Painting a Bass

So I recently rediscovered my high school love… my Yamaha RBX200. I foolishly had covered her in band stickers then scraped them off as my music tastes changed. She looks rough. How if at all can I repaint her to look back to her original black beauty??


Greeting Starlene, and welcome ,
painting a bass guitar is a lot of work to do. I’ve never painted one just for that reason. you can find on you tube videos on how to paint a bass here’s one link.

I would have a pro do my bass if I was going to repaint it. I would do the unassemble and just send them the body. but that’s me.
you would get like brand new bass with you color or custom color. those are my 2 cents. good luck and welcome.
Another thing you can do use some goo gone to remove sticker adhesive be sure it doesn’t remove you old gloss. Then use scratch out paste to buff out. Not sure if your bass is gloss or satin.

just get new stickers


The problem with YouTube video is that they make it look very easy. To be fair refinishing and repaint is not very difficult as long as you know what not to do, and in order to know that is to make the mistakes, lol.

If you have the right tool and setup it can be pretty easy, or if you don’t have fancy setup but have the right skill then it would be easy too.


3 rules of painting:

  1. If you think you’ve sanded enough, sand some more.
  2. If you think you’ve mixed enough, mix again.
  3. If you can notice a difference between the preceding coat of paint and the one you’re putting on, you’re laying it on too thick.
  1. You didn’t let it dry long enough. Back to sanding!
  1. Allowing extra time between coats for the paint to cure is never the wrong decision.

Hey, you can always stain it too. Much safer and less intimidating than painting for firstimer. Less to mess up.


Starlene, there was a great thread at ultimate guitar on repainting, though I’m not sure if that’s ok to leave here a link leading to another forum.

Personally, I haven’t touched my bass, though I repainted my uke’s. The first one was such a pain. It was easier with a second one. Still, I agree - be sure you’ve sanded it well enough. Otherwise it will look like a disaster.
And be sure to use a proper finish if you have small designs - from my experience, Krylon Acrylic gloss finish works perfectly for this. Even though the base on my first uke wasn’t perfect, small details are still great.
Remember - you can always take it off and redo it if you’re not happy.

I have painted a guitar many, many years ago, back when my hobby was airbrushing stuff, so I painted the guitar of a friend.

Basically, it is easy, but in the way of how “playing bass is easy”. If you have never done it before and have no practice, it is not easy.

What I can tell you is what I did: First, you should get all the old paint off of that thing. I used a pickling agent to remove it (found the word on google translate, I hope you can understand what I mean). Then put on the base coat (the color). Afterwards some clear coat. Without clear coat, it won’t be as shiny as you might want to.

As I have done it something like 25 years ago, I did it with two component clear coat. That is the stuff that hardens really well and gives this really clear finish, isn’t kinda gummy and soft to the touch. Probably there was lots of inprovements to this stuff in the last quarter century, so you might get away with just plain one component clear coat out of a spray can.

Spraying the paint on itself is something where you should make sure to get it the same thickness everywhere. You get that by: moving the spray can in an even motion, first start moving, then start spraying and moving in lanes that have the proper distance to overlap just the right amount.

Afer having all the clear coat on and it has dried really well, it won’t be as shiny as you might like. That is when polishing comes in. You start out with some sanding paper with really, really high density.
The last step is polishing with polishing paste. A little secret: What works incredibly well for the last steps of polishing is tooth paste.

There’s a super great resource on youtube by the name of Brad Angove. He does tutorial videos on how to finish/refinish guitars using a whole bunch of different techniques.

Brad Angove

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Apropos of this: Prepping a guitar for painting