Paint over Tung oil?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by David Jayne, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Sorry if this is redundant. Couldn't find it.
    I've got a dinky P bass body, Black Korina. It was bought for research purposes and has ended up with extra holes, and an oversized pickup route. Yep, butchered it. Once again, Science has defeated Aesthetics.
    I originally finished it 3 years ago, with Tung oil.

    Given the very obvious grain in this piece, I can't see how I could possibly hide my experiments effectively, without going to a solid color. Feel free to point out my lack of vision on this point, if possible.

    I have zero experience finishing wood, aside from this, and painting my house. Yeah. But I really need to learn, because I intend to do this again.

    So, my thinking is to paint it black. Glossy black. This, I am sure, requires equipment and knowledge I ain't got.

    Thank you all, in advance. Dave
  2. 62bass

    62bass Guest

    Apr 3, 2005
    It's really a shame to paint such a beautiful piece of wood, although it could be done.

    First, I'd try to fill all the holes and any other damaged parts by gluing in patches of matching wood. This is probably beyond your ability but a good wood refinisher could do it. Then stain to match the new pieces and a few coats of oil until it looks good again. The patches would hardly show if done right.

    Sure, paint will stick if you sand it first and then wipe it down well with naptha or paint thinner. But your paint job is quite likely to be as bad as your carpentry. Getting a flawless paint finish requires a bit of skill and experience.

    I'd suggest first to get a copy of the book "Hand Applied Finishes" by Jeff Jewitt and available from Taunton Press or maybe your library. There's a chapter in there about repairing damaged wood finishes as well as the many types of finishes that can be applied by hand. It'll give you a better understanding of what your options are and what you can do yourself.
  3. Totally agreed. Best option would be to pay somebody. But I don't wanna. Gotta learn somehow. Big, big curve, I am sure. No illusions.
  4. J.D.B.


    Mar 11, 2007
    I'd leave it alone and play the hades out of it. It's a page of yer building history. Look at it while you do your next project. I would likely put some cool lights in the holes.
    Seriously, though, I wouldn't paint over it, maybe just fill the o-size rout. Nice wood!

  5. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Pickup ring?
  6. Like this? I love Barts.
  7. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yeah, could you make something like that for the nordies?
  8. drden

    drden Guest

    Nov 11, 2008
    Troy, NY
    I tried to refinish my bass awhile ago, and the gloss polyester finishes on say, a fender are very hard to replicate if you have no experience like me. My father is a woodworker and handy-man, so I wasn't completely lost. :smug: I stripped off the finish with a rotary sander and threw on a few coats of primer, then color, then clear. haha, quite a bit came right off because I didn't wait nearly long enough to reassemble it. instead of covering up that beautiful korina, you should make like dmusic148 and get a funky pickguard type of a deal.:cool:
  9. Like this? I love Barts, but ended up going with Nordstrand pups.
  10. Here's my latest effort. AGC filter pre. Nordstrand Fat Stacks, with coil tap switch.
  11. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom Guest

    Sep 8, 2008
    wow, that looks great, and yeah, dont paint that lovely wood, it looks too sweet, send that one to me and ill make you a nice plywood one you can paint:D
  12. good looking bass, and a nice wood floor too
  13. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    I vote to leave it as it is. Put some useless pots or switches in the holes if they really bother you - that limba's too nice to paint over.
  14. 62bass

    62bass Guest

    Apr 3, 2005
    Then learn to do it right. Do your research. Get the book I suggested. Go out and get some scrap wood and finishing materials. Do some practice. When you feel ready, jump in with both feet. It's a lot of fun when you start to get the hang of it.
  15. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    Yeah, I'd try making a nice ebony plate to go around the pickup. Or cover that problem with a ramp.

    While you're at it I would give it a light hand sanding and then a new coat of oil. I think it would look great.
  16. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom Guest

    Sep 8, 2008
    yup, that would look great, and a ramp would be functional as well at good astetically
  17. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    I would vote for a wooden pickguard of contrasting shade. Similar to a Pedula in shape, covering the neck pickup, routing work, and your holes, but not surrounding the neck pocket like a jazz bass would.

    You keep the beauty of wood, and most of the korina stays visible, and you add a distinctive touch.