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Staining a maple fretboard?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Phamoushao, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Phamoushao


    Nov 11, 2018
    I saw this black fingerboard stain on stewmac and wondered if could get my maple fretboard to look a little darker, almost like rosewood. I don’t know if it’s just me but I prefer darker fretboards over lighter ones. Maybe if I sanded it down and then stained and it would look like rosewood. Asking for a friend here. :bassist:
  2. The maple should have a finish on it so you would have to remove that, typically by sanding, which means either sanding between the frets and hoping for the best or removing the frets, sand, stain, refret, refinish. If it’s a bolt on neck bolts t might be easier to get a new one. If you want to do it for learning or a challenge, go for it.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Fixed it for you. If left unfinished, a maple neck will be stained grey from finger filth after a week of playing it.

  4. Yes. I guess I was leaving open the possibility it was some sort of unfinished neck from China or some such.
  5. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    I think you will be better with a dye than a stain to keep any of the grain prominent as you go from light to dark.
  6. Phamoushao


    Nov 11, 2018
  7. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    Here is a video teaching everything you need to know about dye.
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    It wont work. It will just lie on top of the finish that’s already there. It’ll rub off in short time.
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I agree. Even with dye the result is likely to be really patchy. The finish that is on there will not easily remove completely and unless it is utterly eradicated the dye or stain will not take evenly. My best advice is don't do it. Buy a neck with a dark-wood board.
  10. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    If the OP does this, I'm interested to see the results.
  11. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    gebass6 likes this.
  12. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    imo, buy a neck with a dark board. any home dye job is gonna look like folk-art.

    Coaltone's final finish is ''stained oil" likely applied to clean roasted maple btw.

    given plenty of time on their hands, i suppose one could benefit from the spend, try, fail, repeat learning curve -who knows?
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  13. Leave it, or you'll regret it.
    After all, it won't affect the timbre of it & that's the important part.

    Also, a different neck with a dark fretboard will sound different.
    Not just because of the fretboard, but the whole neck will just sound different.
    96tbird likes this.

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