HELP: Painting necks and fingerboards.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Discgraham, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Hey everyone,
    Ok here's the deal. About 4 years ago, I defretted one of my basses. I love this bass to death, but I'm really starting to get tired of the look of the neck. It's a fantastic neck: Maple with Purplehart slats where the frets were. It also has big ugly black dots on the neck, and it really looks too busy.

    The bass is black, and I've been thinking about painting the neck and fingerboard black too to make a total stealth bass. I think it would look really cool, but I would love to hear your input. How is the playability of a fretless effected by a painted fingerboard?

    By the way, I'm planning on using a spray on black paint and covering it with a clear, hard, high gloss finish. Replies would be appriciated.
  2. Unless you're prepared to do an epoxy, CA, or polyester coating on the fingerboard after painting, your paint won't hold up very long at all. These top coats will require some special tools (radius sanding blocks, leveling bars, etc) and the will take some skill and patience. The chance of failure is pretty high if you aren't very familiar with the materials. Think and plan hard before attempting this.

    An alternative might be to remove all of the current finish, plane or sand down the current arch in the fingerboard and then install a pre-radiused ebony fingerboard from LMI. If it isn't black enough, dye it blacker with Behlen Oil Dye for leather. Then just paint the back of the neck for the rest of the black. You might even be able to do this with a thinner ebony veneer over the radius but I'm not too familiar with the availability of ebony veneer.
  3. Thanks for the ideas. Putting a new fingerboard sounds like a lot of work there. I'm trying to do this in the simplest manner possible. I defretted and refinished the neck before, so I'm confident I can do the refinishing again. Thanks for your input.

    Ok, what about some kind of rub in dye, followed by a sealing finish such as epoxy? Are there rub in dyes that would conseal the wood enough?
  4. Heads up! :rolleyes: Be glad it isn't a brick!