How to remove paint from a vintage violin

tsf999September 6, 2009

Does anyone know how I could remove gold paint from a vintage violin? I recently acquired a nice violin at a garage sale, but the previous owner decided to paint it and use it as decoration. She used some type of gold paint on the trim, peg head, and around the sound holes. Is there any way of removing this paint without ruining the finish underneath?

I'll try to include a picture:

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A lot is going to depend on what kind of paint.

Violins are often finished with varnish, so even paint thinner will have little effect on the finish.

It is likely to need some wax after stripping the paint.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 12:22PM
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I don't hold out much hope that you can remove the gold exclusively. I would try some xylene, and then some acetone, but anything stronger will be sure to remove the varnish as well.
But, there's hope. You can apply some of this finish with a soft cotton cloth. I have a bottle, it's very nice stuff for furniture touch-ups as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Violin Varnish

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 2:44PM
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You might want to look for a luthier (stringed instrument restorer) in your area for tips, especially if it may have some value as an antique.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 3:59PM
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Being a professional musician for over 40 years, this is not a DIY job. You need to find a quality luthier to see if the paint can be removed.

I would also have it appraised. It could be of value - more than you think.

Enjoy the journey.
eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 5:56AM
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