Hey guys, I know this is a very subjective topic but I would value some input on the methods of finishing the body of an electric bass. I've been wanting to build my own bass for a long time, and having recently gotten into woodworking for a hobby, I now have access to tools and rudimentary skills to do so. But I need a bit of advice before I go and spend a ton of money on different finishes. The short version: Modifying the body shape of a bass, made from basswood (not sure how many pieces) and need opinions on choosing stain/oil finish versus painting. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences, I've never painted anything before and am barely experienced with staining. I use Danish oil on my other woodworking projects. The long version: Before throwing myself headfirst into building guitars from scratch, I figured I would get my feet wet by buying a cheap bass and modifying it first. I am getting my hands on a pretty cheap imitation of a Yamaha RBX 270 and will be significantly changing the shape of the body and somewhat reshaping the headstock, among other small modifications. As such, the entire body and headstock will be sanded and need a new finish. As I don't yet know the details of the wood this guitar body will be made of, besides that it is basswood, it could be 3, 4 or even 5 pieces glued together for all I know. My preference generally leans to an oil finish as that is what I know. I could do a super dark blue or purple stain with a Danish Oil finish on top. But does basswood look decent under a stain? How would the seam lines react/look when stained? Stain and oil would be cheaper and easier for me. But will it look good? Should I just bite the bullet and hide the wood under a ton of paint? Also, to make a pickguard or not? I lean to not, but the top is not exactly an exotic wood worth showing off, so maybe it is worth while? I have plenty of time up my sleeve, by the time the guitar gets here from overseas, and I have the shape refined and sanded ready for finish, it could be June or even July! So I'm not in a rush, but I like to plan things ahead and I can't get this question out of my mind! I appreciate any and all opinions on the subject. What would YOU do? Attached is my basic design idea for the shape of the body. Just if you were wondering. Not sure where the design is inspired by, there is a familiarity that I can't place. But I drew that myself so I'm claiming it as my original design!