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Hofner Icon Switches/ Help?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jake_mckean, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Hey everyone, I'm new here but I've been reading around for a while and I can't seem to find a detailed explanation on how to paint the slide switches on the Hofner Icon bass. I'm going to paint black plastic switches a creamy white.

    It looks like this at the moment:
    This is the goal:

    Any step by step instructions would be great, along with Pictures(would be GREAT), and advice on the easiest and best looking paint that could be used for this project. Thanks everyone!
  2. Peacefrog35


    Dec 26, 2009
    I will help. The bottom pic you posted is actually a Contemporary bass I owned a few years ago. I received that bass and painted the switches and took that photo the same day.
    First take your control panel volume knobs off, unscrew the control plate. Clean your switches with soap and water....make sure they are dry...use a Qtip. Now some people use primer first. I did not. I didn't need to. Tape the switches off with blue painters tape or masking tape.. This is very important. Put a bag around the rest of your bass and tape it. You only want paint on the switches. If it gets on the bass, it's easy to clean up that heavy poly coat so don't worry. Spray light burst of paint of your choice. 2 light coats are best. If you spray it too heavy, it will gum it up. You don't want the ridges in on top of the switches to lose detail. Light even bursts of paint. Wait until completely dry, remove tape and put back together and Voila! YOu are all set.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Actually that is more or less what I figured:D
    Is there a way to paint the switches with a brush instead of a can, and if so, would it look bad?(what brand of paint and color would you recommend? I've heard good things about testors.) I'm sorry to badger you, but I just really don't want to mess up my bass. Could you further explain how to take off the control plate safely? By that I mean removing the volume knobs. Thank you for all your help, Chris its greatly appreciated.:hyper:

    PS: To get a more vintage look on my control plate, could I just take the plate itself and to the ole sit-in-hot-coffee trick or do you think it would look a little off?
  4. Peacefrog35


    Dec 26, 2009
    It's no bother, that's what we are all here for yes? haha.
    Taking off the control panel is easy. YOur stock knobs pull off with pressure. Then you will see that the plate is held in plast to the controls with nuts and washers around the pots. A good set of pliers will get your started and then you can finish unscrewing by hand. Oh and the 2 screws holding it all on to the body. It all comes apart rather easily. The prep work making sure the switches are clean and free of oily residue that remains after manufactuing and the taping of eveyrthing off is the difference between a professional looking job and a messy one.
    Choice of paint is up to you. If you go with an accurate off white/cream color, you will want to also age the control panel. I've done with using stains on a CT panel,but it's not all that easy. The ICON is best if you use a couple of coats of KIWI shoe polish..wipe on, let it sit for 30 mins to an hour, wipe off.
    If you don't want to age the parts, use an white to slightly offwhite or eggshell colored paint.
    Have fun.

    Edit: If you have tea cups on currently, I assume you know how to get those off and since this is an ICON, you will be removing the 4 corner screws in the control plate instead of the 2 found on the CT and German basses. I figured you knew that,but want to be thorough. If you need any other info, post up here or feel free to send a PM. That goes for anyone else here. I'm no expert,but will always help if I can.

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