Since fishing season is finished around here, I decided to tackle a project I’ve been thinking about for a while. Quick background- I was in a band in college and always wanted a Fender Strat. Unfortunately, they were out of my price range and I settled with some garden-variety overseas knock-off. Somewhere along the way, I ended up buying a Mexican made Fender “squire series” strat off a guy for $75 (he needed cash quick for a habit). Despite being cheap, the thing played nice and served me well picking songs in Vermont bars. I’ve held onto this guitar and played it from time to time; always admiring it’s tone and playability.
A few years ago I bought myself a proper strat; one that got rave reviews and looked gorgeous with its maple fret board and white finish. Unfortunately, no matter how much I played it and tried to convince myself of its greatness, I never bonded with it. Recently I admitted to myself what I knew all these years. The old black strat, deep down was really nice. It just needed a little attention. So I sold the white strat and prepared to overhaul my old companion. Off with the thick, ugly polyurethane finish, replaced with Surf green Nitrocellulose lacquer (like the old originals).
I had no idea the process I was in for when I started stripping the black poly off, but am glad I did it. Below are photos that show the transformation. Sure, I could’ve done a few things differently, but overall the thing turned out great and my old strat is exactly how I always wanted it. It’s lightweight, comfortable and rings like a bell (or growls when the bridge pup is run through a cranked tube amp)!
Stripped down to bare wood, scratches filled and sanded
In my homemade painting booth after first coat of primer
painting complete, cured for 30 days and sanded/buffed
reassembled and back in action
back with the family