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View Full Version : How do I Safely Remove paint from an old Uke?



UKISOCIETY
06-23-2010, 06:14 AM
I purchased a 1930's Harmony soprano from Ebay. Originally a sunburst finish (still shows on the back), BUT some clown spray-painted the front of the body and the front of the neck (including frets).

Although the neck was re-glued, this should be a great player, but I want to remove the paint. Please advise!

Thank you!!!

Dusepo
06-23-2010, 07:53 AM
I once managed to remove some paint from a mandolin with some extra fine emery sanding paper. It also removes any varnish though, so might not be what you're looking for. I think there are also chemical solutions that will do it, but I'm afraid I've never used them and don't know any names.

fahrner
06-23-2010, 08:21 AM
I'd use Jasco paint stripper. Yes, it will remove the original finish as well.
Have never done a ukulele but have used it on hundreds of old antique clocks. It's messy but works really well.
Get the gel type, glob it on with a brush and let it set (see instructions on the can) then wipe off. Do it out of doors.
Not sure what it might do to the glue joints so would use caution in those areas. With old clock cases, it was pretty easy to glue something back together. May not be the case with some of the glue joints on a uke especially where the neck meets the body or the bridge. Just don't push in the gel into any of those areas.

guitharsis
06-23-2010, 08:28 AM
I've removed slight scratches from guitars with a fine polishing compound from Stew Mac.

While at my daughters, I removed some permanent marker "art work" from my granddaughter's 1/2 size Strunal guitar with, believe it or not, toothpaste. It was abrasive enough and worked great.

Edit: Finsh wasn't harmed.

fahrner
06-23-2010, 08:36 AM
I've removed slight scratches from guitars with a fine polishing compound from Stew Mac.

While at my daughters, I removed some permanent marker "art work" from my granddaughter's 1/2 size Strunal guitar with, believe it or not, toothpaste. It was abrasive enough and worked great.
So, if you think toothpaste might remove paint from a ukulele, just imagine what that stuff is doing to your teeth.

Ahnko Honu
06-23-2010, 09:01 AM
Naphtha aka "safety solent" removed spray paint from my scooter without harming the finish underneath. You can also use 0000 steel wool lubed with lemon or orange oil to slowy remove the surface coat without going too deep.