Nitro Finish Help

I damaged my beautiful Surf Green PJ. :frowning: It has a nitro finish, and I took it to my luthier…4 months ago. He admitted that body work isn’t exactly in his wheelhouse, and I really miss my bass. He did outstanding work on the setup of my parts-caster PJ, but this is getting to the point where I may just have to ask to have my bass back.

Anyone have any experience with touching up a nitro finish? I know color matching can be an issue, but what I am really looking for is to just get the finish nice and smooth again.

I really need to learn to protect my bass better when it is in storage. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:


Hey Ken

I did a nitro project bass last year using spray cans. If you’re looking to just seal the existing damage, then watch all 3 of these excellent videos. It’ll give you everything you need to know about spraying nitro from a can.


Got pictures?


Thanks! I’ll check this out!

Actually I don’t. It’s been a few months. Got back with my Luthier, and he told me he just couldn’t get the custom color to match. He told me he’ll just charge for the materials, reassemble and set it back up for me. He’s been good to me, but this one was a toughie. From now on, I’ll be sure nothing can fall on my bass. I had it hanging in my closet, and something fell from the top shelf, rebounded and chipped the finish in two places. Warmoth wasn’t any help on the paint unfortunately. He said it got it close, but it’s not a match. He’ll buff and polish it. Maybe it will look better than I expect.

1 Like

Road Worn Ken, people pay extra for that!



That’s my attitude that I’m taking! At least now I’ll be able to claim that bass out of a line up!

1 Like

I got my bass back. It turns out it’s not Nitro, but rather Urethane. My luthier explained that his source for paint matching went out of business; there was another company that would match, but only sold the pain in quart cans-- way too much paint and way too expensive. For $400 you can replace the body, and anything approaching that is just too much. Warmoth was no help as they claim they mix their paint in batches, each one a bit different. So, my luthier did his best, and I am happy. He only charged me for materials.

Most basses are going to be Poly ( polyurethane) @kwt7667 for lots of good reasons. It’s easier to work with (the harmful fumes make nitro a PIA with safety regulations) and it doesn’t wear or chip / mark as easily.

I sprayed nitro from cans and even with a full respirator it was still nasty to work with.

So you must have hit that poly finish pretty hard to chip it!

If you buy an inexpensive / middle priced bass it’ll likely be poly.

1 Like

This bass had a carpenter square fall from about 4 feet above, and struck it!