First thought by most people upon seeing the title of this article:

“Dear God, man… WHY would you do that?”

Good question, and I have a good answer.

Certain players have cheap bass guitars that they don’t feel like putting money into and want to do the “blackout” hardware thing, so they get the bright idea that maybe painting certain hardware black will get the job done.

Will it?

No, it won’t.

Here is exactly what happens when you paint tuners black.

1. At first, the job will come out pretty good. You pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

2. A few weeks or months later, the gloss of the paint is gone for wherever you touched the tuners with your fingers.

3. Finally, the paint chips and flakes right off.

Here’s a TalkBass thread on what happens to painted-black tuner hardware (and it’s where the photo at top comes from.) Not advisable. Not at all.

Sure, you could powdercoat the tuners to get the paint to actually hold and not flake off, but for the time, effort and money it takes to do that, you’re better off just buying a black set (you’ll see the black options on that page.)

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3 Responses to “Does painting chrome tuners black actually work?”

  1. Is it wrong that I kinda like the look of the know in that picture? A bit like an factory aged guitar kind of thing?

    March 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm - Reply or Post a new comment
  2. I agree with your point re:the paint chipping. However, it’s not necessary to get your tubers powder coated to act a a scent primer. I am bassist and I work in a paint shop, I have therefore tried this kinda thing quite a lot. There are primers, for instance Zinsser B-I-N that will even stick too glass! You could then paint over the top as normal. Also, if you’d gone with a satin finish (not gloss) in the first place then the dulling effect of your hands would be far less noticeable! The paint will enevitably chip if its bashed around, but if its respected then you should be laughing!

    March 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm - Reply or Post a new comment

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