Throughout years of rocking out on stage, your Fender bass guitar may get a few nicks and dents in the finish, and repairing it can help your bass look new. Most Fender guitars and basses are finished with nitrocellulose lacquer, which can be repaired easily with the aid of a touch-up pen. Learning to correctly repair the finish of your Fender bass can keep your instrument looking pristine, and will inevitably be cheaper than getting a professional to repair the finish on your bass.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Touch-up pen
- Sandpaper 1000, 1200 and 2000 grit
Find the correct colour for your touch-up pen. Find your bass model on Fender's website, and click on the "Specs" tab (see Resources). There will be a list of the possible finish colours on your bass. Find the relevant colour and buy a pen that matches it. If you use an incorrect colour, your touch-up will be noticeable. The guitar ReRanch features a line of Fender colours (see Resources).
Clean the damaged area on the finish of your bass guitar with a naphtha solvent and a cotton cloth. Wipe away any dirt or debris on the affected area prior to reapplying the finish.
Test the touch-up pen out on a piece of card. This will give you an idea of how much comes out of the pen when you apply different levels of pressure. If you put too much finish onto the area of your bass, the touch-up will look untidy. Less is better, because you can always apply more.
Position your bass so that the drop of lacquer won't run onto any unaffected areas. Using a flat surface is fine for body damage, but you may need to stand the bass up if the damage is on the headstock or side of the body.
Fill in the chip using the touch-up pen. Be careful in your application, remembering how much lacquer came out during your test. Leave the bass to dry after you have applied the lacquer. It should take a few hours to dry.
Inspect the affected area of the finish after a few hours. The newly applied area is likely to be thinner than the original coat. Repeat the finishing process as many times as is necessary to get the finish even.
Use a clear lacquer pen to achieve a perfect finish. The clear coat affects how the colour looks, and the rest of the bass will most likely be coated with a clear lacquer. After you've applied the clear coat, leave the bass to dry for a few days. The clear coat will probably make the repaired area thicker than the original finish. Wet-sand the finish with 1000 grit sandpaper. Wet the paper before sanding. For the best results, follow up with 1200 and 2000 grit sandpaper.
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