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Thread: Painting Pickups?

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    Axellent Member Hallski's Avatar
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    Painting Pickups?

    Just curious to hear your thoughts. Basically, on my Stagemaster, I have two black humbuckers that I will eventually replace with white humbuckers. Until then, I really do like the tone the stock pickups give me and I'd like paint them.

    I was planning to take the poles out of the pickup, and spray just the top plastic cover with Krylon Fusion for Plastic paint. Anything reason I shouldn't do this? I've read mixed opinions, and I've seen that as long as the paint is non ferrous, it shouldn't effect the magnets.

    Also, would I effect the pickups if I left the poles in and painted them?

    There isn't a ton of info out there on this, but I'm leaning towards it. There just stock pickups that will eventually be replaced, I just don't have the disposable income for pickups right now!

    Thoughts?

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I am not an expert but I'd be leery of this. Can't you just get a different coloured pickup cover?

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    Axellent Member Hallski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    I am not an expert but I'd be leery of this. Can't you just get a different coloured pickup cover?
    I thought someone might say that 😉. I looked for covers, hard to find for a 7 string. I bought bobbin topper stickers from UniversalJems and they work, but looks kind of cheap and will definitely come off.

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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    Whenever I've asked about painting plastics....pickup covers or pickguards....the response has been fairly negative. Most people seem to think it'll chip fairly easily. I think, if you're going to do it, Krylon is probably a good choice of paint, and I'd recommend a clearcoat on top of it. Good luck.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Somewhere online I've seen some different stickers that go on the top of the bobbins to change the colour--they're the type you can take off easily--so they don't use anything sticky or gummy...
    just search for Bobbin Toppers.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    If the pickups are coming out soon anyway, and you just can't stand them in there in the wrong colour, then paint them.

    But you are going to be scraping that paint off pretty quick with a guitar pick.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

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    Axe-honerated Keletcaster's Avatar
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    You have to sand them well to give the paint something to bite hard to. No lighter then 220 grit. If you use a grease on the poles you won't have to remove them. You just have to take your time so you don't get it on the surfaces you want to paint. Then just wipe them off afterwards.
    Great Guitars Are A Formula Not A Logo.

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    Axellent Member Hallski's Avatar
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    Well, I went for it! Thanks for the advice. I bought Krylon Fusion for Plastic white gloss spray paint, and with that there's no need for sanding or priming, its all contained within the paint. I sprayed it on a spare plastic cover I had, and it went on great and dried within a few minutes to the touch. So, I masked the pickups, removed the poles and replaced them with shorter 10/32 set screws and started multiple coats of paint. Over a few hours, of painting, drying, touch ups, they were done. They turned out really good!

    I got them wired up last night, and honestly no tonal difference in having the paint on there. According to the can, it's 15 minutes and its dry to touch, 1 hour and its dry to work with, and after 7 days the paint is "fully chip proof". So, I'll let it sit for a week, and we'll see how valid that claim is.

    The knobs I have on it now, are from my Peavey Telecast build, so I might replace those at some point but they were the only white knobs I had. I'll swap the pickups for something that's actually white at some point, but I like the stocks and this satisfies my urge to spend right now!

    There is a tremolo arm on it, I swear! Black on black doesn't photograph well!







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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear that you're happy with the outcome, but I have some reservations about one thing you said....."I bought Krylon Fusion for Plastic white gloss spray paint, and with that there's no need for sanding or priming, its all contained within the paint." My experience is that very smooth surfaces generally don't provide enough texture for finishes to bond to. I'd have scuffed the surface before spraying it, as KC suggested. If you find it's chipping excessively and you end up redoing it, I'd sand it next time.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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    Axellent Member Hallski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    I'm glad to hear that you're happy with the outcome, but I have some reservations about one thing you said....."I bought Krylon Fusion for Plastic white gloss spray paint, and with that there's no need for sanding or priming, its all contained within the paint." My experience is that very smooth surfaces generally don't provide enough texture for finishes to bond to. I'd have scuffed the surface before spraying it, as KC suggested. If you find it's chipping excessively and you end up redoing it, I'd sand it next time.
    I probably should have sanded, but from what I read that paint is designed to eliminate that step. When I tried it on the plastic cover first, it bonded instantly, no running. So I just went with it. But, that being said, you're right, definitely wouldn't have hurt to sand it first!

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