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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I will be refinishing a basswood 570 of mine that I have converted into a JEM style body.

Some questions I have, given that I've never refinished a guitar before (much less a white 7vwh paintjob), lend their hands to this-

-What kind of primer & paint to use for the special 'non whitening' JEM paint? What kind of clear?
-How many coats of primer/sealer (same thing?)- do you sand it? Sand in between coats? What grit? Wetsand?
-When applying the first coat of paint, how thick should it be? How many coats in total? Sand in between coats? What grit sandpaper? Wetsand? Regarding the monkey grip, how many coats?
-How many coats of clear coat? Sand in between, what grit? Wetsand?

Any help would be much appreciated. I may be accused of not doing enough research but as this pertains to the 7VWH in particular I figured it couldn't hurt to ask here. I was looking at this guide, but I think there are some unknown unknowns involved around sanding coats of any and all primer/paint/clear etc.

Thank you all kindly!

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Well repainting an ibanez is always interesting. The Japanese bodies from the early 90's and 80's seem to have some very thick poly urethrane. Not sure about the newer ones. I just refinished a 540 Radius. I couldn't believe how thick the original paint was. If the poly is in good condition, it's easy to paint over. Good meaning, no deep chips, or cracks. If there are thin chips in the clear they can be filled with super glue, and then block sanded flat. If you can feel it... you'll see it in your finish later on. If you have bare wood from cutting the monkey grip you'll need some wood grain filler so you don't see the wood grain. If the finish is really damaged your best bet would be to sand it down to bare wood, which can be a really time consuming process because poly urethane doesn't strip that easy without really harsh chemicals, and i am not sure what that will do to the wood. You may have to research that a bit.

When it comes to paint it depends on what you are willing to buy to do the job. Spray guns are great, but if you don't have an air compressor and nice water separator setup it can be a nightmare. I've always liked solvent based lacquer. Lays, nice... easy to repair becuase lacquer melts into it self. Laqcuer dries/cures through evaporation, ploy dries and hardens with how much of the hardener catalyst you add into the mix, i believe enamel is the same way. You don't necessarily have to wet sand in between coats with lacquer because it melts into it self. But it takes a long time to cure, it has to air out in fresh air so the solvents can gas off. It gets hard, but don't expect a poly urethane hard finish. Cure time is about 2 to 4 weeks depending on humidity, temperature and airflow.

Prep is everything. I really like duplicolor perfect match for color ONLY. The clear is garbage. And i like winmax clear. Dulpicolor perfect match has a lot of colors to choose from, it is an acrylic based lacquer, winmax is a nitro. I've read you can use nitro over acrylic but not the other way around. Not sure how true that is. And make sure you shake the dang can a while. One minute isn't long, the solvents must mix well and the color needs to mix well with the paint so it can evaporate properly and lay evenly.

Spray 3-4 coats a day, let it dry over night. And make sure before every painting session to wipe the body down with some rubbing alchohol and a lint free soft cloth. Then use a tac cloth to remove any little particles that may be laying on the finish. Once the primer is laid, wet sand with 800 grit, then lay the color. If you are wet sanding between sessions use 800 to lessen the orange peel, though again, with solvent lacquer it's not necessary, with other paints it's a must. Lay only as many color coats as it takes to cover, no more. Then 10-12 coats of clear. Thats about 1.5 to 2 cans. Once the paint cures ( fingernail test it) you can then wet sand it with 800-1000 to remove the orange peal, then work your way up to 2000. Use a rubbing compound the buff out your sand paper scratches. Then a polishing compound to finish it.

When it comes to primer, if it's cans, just use the brand of the color you are using. The only experience i have with spray guns is with stewmac water based lacquer. And it was a stewmac primer.

Spray cans are hit or miss with spray nozzles. If it doesn't have a fan spray type nozzle, in my experience, it won't lay as nice, but it is doable.
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