Body painter / refinisher recommendation

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sangtlee
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Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by sangtlee » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:06 pm

Hi everyone -- looking to get my '65 JM body resprayed. I checked the previous posts...but most of the info was super old...or specific to relic-aging. I'm looking for a custom color, nitro finished to look like new (i.e. no aging). Any highly recommended shops? For what it's worth...I'm in the Philly area, but am happy to ship the body if needed.

Thanks in advance everyone.

STL

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will
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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by will » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:24 am

I've had two nitro refinishes done by MJT - they seem to understand things pretty well and the prices are reasonable.

The first was a refinish in Inca Silver - their color match wasn't perfect, but the finish did look quite nice. Also, I learned that I should have used finer grit sandpaper before sending it off, since I could see a few of my sanding marks!

The second (within the last few months) was a 1960's sunburst, and they did an excellent job of matching the burst style to a reference photo I sent them.

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andy_tchp
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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by andy_tchp » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:24 pm

sangtlee wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:06 pm
I'm looking for a custom color, nitro finished to look like new (i.e. no aging)
I would advise not using MJT for this refinish.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

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YALCaster
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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by YALCaster » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:33 pm

I’ve had around 20 Mjt bodies, all fantastic. At least 10 custom orders, and I’ve never been disappointed. If you send them a reference picture, don’t expect an EXACT match, but they’ll get close. They have been receiving tons of hate lately, but I haven’t been wronged yet. I wouldn’t actively avoid them. Reach out to them and communicate if you’re curious.

And this isn’t a comment to start drama or throw shade at andy, just explaining my own personal experience

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sangtlee
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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by sangtlee » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:47 pm

Any other recommendations out there? Based on a few other recommendations, I reached out to Joe Riggio...but it turns out that he's only doing solid colors right now...and I'm looking for a slight metallic flake in my finish.

Anyone out there have good (or bad) experiences with the following refinishers?

http://www.martybellfinishing.com/
http://www.rowycokustoms.com/
https://store.rsguitarworks.net/
https://www.wilkinsguitars.com/c
http://superiorguitar.com/
http://www.laysguitar.com/
https://www.bjrguitars.com/

TIA,
Sang

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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by andy_tchp » Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:45 pm

YALCaster wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:33 pm
I’ve had around 20 Mjt bodies, all fantastic. At least 10 custom orders, and I’ve never been disappointed.
Were any of these painted properly, to look like new (i.e. no aging) as the OP explicitly requested?

Last time I checked they did not offer anything that wasn't 'aged' in some way or another, which makes sense, given the company is called MJT Aged Guitars.


sangtlee: I can vouch that Guitar Mill does high quality finishes in nitro, without any relicing, in custom colours/blends of your choosing based on reference photos. You'll have a couple of months lead time but worth it to get exactly what you want.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by YALCaster » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:08 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:45 pm
YALCaster wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:33 pm
I’ve had around 20 Mjt bodies, all fantastic. At least 10 custom orders, and I’ve never been disappointed.
Were any of these painted properly, to look like new (i.e. no aging) as the OP explicitly requested?

Last time I checked they did not offer anything that wasn't 'aged' in some way or another, which makes sense, given the company is called MJT Aged Guitars.
I’m glad you asked. Yes. They painted me this stratocaster last year, not a scratch, dent, or line of checking.

Image

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mbene085
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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by mbene085 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:19 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:45 pm
sangtlee: I can vouch that Guitar Mill does high quality finishes in nitro, without any relicing, in custom colours/blends of your choosing based on reference photos. You'll have a couple of months lead time but worth it to get exactly what you want.
Guitarmill does great work but be advised, I just put down a deposit on a new painted body two weeks ago and they told me it should be ready by June.

They're, uh...real busy over there.

As for MJT, they deliberately use an extremely thin and fragile finish, so even if you ask for it to look like new, it's not going to be staying that way for long. That's not really up for debate, it's well-established and is why they won't even call any of their bodies "like new", they'll sell you a "closet clean" finish and that's it. I've owned MJT and other nitro finishes including one ordered to look as new as possible, and just keeping the body in a humidity and temperature-controlled guitar parts drawer, it had checking before it was even assembled into a guitar. You don't go with MJT for finish durability, that's the opposite of their raison d'etre.

As for others on the list, I can tell you that I emailed Marty Bell a month ago and have yet to hear back (and he doesn't do nitro anymore) and Stike over at Rowyco Kustoms does amazing work but is currently not taking orders because he's moving to a new workshop. I asked him if he knew when he'd be up and running again but haven't heard back yet.

Guitarpaintguys said their lead time is only a few weeks right now, though, but they don't do nitro if that's what you have your heart set on.

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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by andy_tchp » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:56 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:19 pm
andy_tchp wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:45 pm
sangtlee: I can vouch that Guitar Mill does high quality finishes in nitro, without any relicing, in custom colours/blends of your choosing based on reference photos. You'll have a couple of months lead time but worth it to get exactly what you want.
Guitarmill does great work but be advised, I just put down a deposit on a new painted body two weeks ago and they told me it should be ready by June.

They're, uh...real busy over there.
That's a decent lead time for sure.

In their defence, at least they told you this up front.

Sounds like they've worked on 'expectation management' since my dealings with them 10 years ago(!), where you just had to wait without hearing very much at all. Mine ended up being 5 months from ordering to shipping, there were some delays mixing the paint as they needed to obtain a neon dye to get the colour bright enough.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

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mbene085
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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by mbene085 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:04 pm

Oh, they've been great with communication and warned me before I put money down of what their current lead times were. I'm very impressed with that, and everyone's crazy busy since apparently all of us are sitting around in quarantine ordering new guitar parts, so I wasn't expecting anyone to be speedy at this point.

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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by Singlebladepickup » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:53 am

I have a guitar that arrived at Starr Guitars three months ago. Haven't heard peep since they they first confirmed receiving it, but they have always responded quickly to previous emails so I'm not complaining.

Edit: getting custom color without any relic'ing, satin nitro

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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:09 pm

I can recommend Josh Grove at Protocaster in Brooklyn.

He does do aged finishes, but he can also do "like new" finishes using old-style lacquer formulations (hard to get these days).

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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by BrendanP » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:01 pm

sangtlee wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:47 pm
Any other recommendations out there? Based on a few other recommendations, I reached out to Joe Riggio...but it turns out that he's only doing solid colors right now...and I'm looking for a slight metallic flake in my finish.

Anyone out there have good (or bad) experiences with the following refinishers?

http://www.martybellfinishing.com/
http://www.rowycokustoms.com/
https://store.rsguitarworks.net/
https://www.wilkinsguitars.com/c
http://superiorguitar.com/
http://www.laysguitar.com/
https://www.bjrguitars.com/

TIA,
Sang
Very happy Marty Bell customer here. He doesn't do nitro, but he does thin poly. He was (is?) G&L's sparkle finish guy. Great work and I'll use him again.
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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by mbene085 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:09 pm

BrendanP wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:01 pm
Very happy Marty Bell customer here. He doesn't do nitro, but he does thin poly. He was (is?) G&L's sparkle finish guy. Great work and I'll use him again.
How is he for communication? I tried emailing about a month ago and just never heard back. I don't expect the holiday/new year season to be quick for customer service just about anywhere, but I was a little disappointed that he was the only finisher who never replied to my inquiry.

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Re: Body painter / refinisher recommendation

Post by BrendanP » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:15 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:09 pm
BrendanP wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:01 pm
Very happy Marty Bell customer here. He doesn't do nitro, but he does thin poly. He was (is?) G&L's sparkle finish guy. Great work and I'll use him again.
How is he for communication? I tried emailing about a month ago and just never heard back. I don't expect the holiday/new year season to be quick for customer service just about anywhere, but I was a little disappointed that he was the only finisher who never replied to my inquiry.
He was pretty quick to respond and his turnaround time was really good. Given what's been going on in California lately, it may related to that. I'd reach out to him again.

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