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Silver/Grey Fender Precision Bass Has Turned Green!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mark Davies, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies

    Feb 18, 2018
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm posting here to see if anyone has any suggestions. I'm new to the Forum so, if I approach anything in the wrong way, excuse me.
    I have a 1986 (E6... serial number, anyway) MIJ Fender Precision, which I bought new in 1988 and have used ever since. It is a silver/grey without scratchplate. I gigged the last time with it in 2009 after which it has been in a flight case, with a lot of house moving etc. I finally brought it out again about two years ago, I think, and my excitement was dulled a bit by a reaction that seems to have occurred. The paintwork has turned a bit green. Not in patches or anything, but the entire paint job. Now, it's not strong enough to show in a photo.
    Does anyone know how/why this has occurred? Is it lack of air/oxygen. Is it some kind of reaction to being in darkness? And, can I get rid of it?
    Any help or advice would be gratefully appreciated.
    Thank you.
    BurnOut likes this.
  2. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Juat call your bass “Dr Banner.”
  3. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies

    Feb 18, 2018
    If all else fails... :)
  4. Mysteries of modern chemistry ... what I think however is that it is almost surely an irreversible change ... :whistle:
  5. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    There really is nothing to be done outside of a refin.
    Mark Davies likes this.
  6. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    It's supposed to turn slightly green according to the 3rd rule of paint and varnish science.
  7. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies

    Feb 18, 2018
    There was a little adhesive sticker, which I removed the other day, and reveals the original colour. I think it’s possible to see on the photo I just took.

    Attached Files:

    Garret Graves likes this.
  8. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Many painted finishes and natural exotic wood basses oxidize and change color over time.
    jamro217, Picton, PDGood and 2 others like this.
  9. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Clearcoat sometimes turns yellow with age.
  10. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies

    Feb 18, 2018
    All makes sense. It’s possible the top layer has, in fact, yellowed and it seems greenish against the silver. And maybe it has been doing this gradually since the beginning but having not seen the bass for probably 6 years, the difference was really noticeable.
    jamro217, yodedude2 and gebass6 like this.
  11. I’ve noticed this on every 25th anniversary Strat I’ve seen in recent years.
    Mark Davies likes this.
  12. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    "Polar White" Ibanez from the early 80s are pure yellow at this point. The color shift is all in the clear coat on those.
    A lot of Fenders were coming from the same builder (Fujigen) in the 80s.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    Socobass and PDGood like this.
  13. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    UV exposure and oxidation are the two most common reason. If you leave a bass out of it's case and gig bag, have it near a window with direct sunlight, it will change the color pretty quickly. I've seen guitars hanging at window displays get sun aged pretty quickly. White guitars turn to a cream or yellow- even pickguards.
    Another possibility is nicotine residue from playing in smoke filled rooms and bars. This will feel sticky to the touch but can removed with a mild abrasive. I bought a guitar once from a heavy smoker, the thing reeked of tobacco and the finish was different in certain spots, more dull. I took the guitar apart and cleaned it thoroughly- took a while but got the dull residue off and more importantly the smell.
  14. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies

    Feb 18, 2018
    I’m not strong on science, so I don’t know why this lacquer fade/ yellowing didn’t happen under the spot where the little transparent sticker was. Well, if this ageing is due to air/oxygen, then I do understand.
    I just have to learn to love it, then?
    Socobass and ThuzzleFump like this.
  15. navijaz

    navijaz Guest

    Sep 20, 2016
    Yep, looks like the clear coat has yellowed over the decades. Wear it with pride. It's probably all you can do at this point.
    Socobass and Mark Davies like this.
  16. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies

    Feb 18, 2018
    Yes, TOO MUCH direct light I would readily have believed to have been a cause of something. This has happened after years INSIDE a flight case so, if it’s light-related, then it’s down to a lack of.
    Socobass and Lbsterner like this.
  17. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Sounds like more from UV exposure. The spot under the sticker wasn't exposed to it so retained it's original color. Much like when people tan and leave their glasses on.

    EDIT: just saw your comment that it was kept inside the case. In that case, oxidation which is a slower process. The sticker/glue created a seal preventing air from affecting that spot on the bass.

    I wouldn't refinish it personally, would take away that vintage kind of vibe to it.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    Mark Davies likes this.
  18. navijaz

    navijaz Guest

    Sep 20, 2016
    The color had probably changed before to some extent but you never noticed it because you were using the bass all the time. Now when you took it out after a few years without having seen it, it was more obvious to you, like you said.
    Trouztrouz and Mark Davies like this.
  19. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Can you post a pic of the entire bass?
    bassstrangler likes this.
  20. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies

    Feb 18, 2018
    Edit: It may sound icky but, for anyone enlarging the pic, the dark spots under the strings are blood spats from a particularly arduous 4-set gig over 20 years ago. I don’t clean it because... I don’t know, rock n roll memories, I suppose. Everything is original. I don’t even repair damage from drops and bumps, to add character.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    CaseyVancouver, wmmj, wagdog and 12 others like this.

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