Painting My P's Headstock

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Willicious, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    Hey all,
    So, this is my bass.
    Body is Mary Kaye White, poly finish. Neck is Amber tint nitro.

    I love the look of this '59 P with maple neck and matching headstock.
    612Fender1959P-Bass_001_zps8e83f94c. 612Fender1959P-Bass_003_zps09665e85.

    I've been thinking about painting my P's headstock just like this.
    If I do this I would go with Oly White in nitro spray cans from either Gracey's or Reranch. I might also have some of their amber-tint clear nitro on hand, in case the Oly White comes out too white in comparison to the body. I've not done a paint job before (nitro or otherwise), but I'm pretty confident in my overall bass modding skills.

    My questions:
    Do you guys have any general advice, or would you care to outline how you'd do this job were it your bass?

    What masking tape would you recommend, given the nitro finish?

    Would you apply a final clear coat, or just polish the color coat and call it good?

  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I love the look of your bass as is.
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I wouldn't do it. Looks great the way it is.
  4. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    ^ ^ ^
    Thanks for your votes, guys. Still on the fence about this. :D
    Maybe I'll buy an All Parts neck and paint it instead. Hmmm....
  5. Mahataru


    Apr 7, 2013
    Don't fix what ain't broke
  6. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Atlanta, Georgia
    If you go through with it, I'd definitely clear coat then polish. If you decide to reapply the logo, spraying clear over it (then polishing) is the way to go. With the masking tape, any kind of painter's tape should work.
    Read this tutorial thread by TB user Musiclogic, illustrating the many steps involved with decal application/finishing. I am just about ready to buff out a Fender licensed Mighty Mite replacement neck on my Squier P-bass. Aside from the very poor quality '59 style decal, (you can see the grain through the silver letters) it looks pretty darn nice. PM me if you want to know where to get a high quality decal.
  8. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    Thanks for the tip, I will likely do this. My current decal is applied on top of the lacquer, like pre-CBS Fenders. However, I'm always worried I'll nick it while changing strings, etc.
  9. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    That's a phenomenal tutorial, and pretty much answers all my questions, including a lot of stuff I didn't know I needed to know. Thanks for the offer of info on decals. I bought quite a few gorgeous, high quality decals a couple years back, for both Jazzes and Precisions, in all the different eras. If you run out, shoot me a PM.