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What if I wanted to repaint my Squier?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by marantz10, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have a VM Squier (natural maple body with fretted maple neck). The goal I had with this was to convert it into a Geddy Lee-like bass but without spending the money on one. I have many of the parts to help out (Badass bridge, new knobs, and some other things), but I realized that the natural finish might not be that appropriate for me and I was thinking "how hard would it be to repaint the body to gloss black?"

    1. Leave it as is
    2. Repaint as best as I can
    3. Purchase a blank body and paint it
    4. Purchase a body that has already been painted

    By doing #3 or #4 it'd be expensive, easily into 200-400 dollar range. I'm already going to replace the pickups and pickguard to accurately match Geddy Lee bass specs, so saving the money would be good.

    I understand many of the steps of painting a guitar; I've painted things in the past. But we're looking at months for it to cure? I'd use Duplicolor automotive paint and clear coats.

    What would you do? Leave as is, or something else to get a black body?
  2. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    As a second note, what if instead of using black paint I used black stain on the wood. Then used a glossy polyurethane clearcoat on top of that? Not sure if anybody has done it before but I picture it'd look cool. What do you think?
  3. Bevo1995


    Nov 8, 2009
    Heart o' Texas
    Go with an automotive urethane color coat and use a catalyzed urethane clear coat. It'll be fully cured in less than a week. You can get a local automotive paint supply house to put any color you want in a rattle can. Then get Aeromax in a can for the clear coat. It'll run you about $40 for two cans of color and $80 for two cans of the Areomax. Or you could use Duplicolor and wait for three months.
  4. I suggest that if you REALLY want to do this, you can probably scuff the finish with fine sandpaper, then prime and paint over the existing finish. I'm confident the existing finish is poly, so I'd probably go the same way on top coats. You'll have a number of coats on there before you finish.

    Think twice about this...personally I think the natural finish is more attractive.
  5. Black is one of the hardest colors to get to look smooth and even doing it with spray cans. Lighter colors aren't nearly as difficult. They're more idiot-proof.
  6. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the responses! Sorry I'm so late to reply, last night my gf lost her purse and we've been running around town cancelling all the credit cards and getting her a new phone and such.

    Most definitely the hardest thing for me to picture with painting this guitar is that it already has a well done natural finish and I'd be throwing it away--perhaps I should hold out for a while on this 'black finish' idea and when I have more funds just purchase a nice black painted alder body and just do a swap.

    If you guys have heard of Maaco auto painting places, I know that they'll paint small things (like I got a quote on my mirrors for my car back a few years ago and they quoted around $100 and that was for mixing the colors to just the right level to match the rest of the "faded" paint of the rest of my car). I'm thinking they might charge something around 100 dollars or a little less for a project like this with automotive paint because it's simple black with clear coat paint. If I just sanded it down and prime it, I suppose I could pull off a lot of cost right there; I'm most worried about messing up on painting it and have the dreadful puddles of paint from holding the can too close or spraying the paint too heavy in coats. Plus I'd read some places online that say 10-20 coats of clearcoat are appropriate.

    How many coats would you guys apply of these things:

    Black paint
    Clear coat

    Assuming that the paint and clear coat are automotive Duplicolor or similar paint?

  7. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG!

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    I think it would be wise to look around for a used squier body. Black squier jazz’s are pretty darn common and can usually be found for around 50 to 100 dollars used. Also you might like to know that squier body’s are mostly made of alder. Check out the bay, I bet there are at least a few of them on there right now. Plus if you buy a whole other bass on the cheap you’ll end up with two basses after the swap. Unless you happen to find just a body for something really cheap. Anyways I guess the point I’m trying to get across hear is, to keep your eyes open and if you spend a little time with your search your gonna find that a black alder jazz body is pretty easy to find for far less then 200 dollars. Hey here’s an idea you could buy a supporting membership to talkbass and post an add in the classifieds looking to trade bodies! There’s probably lots of people on this site that would jump on that. Then your only out 20 for the membership (go’s to a great cause) and whatever the shipping runs you, shoot that may just work..
    Anyways I sure hope this helps.

  8. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
  9. Call me old fashioned but I'm not a big fan of copies to begin. If it were me, and its not, I would install all the new hardware and leave the finish as is. The natural finish on those things is dead sexy and it'd be a shame to fudge it up. Plus, you're taking all the good parts and putting them on a bass that is your's, not Geddy Lee's. This just seems like a lot of money and risk.

    :bag: IMO/YMMV/ETC :p
  10. I've tried the auto body shop route, and there is almost NO chance that they will get the final finish as nice as you can doing it personally. They are NOT experts in painting instruments, and they can't afford to do the fine, meticulous sanding that's needed. Do it yourself and take your time. The result will be better.

    The biggest pain may be the final polish. I used a small buffing wheel that would chuck up in a 3/8" drive drill and used 3-M Finesse-It II polish on the wheel. It threw polish all over the place, so don't use it in an area you need to keep clean.
  11. becker4567


    Jul 26, 2008
    Go to the search bar at the top of the page and type in 'SPRAY PAINTED BASSES, lets see 'em'. Great in info there! Also try 'Best rattle can spray paint/lacquer?' Or '32" SX PJ - how Rondo should sell them'. I just repainted a glitter pink (don't ask, long story there), into a vintage white PJ and it turned out terrific!
  12. This this this!

    It'd be a shame to replace the body with a new one, along with the hardware and electronics. Then you basically paid 300 for a Squier neck!

    Get a cheap used Affinity Jazz in black and swap necks. problem solved!
  13. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Okay so buchananbass hit it on the head I think. He brings up good points and it makes more sense to do a swap than to paint and potentially end up with a finish I don't care for. Thus I will be going for:

    1) Keeping my eyes peeled for ads for cheap black squier jazz's and purchase one and then I'd have my Geddy Lee homemade bass and have a second bass with squier "bad" parts that I don't care for lol -- if I did that option I would probably just sell the bass I don't need to help pay for costs of my upgrading; which could be better accomplished by getting a supporting membership for talkbass.com.

    2) Trade the natural body for a black body when I get around to getting a supporting membership fee for talkbass.com or finding someone willing to do that (if you guys know anybody... :p)

    So looks like either way I should get a supporting membership just in terms of this project--plus all the other benefits of this site. I would do either options 1 or 2 as listed above with no preference for either except whichever one happens first.

    Either way I just end up paying shipping and get to sell old unused parts!

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