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painting a bass body


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Read this, then read it again. Then re-read it.

I followed their instructions and used their products.

Do NOT use a paint brush.

Other than spraying the dye (I used a spray gun) everything was done with spray cans (rattle cans).


Steps I took:

1. Sand the body until it is absolutely smooth. Remove the sanding dust and continue sanding. If you think you've sanded enough, you didn't. Sand some more. When you think you've sanded too much, you are almost done.


2. Wipe the wood with a wet (water) rag. Let it dry.


3. Repeat step 1.


4. Fill with grain filler if needed.


5. Repeat step 1.


6. Repeat step 4.


7. Repeat step 1.


8. Spray with several coats of Sanding Sealer (Sand & Seal) repeating step 1 between coats. Three to 6 coats should be enough.


9. If you are going to use dye, now is the time. Apply the dye to get your desired results. Then lock it in with about 3 coats of S&S (without sanding until the last coat). Sand, but be very careful to not sand through to the dye or else you have to make color repairs. Remove the sanding dust and continue sanding.


10. If you are going to use a solid color, you'll need some BINs primer. Spray a coat of primer, wait an hour. Repeat this for three coats. Sand until most of the gloss is gone. Remove the sanding dust and continue sanding.


11. Repeat step 10 until you've sanded all of the gloss off (noticing a pattern?).


12. Spray your color. Three to four coats, with an hour between. Wait at 18-24 hours and sand most of the gloss off.


13. Repeat step 12 three times, five times, ten times, until you are done (are able to sand all the gloss off without sanding through).


14. Spray your clear coats in the same manor. I thing I ended up with a total of 16 clear coats.


15. The day after your last clear coat is sprayed, sand it until all the gloss is gone, then leave it alone for at least 30 days.


16. Polish (that is a whole 'nother topic ;))


Here are my results:






results not typical, ymmv, fwiw, lol, stfu, etc...



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Remember, I used nitrocellulose lacquer. It is forgiving of deficiencies in skill (easy to rework) and polishes up like a diamond. It also wears easily. This bass now, after several hundred gigs, is showing a lot of character. An awful lot of character.


Some of the poly finishes, especially solid colors, are much less time consuming to get a very decent finish, but they are also unforgiving. If you get a run, or orange peel, or dust, etc... it is very difficult to correct. If you get it right, though, those finished are damn near indestructible.



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