Refinishing a strat (who to send to... or do it myself?)

Messages
68
Hello!

So, the Strat in question is an Eric Johnson sig in two-tone sunburst. I wanna paint it either Surf Green or Sonic Blue, OVER the existing sunburst finish, so when the newer finish starts to wear away, it reveals the old finish (I've seen strats like this before. I think it's sweet!)

Can anyone recommend who does nice/fairly reasonably priced work? I'm hoping to find someone who will do a nitrocellulose finish, because of the way it ages.

Or for the DIYers: what do I need if I do it myself? I have nothing, and would probably never do it again. So, considering that, is it still more cost effective to send it off?

Thanks in advance for any help!!
 

Tele Wacker

Member
Messages
1,800
I wouldn't touch this guitar. Find yourself another Strat body and work on it first. I'm talking about a cheaper Strat body, even a Squire body. I'm probably older than you and I have regretted refinishing a few guitars from the past. Don't mess with the EJ guitar.
 
Messages
68
Thanks for the advice, y'all, but I'm good :)

The finish is already a bit messed up, and I'm taking it on tour with me this Summer, so I imagine it will get more messed up. I don't think I'll ever get rid of this guitar. Reverence for a guitar just for the name (I never really cared about Eric Johnson anyway) seems pointless to me. I love the way it plays and sounds, and I've always wanted a Surf Green Strat, so... seems like I should paint this one!

Anyone have any suggestions on where to send it?
 

kleydj13

Member
Messages
1,608
Check out Guitar ReRanch. They have tons of information, tutorials, and even supplies for purchase.
 

stuco

Member
Messages
848
If it is your first finish job it will most likely looks worse than it does now with whatever finish issues it has, unless you do a lot of homework on the subject and are good with stuff like this. Good finish work is not easy, there is a reason its expensive.
 
Messages
68
Check out Guitar ReRanch. They have tons of information, tutorials, and even supplies for purchase.

Thanks!!

If it is your first finish job it will most likely looks worse than it does now with whatever finish issues it has, unless you do a lot of homework on the subject and are good with stuff like this. Good finish work is not easy, there is a reason its expensive.

Yeahhh I figured as much. I guess I might have to pony up and send it away to someone who knows what they're doing!
 

john archer

Member
Messages
203
I think that is a really cool idea...go to the reranch site and read up on their refin 101 link. The fact that you do not have to strip off the old finish would make this a fairly easy diy refin. The fact that your ej strat has a nitro clear coat makes a nice level base to spray the color onto as well as applying the clear coat on top of that. Nitro melts seamlessly into nitro so again...easy refin. Just keep in mind that to do it right from start to finish will take at least 2 months..because you have to wait a while for the new nitro clear coat to cure before wet sanding and polishing..so have a back up guitar if you want to play for awhile. You also will need a pretty sterile place to spray to avoid dust...much about that online also...best of luck to you and please let us know what you decided to do.
 

Corinthian

Member
Messages
1,913
You might want to contact Mark Jenny, they do 'overspray' finishes like you are talking about (they also sell finished bodies BTW, so you'd be able to get the surf green over sunburst that you want and keep the original body).
 
Messages
68
I think that is a really cool idea...go to the reranch site and read up on their refin 101 link. The fact that you do not have to strip off the old finish would make this a fairly easy diy refin. The fact that your ej strat has a nitro clear coat makes a nice level base to spray the color onto as well as applying the clear coat on top of that. Nitro melts seamlessly into nitro so again...easy refin. Just keep in mind that to do it right from start to finish will take at least 2 months..because you have to wait a while for the new nitro clear coat to cure before wet sanding and polishing..so have a back up guitar if you want to play for awhile. You also will need a pretty sterile place to spray to avoid dust...much about that online also...best of luck to you and please let us know what you decided to do.

Ahh nice! Good to know. Looks like I might not even have enough time before I go on the road.

You might want to contact Mark Jenny, they do 'overspray' finishes like you are talking about (they also sell finished bodies BTW, so you'd be able to get the surf green over sunburst that you want and keep the original body).

Thank you!! I will check out Mark Jenny.

Also found RS Guitarworks. Anyone have any experience with them?
 

Felixun1

Member
Messages
778
I agree with those who advise against it. I attempted to refinish my American Deluxe and it looks like hell. It looked like hell before too, so no big loss. The EJ is a pretty pricey model and you will seriously reduce the value if you alter the finish. The only finish I would ever attempt again would be very simple - gun oil or tung oil over plain wood.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
If you do get OR re-fin yours in Surf Green...Keep it in the case, and only take it out to play it. I bought a '50s re-issue, when I left it out and had to look at it everyday, It drove me Nuts (literally sat within 6ft. of me 24/7)..started keeping it in the case to "Shut it off" so to speak...keeping it there, made it fresh and cool every time I took it out to play it...(LOL...I now sorta' miss it, long story)
 
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iluvfender

I Go Back So Far I’m In Front Of Me
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,138
TGP member Superlead does exceptional nitro finishing. Try to contact him.
 

sergiodeblanc

Member
Messages
4,722
Do it. The hardest part is the waiting. Since it sounds like you want it looking aged, what do you have to lose? My last refin cost twenty-five bucks, I did the least amount of prep work, and it turned out to be the best job I have done so far. Your sand throughs will start the "aging" process right away. Go to Reranch and Youtube, sand as light as possible, and hand rub the scratches out. Wait 30 days before you touch it!

This is a bad pic, but I promise it's shiny.

 
Messages
68
I agree with those who advise against it. I attempted to refinish my American Deluxe and it looks like hell. It looked like hell before too, so no big loss. The EJ is a pretty pricey model and you will seriously reduce the value if you alter the finish. The only finish I would ever attempt again would be very simple - gun oil or tung oil over plain wood.

I'm leaning more towards sending it to a professional, at this point. Are you saying there's still a chance it could look like awful if done by someone who knows what they're doing? Not really concerned about the monetary value of the guitar after refinishing it... it's just a tool that I like the sound/feel of, and I think it would be cool if it was Surf Green :)

Thanks for the reply!

TGP member Superlead does exceptional nitro finishing. Try to contact him.

Added to my list!! Thank you!
 
Messages
68
This is dope!!

Yeah, I don't really want it "aged" artificially. I just want it painted over the original finish so if/when it starts to age, it will show the sunburst underneath.

Do it. The hardest part is the waiting. Since it sounds like you want it looking aged, what do you have to lose? My last refin cost twenty-five bucks, I did the least amount of prep work, and it turned out to be the best job I have done so far. Your sand throughs will start the "aging" process right away. Go to Reranch and Youtube, sand as light as possible, and hand rub the scratches out. Wait 30 days before you touch it!

This is a bad pic, but I promise it's shiny.

 

Drawde

Member
Messages
1,667
Maybe you could try it yourself first and if you don't like it send it to a pro?I've never done a refinish before but I just finished a bass kit from guitar fetish and finished it myself, pretty much just did most of what reranch said to do. Not perfect but I think it came out pretty good for me having never done any finishing at all.

IMG_9715.jpg
 

Rhomco

Making UPS, FEDEX and USPS richer every day!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,175
Done right here.:cool:
Rob

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