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Pick guard painting

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by travhop42, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. travhop42


    Dec 21, 2010
    Has anyone tried painting their pick guards? I have an ugly white one and have been thinking about spray painting it.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Billy K

    Billy K

    Nov 5, 2009
    North Bay Marin
    I have had little luck with it holding up.My white guard was painted flat black 3 coats then 5 coats satin clear I wanted a stealth bomber look. It looked cool as hell on my black bass with black hardware but it scratches easily. I thought the satin clear would protect it from that .I would love to hear if someone knows of something rock solid
  3. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    Krylon makes rattle cans which are for painting plastics. it might hold up a little better. the only thing i can think of is to topcoat the pickguard with a coat or two of a clear gravel guard type product. this will make it feel rubber coated instead of the hard-slick surface you are used to.
  4. JimmyThunder

    JimmyThunder Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I used that stuff to paint a guard a few months back and am pleased with the results.
  5. vondran


    May 13, 2012
    The best way is to paint the inside surface of the clear pickguard. That doesn't help with your white one.
  6. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I have. I painted my original Squier P's black pg with my own design with paint markers and then cleared it. It turned out pretty good. I recently bought a plain white one and painted it dark sparkle red and left it flat, with no clear. I think it looks awesome. Heres the red one. I will have to post the other one I painted designs on later when I get home.

    Attached Files:

  7. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I've used this on pickguards and never had a problem.
  8. Mine scratched off every time I painted it. :( Even with a clear coat.
  9. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    My guess is you have to make sure you scuff or rough the pickguard surface first. Paints don't like to stick to hard, smooth surfaces even if they are designed to go over plastic.
  10. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    And yes, you do need to sand the pg with a light grade sandpaper. It sticks much better that way. I didnt do it to the first one I did and the paint liked to smear where my thumb rested when playing. The red one is sticking like a champ. The picture also shows a before shot of the last, touch up, coat I laid down so the edges are nice and even. I was please with the end result.
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    This happened to me too. I'm told giving it a brush-over with even a Scotch-Brite pad should do the trick. Just don't dig in too deep. Your prepping the surface with a little scoring, not trying to work down through the layers.

    I've also used spray paint for plastics. I used Valspar black gloss twice. I don't know if Krylon would be a bit stronger.

    One other thing you need is PATIENCE! Give each layer at least a day to fully dry, and try to do it where you don't have to worry about dust/particulate getting into the paint. Once the first layer is dry, give the surface a very light once-over with the scouring pad or fine sandpaper…something to give the second layer to hold onto. Then go over the finished (and fully dried) layer with layers of clear coat, gloss or satin…whichever you prefer. Do at least three coats a day apart, just to be safe.

    I know some may say a day between coats is taking too long, but if the paint doesn't fully dry, you'll get a blistering effect where your thumb makes the most contact. (I once tried adding a new layer of paint later on, and the lower layers didn't meld well and I got an unintentional crackle effect) So, I say let it dry fully. All it costs you is some time and patience, because if it doesn't take properly, you can't just hit "RESET" and start over.