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Auto Paint Job?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eilif, Jul 20, 2005.


  1. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Has anyone had a car paintshop paint their bass? I've heard rumors of this type of thing, and I saw a friends bass that was painted that way in the 70's. Any experiences with this?

    Reason being I would like a cherry red or lake placid blue jazz with matching headstock, and SX doesn't make that in a 5 string.
     
  2. eots

    eots

    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    I bought a 66' Fender Mustang with an alleged ABPJ. It's a faux copper color . Looks like gold base, brown/copper glaze that was ragged or plastic'd and pulled off, then amber clear coated. It's got a few boogers, probably cause the value of the bass didn't warrant spending much time rubbing them out. Still, it's unique. It was a basket case when I got it and spent several hundred $$ to get it up and running (tuners,screws, and a lindy fralin pup).
     
  3. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    Back in the '70s, we used either lacquer based paints or enamel based paints. Today most body shops today use urethane or water borne paints. I think you will notice that most of the paint jobs on later model cars hold up a lot better than those of the past. They look "new" a lot longer because of these basecoat/clearcoat finishes.

    I built a kit bass a while back and it was painted here in the body shop that I work in with a urethane basecoat/clearcoat finish. I don't have any pics available of it right now, but I will try to get some posted later.
     
  4. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Back in the 80's, when I was doing autobody repair, I painted several instruments with car paint. Mainly I used acrylic lacquer and acrylic urethanes. Did it work well? Yeah, I suppose. Seems to me though that car paint, especially the acrylic urethanes dried too hard. Sometimes it didn't allow the wood to expand and contract like wood does without some minor cracking. It's basically designed for painting steal or fiberglass. On the basses I'm building now I use a finish that's specifically designed for wood, though I use many of the same techniques I learned in my autobody days.
     
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    A friend did that to his instrument some time ago. He wanted it to be blue, so he did a car paint job on it. The only problem is that he plays TROMBONE. Can you imagine what happened to that instrument's sound? After that, this guy and his instrument got the nickname of "the diabolic trombone". I don't see the relationship with what he did, but anyway...
     
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    I would love to see pics if anyone has them.
     
  7. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    I've got a gig tonight but I can probably post a pic of the "BadAss Bass IV" sometimes tomorrow morning. I'll have to load the pic to my photobucket account.
     
  8. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I have a baritone, ahem, guitar with auto paint on it.

    It's this one --

    http://www.pacinfo.com/~sholst/k250bari.htm

    -- although you can't see the coral paint in that picture.

    (Anyone have any idea why the "link" button in the editor won't work for me?)
     
  9. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I've done that. Well, I did the painting myself, but I used high quality auto paints.

    Once I learned a bit, I got very nice results.

    Do not use laquer based paint on unsealed wood. The solvent soaks into the wood and can never quite "escape", so the paint never gets quite completely hard. It doesn't stay so soft you could easily dig a fingernail in it, but leaving it on a stand overnight would leave marks.

    So if you must use laquer, the wood has to be sealed, usually with shellac.

    It's easier to just use acrylic urethane with a catalyst. Easy to spray, dries nice and hard, you don't need a lot of it to cover completely.

    I never had a problem with cracking, but I can see where that's possible. I suppose you could add some "flex" to the paint - they have what is called a flex agent that is added to paint when it's going on a plastic bumper.

    For best results, use a clear coat for your "shine". It's harder to spray color and have it lay out nice and shiny; it's a very fine line between spraying until it looks wet and having the paint run on you. So the easy thing to do is spray just enough color to cover the wood well. It doesn't matter if it looks a little "flat". Then spray it with clear. Clear is a lot easier to shoot - a lot more room between looking wet (good) and running (bad).

    Unless you're going after an ultra-custom look with graphics that appear "sunk" within the paint, there's really no advantage to using laquer.
     
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Thanks for the advice Bruce. I'll have to ask the shop what kind of paints they use. I assume it will be poly but I want to be carefull.

    Mobay45 I'd totally appreciate pics.

    I'm getting pretty excited about the possiblities. Does anyone know how much I can expect to pay an auto shop to paint my bass? This really is a budget experiement.

    I was thinking of finding out what color cars they are painting and bringing in the body and neck when they get the a car being painted the color that I want my bass to be.
     
  11. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Should I strip the existing paint off the bass If it is brand new? What's the best way to do this? I would probably sand off the front of the headstock, but what should I use for the body?
     
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    All of the pre-CBS Fenders were painted with auto paint.
     
  13. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    I painted this bass with an all-purpose metal-wood-plastic primer and automotive grade paint that I got at Wal Mart. It came out OK, I guess, but it's missing the metallic flake that it had before it dried. And there's a bit of crackling from the extreme summer heat and humidity.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Here's a link to the lesson I wrote on MusicianForums on painting a bass. I sadly did not clear coat it yet. http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/article.php?a=706
     
  14. MyDogBo

    MyDogBo

    Aug 25, 2002
    LA
    i'd venture to guess today that the newer 'automotive' paints and guitar paints, properties, steps/processes etc are one in the same .. :)
     
  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    The processe are virtually one in the same. Sand a bit, fill in imperfections (Bondo/ Wood filler, etc.), sand more, prime, sand, paint, sand, topcoat.
     
  16. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Actually, you could pick out any color you see on any late model car and the body shop will have the formula on file to mix it. It only takes a few minutes. All the better body shops have a computerized system that automatically squirts out the proper amounts of each pigment and metallic content.

    They'll probably also have a book of color "chips" you can look through and take your pick.
     
  17. MyDogBo

    MyDogBo

    Aug 25, 2002
    LA
    any good automotive paint store works too - fact - your better stores will have all the old colors formula's from the 50's and 60's as well ..
     
  18. Here is a link in an online auto paint tool / supply shop http://www.eastwoodco.com/ They sell House of Kolors. Which are the #1 custom paints in auto aftermarket. Lots of cool finishing / detail products, too.
     
  19. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    I want to have an auto shop do it, anyone have any Idea what it would cost?
     
  20. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds
    Pat Wilkins sprays for just about everyone! Lakland, Sadowsky, MTD, Steinberger, Spector and a bunch of others!

    He uses auto grade paint and a thin poly top coat. Tough as nails. I'd also say that he does the BEST work in the business.

    Wilkins Guitars