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Painting inside an acoustic bass guitar

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Mr M, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Is it possible to paint inside an acoustic bass guitar (I mean the part you see through the soundhole -or whatever it is called).

    I really don't like the raw, unfinished/uncolored look of the inside part of my ABG. I'm planning to paint the inside black.
    Has any body painted inside of an ABG?
    What kind of paint/finish would you suggest? To use a dye, is it OK?
    Will painting the inside part, affect the tone of my ABG, such as killing the sound/tone?
    Can the paint leak toward to other side of the back of the bass?

    My acoustic is a cheapo, so I don't worry to ruin it, if things doesn't turn to look better. If you already tried such a painting or have suggestions, I'd like to hear them.
  2. i havent ever done that but you could probably get away with spray paint. The inside dosn't get much abuse so the paint probably wont flake off. but i really dont completely know. let us know how it turns out
  3. i would take the strings off first :)
  4. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Unless you have black strings.:smug:
  5. I guess i assumed i wouldnt have to say that...
  6. jim1457


    Mar 29, 2006
    Honolulu Hawaii
    I knew a guitar player who oiled the inside of his acoustic guitar. He liked it, said it warmed up the tone nicely, it was too bright before that.

    I'd stay away from paint myself. Ebony stain maybe. I'd expect it to sound mellower after that, less projection.
  7. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    as long as you dont paint the soundboard (the "top", which you cant see and cant really reach anyway) i dont think your sound will change much, the sides and top not supposed to contribute much to the sound. (google for the guitar made with paper mache sides and back)

    i would go with a black dye like the ebony one jim suggested. stewmac sells something for darkening non-black pieces of ebony. im thinking it would be very difficult to spray an even layer of black into an assembled ABG.
  8. OK thanks for the replies.
    Thanks for marvelous suggestions about strings. Why I haven't thought it before :p

    I'll try the black dye. I won't touch the soundboard.
    Now the question is: how much more black could this be? :D :D :D
  9. A lot of acoustics have a "wash coat" of shellac (or similar) sprayed on the inside, just to seal the grain and keep the plates from moving under humidity changes. If that's the case, your stain won't penetrate and it will look blotchy.

    Go with spray paint. Just mask off the top and inside edge around the soundhole and you should be OK. Several light coats to avoid runs, as you'll be shooting pretty close to your surface. And you probably want a matte or satin finish, not glossy.

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