What options are out there for do it yourself wah finishes?

I am looking to refinish mine and am first of all not sure if I should use a grinder and a very fine wire brush to take off the old finish, or whether I should just sand off the finish (thought I'm not sure what grit I would use). I'm thinking the wire brush would be easiest and quickest, and would get it those nooks, corners, and crannies that are hard to get.

What would be closest thing to the paint/finish that's on here now? Is it a textured finish or just paint?

I do not have a paint shop or anything available to me (no airbrushes, paint guns, etc) so it would have to be something inexpensive that I could buy in a hardware store and do with minimal equipment.

I was thinking of trying a Krylon aerosol paint. Like a flat black, or their faux hammered finish.

Any advice or experience you guys can give?

1. Use a wire brush (grinder attachment) to take the old paint off.

2. Get a Krylon spray can of the finish you want (I'd go with the hammered finish, since you wanted it close to the original) and spray on a coat and IMMEDIATELY put it in an old toaster oven (dedicated for pedal baking) to bake at 150 degrees for 30 minutes.

3. Take it out and let it cool. If it feels tacky, put it in for another 30 minutes at 150 deg.

4. Now get a spray can of polyurethane (I use Minwax) and spray a coat and put it in the oven again for another 30 mins at 150 deg.

5. Take it out and let it cool. If it is still tacky put it back in for 30 mins at 150 deg.

6. Repeat step 4 (and 5 if needed) 2 or 3 more times.

The whole process takes about a day, including drying time and works for any pedal (provided it isn't plastic).

DO NOT use a toaster oven that has/will be used for cooking food! The paint fumes that build up inside are poison and will get in the food if you use it for this, then use it to cook with. You'll have to get a new one, or get an old one that will never see use in a kitchen ever again.
Last edited by Invader Jim at Feb 29, 2008,
Thank very much Jim!!

Can't wait to try it!!!

What is it that the baking does to the paint? Just out of curiosity, how much better is baking it as opposed to just letting it air dry?

Quote by kurtlives91
I would not put on the clear coat....wahs are usually flat black. The paint is very durable, a glossy wah enclusre would look kinda weird.

Mines high gloss white with a high gloss black foot part and it has a sound city wah face faceplate on it. I think it looks pretty spiffy
It's supposed to homogenize the paint so you don't get those annoying specks and runs in the paint or something. Not real sure, but I know it works a hell of a lot better than air drying. The purpose of the polyurethane is to protect the paint underneath from rubbing off, etc. You can get satin poly if you don't want a gloss finish.
Thanks again guys!!

Jim have you used the Krylon hammered finish? Does it look half decent?

Also, for the wire brush, do you think a wheel brush, or cup brush would be better? I just bought a new grinder a few months ago, but don't have any wire brushes yet.

JOOC, the casings aren't made of aluminum are they? I thought they were like a cast iron, but read otherwise on the internet.

I haven't used the hammered finish personally, but I've seen a guitar that was painted with it and it was the most badass thing I'd ever seen.

You can use any wire brush. Whatever is easiest for you to control.

Most wahs are cast zinc. Some of the more expensive ones are cast steel.
Without some kind of primer coat, the finish is not going to hold to any kind of abuse. "Baking" it cures the paint. It does nothing to prevent runs. IMO, powder coating would ideal for a pedal since it takes abuse fairly well.
Quote by Invader Jim
Well I doubt TS has bead-blasting and powder-coating equipment.

Note the use of the word "ideal" in my last post. It could be an option if he has a powder coating shop in his area, which he most likely does. It shouldn't be that expensive on an item that small.
The guy I was getting the old beat up wah enclosure off of, never returned my call after numerous attempt, so I ended up finding one like new for super cheap and got that instead lol Didn't need to refinish after all :P