Painting a pickguard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Feb 10, 2014.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Location:
    New York City
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I'm sure it's been asked, but unsure where to search...

    Is there anything I can spray paint my p/g with that will be durable. Just wanna turn my tortoise shell white.
  2. Aqualung60

    Aqualung60

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Point Pleasant, New Jersey
    Krylon "Fusion". Works great and needs no prep.
  3. Bobster

    Bobster

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Joe,

    You might be able to trade a tort guard for white pretty easy.

    Bob
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Location:
    New York City
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Thanks guys.

    This is what I want! :)

    Bob, ordinarily yes, but it's for a 2013 Gibson EB. They only exist in tort, or black (on the 2014s). I'd have to either custom order one or paint it. Much rather paint it for $5, than order a custom guard that I'd have to trace and then say my prayers about after ordering. I remember reading several horror stories regarding custom p/gs.

    As fer the paint, anything special I should do? Paint it laying flat, or hanging? How many coats? Anyone know?

    And would satin white be close to what a stock white p/g would be. Not sure what the color whould be.

    [​IMG]

    The above is what I'm lookin to do.
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  6. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Don't know about the no prep. I'd at least make sure it was degreased before painting. Wash it good with hot water and dish soap then let it dry completely. Body oils will keep paint from sticking so keep that in mind when handling. Lay it on a piece of scrap paper, cardboard, wood, whatever, and lay on a series of light coats, allowing each to dry before putting on the next one. Follow the directions on the can for distance from work piece and such.

    If you want a glossy finish paint as is with gloss paint, if you want a matte finish, lightly scuff with a Scotchbrite pad and use gloss paint, if you want a flat finish, do the scuff and use flat paint.
  7. Laidback

    Laidback

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2014
    Painting a p/g should be no problem. I haven't painted one but I've painted lotsa **** including a chrome Harley frame. Painted it satin black and looks awesome. Like some dude said, wash it good but after you do that use regular rubbing alcohol to clean any fingerprints, grease etc. Spray it. You can run 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper over it when it has cured but probably not necessary. If it doesn't turn out the way you want, contact me and in the spring I'll paint it for you.
  8. LJVSK

    LJVSK

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Location:
    Genesee County, MI
    If it were me, I'd order a sheet of pickguard material and make it in white. Sure it'll cost $20 including shipping but the result will be way better than painting your existing one.

    [​IMG]

    I made the black one in the pic in under an hour and it totally transformed the look of my Gibson, to the better IMO. :D
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Location:
    New York City
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    And if I knew what I were doing regarding that, I'd probably just build my own bass :) .

    Did you really think if I didn't know how to paint a pickguard, that I'd know how to cut one out of pickguard material? Or are ya just showin off.

    Bass looks awesome by the way, so it worked if you were :).
  10. LJVSK

    LJVSK

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Location:
    Genesee County, MI
    Thanks for the compliment and I'm sorry that it came off as showing off, Joe. At 2mm thickness I just used snips to trim it out real close to the trace line with the protective paper still in place. Then I used course and fine sand paper to get the edge slightly rounded on the show edge. I used the original pickguard for screw locations and drilled the clearance holes but did not chamfer the holes opting to let the screw heads sit atop the pickguard. First one I ever made, honest.

    I did go the extra step of having a vinyl cut from a custom vinyl cutting service because I wanted to have a Thunderbird on my Gibson.

    It's not hard to do and the satisfaction I get from looking at the finished product is great!
  11. poit57

    poit57

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    This is a bad photo of my cream colored EB bass with parchment (antique white) pick guard. I sent my original pick guard to WD Music for them to create a template, so that part is already taken care of if you were to order from them. I am pleased with their work

    The only problem I have is that the antique white is much whiter than I expected based on their online color palette. Doesn't quite look the same as my Photoshop mock ups, but I still prefer this look over the factory tort guard.

    [​IMG]
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Location:
    New York City
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Any chance you can repost that EB pic? It's not showing up. I'd like to see it, as that might be a consideration.

    Also, how much did it cost you?

    Thanks.
  13. poit57

    poit57

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    This is a better quality image than I attempted posting from work this afternoon.

    WD Music gave me a little discount for allowing them to make a template from my guard, but based on the price they gave me, it should be around $40. That's is obviously much more than if a simple spray can will do the trick, but I preferred to let a professional take care of this for me.

    <iframe src="https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=FD4A739E37869A03&resid=FD4A739E37869A03%2114265&authkey=ABXXbadLAK38MlQ" width="320" height="110" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>



    Based on the material samples shown on WD Music's website and the Gibson stock photo, this is what my mockup looked like. The colors of each obviously didn't match the actual products.
    <iframe src="https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=FD4A739E37869A03&resid=FD4A739E37869A03%2111574&authkey=ALCE6uhG138bGsU" width="318" height="99" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Don't know about plain old rubbing alcohol, but I ruined a tort guard wiping it down with denatured alcohol. Much strong stuff denatured, but you might want to test anything stronger than hot water and Dawn dishwashing liquid on the back before you throw it on the showing side.

    Lot of the newer guards are some sort of lexan based material that is pretty impervious to most of the usual low grade solvent based cleaners, but if I had designs on using any of that on my guard, I'd put a wee dab on the back first.

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