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Removing sharpie from a vintage Strat?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by NickVibrolux92, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. NickVibrolux92

    NickVibrolux92 Strat-Talk Member

    33
    Feb 28, 2012
    Upstate New York
    Hey everyone,

    I found the perfect '79 Anniversary Strat, but.... There is a catch. Someone wrote obscenities all over the back in permanent marker. Is there a way to safely remove the marker without hurting the finish or having to refinish the entire body? Advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm waiting to buy based on whether you guys think it could be removed or not. It has probably been there for 20-30 years...

    Thanks!
     

  2. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy BushBaby Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2013
    Tucson
    Try rubbing alcohol. Start small...maybe a q tip to make sure the finish will take it.
     
    altar and T Bone Slort like this.

  3. Gary Gnu

    Gary Gnu Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    99
    Apr 4, 2016
    sunny fla
    If the alcohol doesn't work, another trick is to take a sharpie and go over the old writing with fresh writing and quickly wipe it off. The new sharpie will dissolve the old sharpie and give you a short window to wipe them both away. Try it on a small spot to see if it works.
     
    altar, otto6457, irie and 5 others like this.

  4. adiabatic

    adiabatic Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 2, 2013
    Western Canada
    Alcohol, Goo Gone, naptha, etc will likely remove the ink. Worst case is you might need a quick buff with auto wax to bring back the shine.

    However, in 20-30 years the ink has likely penetrated the surface of the finish and your solution may be to carefully take a layer off with a fine abrasive cutting compound and a buffing pad. You won't know for sure until trying the alcohol first but I've seen objects permanently stained by markers.

    You could make the price conditional on removal of the ink... I'd expect at least a few hundred off if it won't easily wipe off.
     
    altar, T Bone Slort and abnormaltoy like this.

  5. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Sounds like a good reason to make a WAY WAY low offer. I can guarantee you that you will need to completely sand/refinish the back.
     
    altar, Dave Harmon, rolandson and 2 others like this.

  6. Silvercrow

    Silvercrow Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 6, 2014
    Bucks County, Pa.
    I've found naptha to do wonders for things like this. It'll remove some VERY stubborn things and amazingly, not hurt even a nitro finish...

    Mind you, I've never tried to use it for something like what you're describing.

    SOME older lighter fluids contain naptha. But you can get it in pure form from Stew Mac and probably some other places I am not aware of.

    BEST WISHES and let us know how you do with that!

    Brian
     

  7. NickVibrolux92

    NickVibrolux92 Strat-Talk Member

    33
    Feb 28, 2012
    Upstate New York
    I'd be getting it for a grand.
     

  8. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca

  9. Tomas83

    Tomas83 Strat-O-Master

    637
    Jul 30, 2014
    NE in the 4 corners
    Just spray it with degreaser like the green monster and wipe after 15 seconds, no damage to the finish... my Predator has Sharpie over the headstock and the body. You would never tell from the pictures and probably was on for at least 10 years.
     

    Attached Files:


  10. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    Remember, it might not be a Sharpie, but it could be the one of those deadly Sanford permanent markers that were made of metal, and stunk up the whole house with solvent.

    I would not count on being able to remove that Naphtha or Alcohol.

    440px-Sanford_king_size.jpg
     
    adiabatic likes this.

  11. nederemer

    nederemer Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    31
    730
    Oct 25, 2017
    Somerset, Kentucky, USA.
    Probably buffing compound. That would be my bet at least. It's going to remove as much of the finish as it takes to remove the marker though
     

  12. tubejockey

    tubejockey Strat-Talker

    Age:
    47
    218
    Dec 1, 2016
    the Bozone
    Isopropyl alcohol does take off sharpie, but you may need to get greater than 90% to make headway against old writing.
     

  13. jstewart

    jstewart Strat-O-Master

    688
    Feb 10, 2013
    Toluca Lake
    Embrace the obscene.
     

  14. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster


  15. ShaneRingo

    ShaneRingo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Chicago
    that's too 'effing much to spend on something like that.
     
    West Coast Idea likes this.

  16. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster

    Sounds like a good excuse to take sandpaper and start relicing! :cool:
     

  17. adiabatic

    adiabatic Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 2, 2013
    Western Canada
    Belt sander, rusty chains and a hammer!
     
    Yaralag likes this.

  18. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    You can likely get a majority of the black off but I suspect there may always be a yellowish/greenish shadow that remains. BTDT.
     

  19. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    You might ask at the pharmacy counter if they have any 'anhydrous' (100%) or 95%.
    If not, they should at least stock the typical 91% on the shelf.
    Don't bother with the 70% 'rubbing' alcohol.