anyone finish a bass using automotive lacquer?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bon viesta, Mar 29, 2022.

  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    pretend i put a question mark in the title… whoops.

    so i’ve found a website called
    “” which has TONS AND TONS of vintage color acrylic lacquer car finishes, including the original color for shoreline gold (oldsmobile 1960 gold mist, WA2553) which is the only fender specific acrylic lacquer i’ve ever found.

    so an idea for finishing my precision bass in automotive paint (riverside gold or gold mist, not sure what color yet) was inspired both by 60s fender and a user here who had finished their p bass in 1970 ford gold metallic, and it seems i’ll be using this site for the paint. but i wonder if there’s anyone else around here who’s put car colors on their bass. if so, pictures are MANDATORY!!

    Attached Files:

  2. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2022
  3. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Reranch carries the Shoreline Gold Metallic in rattlecans as well, they have most of the popular Fender colors. Some good articles on prep and applying them. Full respirator mandatory, of course. Nitro is nasty stuff.
    Guitar ReRanch ~ Available Colors
  4. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    they have all the fender colors, but they’re nitro unlike the original acrylic finishes. not a giant difference, but it’s interesting to note that this is really the only time i’ve ever found an (assumably) exact match of a fender custom color with acrylic lacquer. i guess the other would be olympic white, which is just any white.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  5. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    There are a few posts on this site about using auto body paint on guitars. As far as I can recall the tl;dr version is: "sure, why not?"
    DJ Bebop and SixtyCycleHum like this.
  6. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Im a sucker sucker for the surf colors like Seafoam. I tried to do an old MIM P in seafoam using acrylic craft paints mixed with Varathane Ultimate. It worked pretty well, but closer to Daphne blue than seafoam, never found the exact shade I wanted. I dont have access to a full blown spray rig, including the explosion proof fans and all that. Can you get the period correct acrylics in rattlecan? Ive never done metallics, Reranch has you doing it over white base coat.
    bon viesta likes this.
  7. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i actually believe you can. this is one of the few places that doesn’t make you buy specific colors at quarts and gallons for 2 figures. also, unlike a lot of other scammy paint matching places where the reviews are terrible, it seems that these guys are super accurate.

    Exact-Match Car Paint | Premium Automotive Paint for Flawless Results | Easy-to-Use Auto Paint | Truck and Car Touch-Up Paint | AutomotiveTouchup
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  8. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i’ve looked up and down the site and at paint reference sheets and i believe the only color that they have that is explicitly a fender custom color is the 1960 oldsmobile gold mist metallic. i’ve looked for lake placid blue, inca silver, firemist gold, and maybe a few others. get yourself a sheet of the fender paint codes, and you can probably use the search to find every single match!

    actually, i just looked up the shoreline gold code again in search and found more results for the same color, since cadillac used it too. i didn’t find those matches when i was looking normally!!

    Attached Files:

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  9. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i’ve just also found ocean turquoise metallic! so if anyone’s interested you now have the exact color available in acrylic lacquer.

    Attached Files:

  10. If they have all those old DuPont colors they should have matches for all the Fender custom colors. DuPont didn’t call them seafoam green or whatever name Fender used so you’d need a color chart with the original codes. I think Vintage Guitar has done articles with a list of Fender and Gibson custom colors with the original codes.
    Beej likes this.
  11. elillywv


    Aug 3, 2020
    Hurricane, WV
    DE1D591A-BF6D-4EEF-8E74-7881A3BDB53B.jpeg I had my ‘76 P refinished in ‘78 or ‘79 to “Corvette Yellow”. It stayed that way until spring 2020, when I restored it to its original natural finish.
    (Edit for clarity)
  12. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    I had a car paint shop mix this color and some 2k clear into spray cans.
    2020 Camero Rally Green Metallic
    20201122_161627.jpg 20201123_080510.jpg 20201123_080813.jpg 20201123_080749.jpg
  13. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    rattle can or spraygun YMMV. I used rattle can automotive for my only refin, it covered nice in a champagne pearl (gold basically) but it was the clearcoat that was a bugger. I went with poly and must of used 10 cans of it, still not as thick as nitro and you gotta let it dry for half a decade:confused:, but it came out decent for a 1st timer.
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  14. A friend has used that to refinish many guitars and they always look great.

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  15. HertzWhenIPlay


    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    Sure have.
  16. tmvt


    Feb 9, 2022
    As a teen I added this spray canned competition stripe and a poly finish over it from pep boys. I could have done a better job but I did not look up any info back then and just went with it. But it has lasted over 20 years with only one chip and the rest is still holding up. pbass.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
    DJ Bebop, Dabndug and frankstallone like this.
  17. Automotive lacquer will work fine as long as you do proper preparation for finishing. Half-assed prep yields a poor result with any finish but with lacquer it’ll be an epic fail.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  18. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    car paint will work fine. heck, i painted an entire guitar with textured appliance paint from a can once. still have it, paint is still on it 39 years later.
    DJ Bebop and Beej like this.
  19. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Not only nitro. The chemical contents of lacquer labeled as nitrocellulose lacquer can include acrylic, particularly now/these days. Lacquer is lacquer. Lacquer is nasty stuff, period.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2022
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  20. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended… always. Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    A buddy of mine uses auto finishing supplies exclusively when finishing guitars and drums. His work looks great!