Painting your bass

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Buddy Lee, Jun 10, 2002.

  1. Buddy Lee

    Buddy Lee

    May 5, 2002
    I'm considering painting my bass. Just a few important questions:

    1. How to remove the current varnish (without damaging the wood)?

    2. What kind of varnish can be used that won't damage the wood or affect the bass' sound?
    (What about dd-varnish? It can be used for guitars...)

    3. How many coats of varnish should be applied?
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Check out There's lots of info on refinishing over there. You have to register (free) to access the archives.
  3. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va

    I posted some stuff at the mimf

    I've never heard of DD laquer--what is it?

    You can probably strip it easily with commercial stripper. If it's a nitro finish it will come away easily and won't damage the wood if you take it easy at the seams--some strippers can soften some glues. If it's a polyurathane of some kind you could be in for trouble

    Will you change the tone? Probably some, maybe a lot, maybe not, depending on what's on there now and how heavy it is.

    Car paints are probably the best choice--lots of colors and a hard finish

    Guitar reranch as a lot of cool vintage colors in spray cans. But the best way to do what i think you want to do would be an airbrush rig
  4. Buddy Lee

    Buddy Lee

    May 5, 2002
    Ok, stripper. Or could I just airbrush the current varnish with one coat of paint? Would that dampen the tone a lot?

    DD-varnish is used for guitars as far as I know...
    But what about acrylic paint, would that work trouble-free?

    BTW: D'you know if stripper can also be used to remove an acoustic guitar's finish?
  5. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I don't think you'd deaden it too much--an airbrush layer is pretty thin. You could just go over the existing finish
  6. pea


    Aug 10, 2002
    south west england
    you should strip it really, although be very careful about glues if using a stripper. Most basses have lots of coats on them anyways so one light coat of colour shouldnt hurt much. Just 'key' the surface with 400 grit abrasive or higher. This will help your next coat adhere to the varnish, oh and make sure your paint is varnish friendly, or youll have a mess on yer hands, good luck. Oh just out of curiosity, why do you want to paint it??
  7. Buddy Lee

    Buddy Lee

    May 5, 2002
    I don't wanna paint it anymore. Not at the moment.