Should I stain the neck?

Hi everyone!

After many years away from playing, I’ve finally bought a bass again - a Fender Players P Bass.

I’m happy with everything about EXCEPT that the neck is a weak-looking Pau Ferro.

While it sounds fine, I might want to stain it darker.

Has anyone done anything like this before?

Pros? Cons?


If you stain the fingerboard there’s no going back.

I know this product works.


Thanks Barney!

Yeah the Pau Ferro is interesting but far too light and dry-looking.

Would love it to be a few shades darker.

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Some fingerboard oil would work for the dryness, while also darkening the wood somewhat.


One of my basses has a rosewood neck that is pretty light, which is not my favorite either, but no way am I staining it as it is a limited model.

Something like a MIM Fender though, sure, go for it. The biggest thing I would worry about is getting the coat even and not on anything else. I would apply a little to the rag and go slow.

You will want to thorougly clean the fretboard first. If it is a water based stain and the fretboard has been oiled, this may be an issue - @Barney could advise here.


Here’s the thing, we are going through the cycle of phrases with instrument. I used to swear by the Maple finger board, it’s all the rage. Then it’s the ever exclusive Ebony, then the exotic Rosewood, and so on. One day you are going to want that pale red fingerboard back.

Another thing to consider is the feel will change, if not physically, mentally. I stained my Maple darker like a roasted maple look, and after 10 minutes I didn’t like it but I couldn’t get it back to wat it was. Another consideration, Pau Ferro aged much better than Rosewood and maple, it has this awesome patina that you can wear like a right of passage. At least to me, but what do I know, lol.