd look good against the natural mahogany. You could also sand past the design entirely, which I think would be a shame since it matches the inlay on the fretboard so well. If you go that route I'd be careful not to remove too much material around the bridge.
The other main concern is if the wood is actually one solid piece or multiple pieces joined together, or if there are any ugly knots, which isn't too unusual for guitars without a transparent finish.
As for the actual process, you'll definitely want to remove all the hardware from the body, and the neck if it's a bolt-on, before you get to sanding. I don't really know what grits of sandpaper or what finishes would be good. I know you generally start with a fairly rough grit to remove the paint and then work your way up to finer grits, but I don't know how rough to start or how fine to go. If you're clear coating you generally apply a coat, let it dry, sand it with a really fine sand paper, then repeat a few times, but again I don't know the details and don't know how the process differs for different types of finishes. Mahogany may be a type of wood that you could just sand really smooth and be fine without a finish, but again I don't know.
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Sep 27, 2016,
The4thHorsemen thanks for your input! I definitely want to keep the vine inlays, it's the matte black I want to get rid off. The vine inlays are hand carved i read online. Also it's a set neck so this also presents problems. I guess it's about taking a risk, start on the back and see how that turns out. I've finished a few diy projects before so I'm a bit more confident with that but I've never had to remove such a heavy finish so I'm a tad nervous!