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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

A friend of mine has got an Epiphone SG with the vintage cherry paint on it but he has put some stickers on it and has some cigarette burns on it that he has now decided he wants a change and wants to go for a natural wood look.

Is it better to sand the body down or use some form of paint stripper?

Also with a set neck guitar, what would you suggest as to how to protect the neck from getting damaged/painted accidentally?

Cheers
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
El_jalepeno said:
Paint stripper is messy as hell. I would go to the hardware store and buy a sander to do the top and back, and use your hands for the edges and neck.
Yeah I thought Paint Stripper would be a rather messy job.

I dont know if he wants his neck sanded or not. He was saying about the body mainly so I think the neck will be left as is for now and possibly done in the future.

What would be a recommended grit level for sanding the body?
 

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Drak_nyen said:
Yeah I thought Paint Stripper would be a rather messy job.

I dont know if he wants his neck sanded or not. He was saying about the body mainly so I think the neck will be left as is for now and possibly done in the future.

What would be a recommended grit level for sanding the body?
It really depends. If you want a complete natural wood finish, then you need to trake off all the paint and sealer, so 150 would be good to start, then move up from there to soften it out. But if you still want some of the original finish, I would sand much lighter. I am sure there is going to be a fairly quick reply on what grit of papers to use :thumb:
 

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For an SG (set neck), I have to agree ... sandpaper.
Stripper is alot quicker, however it is very messy, not to mention very toxic and it will melt your binding, inlays, and position markers if it comes into contact with them.
 

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D.i.n.o said:
For an SG (set neck), I have to agree ... sandpaper.
Stripper is alot quicker, however it is very messy, not to mention very toxic and it will melt your binding, inlays, and position markers if it comes into contact with them.
Yea, I didn't think about the potential for the binding getting screwed up. Good point :thumb:
 

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Be extremely careful with any kind of powered sander, as they can get away from you no matter how well you try to control them. I remember putting a few good dinks in a body a few years ago trying to detail-sand with a dremel tool.


EJ is right as far as starting grit goes. You can even go as coarse as 100 grit. The main thing to remember is that as you move to finer grits, make it gradual. Don't go from a 150 grit to an 800 or something like that. You'll want to finish up with something like 1200, 1500, or even 2000 grit. Best place to find these is at your local automotive paint stores. I get mine from Sherwin-Williams and refinish with the following pattern - 150 (if needed), 200,400,800,1000,1200,2000. Remember to use a tack cloth in between sandings to pick up all the loose dust and whatnot.

Also, if you are sanding between coats while refinishing(ADDING paint, not removing), be sure to wet sand in between coats as well.

In the end, you can polish and buff the body with 3M Imperial Hand Glaze (at Sherwin Williams as well) to bring the shine out if you like.

I know you are talking about going down to bare wood, but I thought I'd throw that in in case you decide to put a clear coat on after getting down to raw wood.
 
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