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What type of primer, paint, clear coat to use on a pickguard?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by prater, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    I'm gonna try cutting a new pickguard using my old one as a template, while I'm at it I'm gonna take a stab at painting my existing one and see which turns out better.

    First off, I'm definitely going to try this, so I'm not really looking for advise on whether it will work or not.

    I'm wondering more about the materials and prep work.

    I'm thinking I should sand it first, should I use something like 400 grit on it, or something finer? Also, should I hand sand, or use a finish sander or rotary sander.

    For primer what would work best just a basic plastic primer from Auto Zone? Sand it afterwards, I'm thinking finer sandpaper on that run.

    Paint, some high quality spray paint probably two to three coats, since it will be primed does it really matter what kind of paint I use?

    What kind of clear coat is best?

    I'm pretty new to all this but want to see what the results are.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i scuff first with any fine abrasive material
    wash with soap and water
    compressed air dry, then wipe
    then a simple "rattle" can of my favorite color, flat black

    even a few light coats of Rustoleum looks bitchen and lasts a longass time. i have to touch-up the wear maybe once a year and i play these basses almost daily. i hate when the matte finish turns shiny, though. :(
  3. Follow the above directions, but wipe down with alcohol and a old T-Shirt. Use a plastic paint, you shouldn't need a primer.
  4. Careful w the old tee shirt as a rag before a paint job. Old clothes have a lot of residual fabric softener or possibly silicon from just being worn while waxing the car, etc.

    BT - DT and had fisheyes show up in the paint if not even in the primer.

    I buy rags made for automotive painting and they are virgin and prolly have never been touched by human hands either, but that's another story for another time. :-\
  5. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I'd be careful with alcohol. I ruined a guard off an old j bass trying to wipe it down with denatured alcohol. it was tort and the alc melted the top skin on it. It got all gummy and put off a really strong solvent like chemical odor. When it dried it was all messed up where I'd tried to rub it and had a thick dull whitish haze on the whole thing. I sanded on it for a while with 120 and it kinda sorta got OK to paint, but would have needed another good pass with some 180 or 240 to get slick enough for paint.

    If you have more modern plastic guard, just scuff it with a scotchgurd pad, wipe it was a DAMP paper towel, give it a while to dry, then build a few light coats and see what you have. If it looks good shoot a couple more and call it good. If it has some rough spots hit it with wet 400, wipe it clean, let it dry and put on a couple~three more coats and see what you got.

    All the priming and clear coating is overkill. use the color you want it to do the whole thing and you'll have less total paint thickness which on plastic will mean less chance of cracking and/or peeling off. Use a paint made for plastic as it will be more flexi than your standard rattle can paint, again, less chance of cracking and/or peeling.
  6. Warhawk


    Jan 31, 2003
    Canton, Ohio
    I used Krylon Fusion spray (rattle can) and it worked well. Spray it in a few thin layers then allow it to cure. Curing takes at least 30 days. Wet sand it to 1500 grit then use a good car polish to bring it to a high gloss.
    In all it was a lot of work but I had everything to do it but the can of paint. If I didn't have all the stuff I would have just got a new pickguard.