Refinishing satin headstock in gloss...

Discussion in 'Squier Stratocasters' started by SpeedKing, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Squier-holic

    Apr 9, 2015
    UK
    Hey everyone and Happy New Year to one and all.

    So I've recently seen what appears to be an exceptionally easy way to produce headstock decals which I'm going to have a go at on my 2014 Chinese Affinity... Print your logo design onto plain paper with a laser printer then transfer by contact to clear packaging tape which can then be applied to the guitar (with the text on the underside) then spray over with clear if required... Simple eh?

    The aim is to leave the big gold Squier part of the existing logo but remove the 'STRAT' and 'by Fender' bits to replace them with the vintage style (think '66/'67) full 'Stratocaster' with the 'with synchronised tremolo' bit underneath. If the tape edge is a little visible that all fits with the '66 look (Fender still applied the decal on top of the nitro in '66 I believe) and I'll cut clear tape to also go over the gold Squier part to finish the effect.

    My question is about changing the top finish from the satin to gloss once the decal is done. I believe I'm right in saying since the original finish isn't nitro I can't really go wrong putting a urethane or poly product on top but is there any prep work to be done and how about getting the best possible final finish.

    Maybe I'm overthinking it and I just need a rattle can of clear gloss poly and have at it but I'm sure some of you guys and gals have already done this so please let me know about your own experiences, recommendations and the processes and materials you used.

    Oh, and of course show me some of your results.

    Many thanks
     
    Loin Lover and dbrian66 like this.
  2. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    When I do a decal, I use a lacquer paint in a can. The lacquer cures much faster than poly, that way I can paint, wait 24 hrs, sand the area over the decal, and paint again. I repeat this every day until the lacquer is built up high enough to bury the decal.

    2465F7E3-41C4-47C1-829A-14EAFCC7B58C.jpeg 31455590-F216-4B94-9B04-9CD3E9F833A9.jpeg
     
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  3. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    The headstock won't breathe anymore with all that lacquer. You're not afraid to loose precious tonez ?
     
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  4. Headstock decals? … Tone? Oh boy, here we go again. o_O
    Cheers, Barrie.;)
     
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  5. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    It breathes out the backside! LOL
     
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  6. Shaytan

    Shaytan Squier-Meister

    Age:
    21
    459
    Apr 10, 2018
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Really cool! I've been pondering to do the same thing to mine but in the entire neck for a good while, perhaps next Summer I'll finally buy a bottle of Tru-Oil and attempt a glossy oil finish, but not before convincing one of my friends to let me try that first in one of theirs...

    EDIT: are you aware of any way to keep the original decal intact? I wanted to preserve that and the serial number, in last resort I'd have to find someone capable of doing waterslide decal replicas for an SE, which I doubt to be sold anywhere. :p
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  7. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Not if your going to sand it down and refinish with Tru-oil. What you could do is get a fancy Squier logo to put on there like @Las Palmas Norte does with his. Looks real nice and he even puts the “se” on there as well. And you could hand write the serial number back on the neck before the finish. Might look really cool.
     
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  8. Loin Lover

    Loin Lover Squier-holic

    Jul 26, 2018
    Backwoods, USA
    Thanks for the details, your (Faker, lol) work always looks nice. Approximately how many days/coats does it usually take to "bury the decal"? Thanks.
     
  9. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    7-10 coats. Around 5 it really starts looking good, but as you hold it up to the light and look at it from different angles, you can still see the edge. I guess it also depends on how much you sand down.

    One other thing, I put a coat of lacquer down before the decal. I once put the decal on the wood and ended up with some air under the decal. If you look close at this pic you can see it’s kind of cloudy under the decal.

    2C41675A-F7CA-4EB9-ACF8-CF53513A1F4E.jpeg
     
  10. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Squier-holic

    Apr 9, 2015
    UK
    You could just try the method I'm attempting since this way you just have to type it out in the size & font you want so you can type whatever you require.. serial no included. Laser print to plain white paper then transfer to clear tape (just lay the tape sticky side down on the paper and press), peel off the paper after submergence in water for 5 mins... apply!
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  11. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Caddy likes this.
  12. DoctorBB

    DoctorBB Squier-Nut

    515
    Mar 2, 2016
    Beaumont, TX
    I’ve had success keeping the original logos and numbers by lightly sanding the existing finish and then applying a bunch of poly coats, then do a final wet sand and buff.
     
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  13. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Squier-holic

    Apr 9, 2015
    UK
    So then in my case it would appear my approach will be to gently clean the headstock face with say 0000 wire wool to take off residues (like the furniture polish I've experimented with in the past to achieve a gloss) ... but v gently so as not to damage the 'Squier' part of the existing decal. Then just carry on in to remove the 'STRAT', 'by Fender' and 'Affinity' bits I don't want. Then apply my new tape decal inc. just clear tape over the remaining 'Squire' so the whole area will have a thin profile outline. I've got an 'original contour body' waterslide for the ball.

    Q/ Should I apply a layer of my new gloss finish before adding the tape decal and waterslide 'orig con body'... it'll be bare wood in those areas after I've rubbed off the original txts?

    Then I just blow over with a gloss... no reason I can think of to use nitro since I won't need to rub it down to blend out the outline since I want it to stay so prob poly to reduce possible issues.

    Q/ Are there likely to be any reaction issues to either new gloss poly or nitro with the existing poly (I believe) satin finish or indeed the new waterslide decal?

    Q/ Do you think I should I go nitro on top if there's no reaction issue? It's what would have been on an orig '66. ... or even nitro the face but poly the rest for true accuracy.... two cans though!

    I know there are differences in applying certain finishes over others but can't recall all the detail!!
     
  14. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Squier-holic

    Apr 9, 2015
    UK
    Anyone? I'm going go buy the stuff I need tomorrow hopefully.

    I'm doing two Affinity headstocks one of which has already been refinished once ... I think in urethane. Both are currently satin and will be v v lightly sanded (to keep logos and bits of logos) before spraying the new gloss.

    Am I right in saying nitro over the top in either case should be safe or should I stick with poly? ... or is Tru Oil the easier and better option? Can it give a really glossy finish... like factory gloss?
     
    dbrian66 likes this.
  15. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I think you are going to run into a problem only removing part of a logo. Even when the logo is gone, there is still a shadow that is visible until you get down to bare wood. It because of the tint I think. Here is a pic I found on this forum from @Birddog144 . You can see the difference in the color on the wood.

    1F4A2CA0-5E12-48C1-AB07-89C1544F01BE.jpeg

    So the wood around the part of the decal that you keep is going to be darker that the wood around the decals you removed. You best bet is going to be to remove everything and put all new logos on.

    As far as the finish, I would just use lacquer out of a can like I described earlier. I’m not sure why you would want to see the outline of your new decal. I have not had any reaction with lacquer over kiwi or tru-oil. My guess is it would be fine over the factory finish as well.
     
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