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Painting Fret Lines?


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I'm getting close to finishing my first lap steel build. I'm down to the fretboard and have questions.

I'm planning to use a rosewood fingerboard blank as the fretboard, it looks sharp on the guitar. I don't want to go to the extent of cutting slots and putting in frets since this won't ever be fingered. I'm thinking the alternative would be to paint fret lines onto the fingerboard.


1) Any suggestions on what kind of paint to use on rosewood?

2) Any suggestions on what to use to mask off the fingerboard so each line is the same width? I know if I do it by eye they won't be identical.

Thanks for any advice.

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I too don't think paint on rosewood is going to end well. Even if you did get it to stick ok, the heavy texture / pores / pits and valleys will make it hard to get clean edges on the lines.

I'd definitely consider inlaying some veneer or even putting in some fret wire. On my FPS model I use a short and narrow vintage style wire that I think looks pretty good. Because its not played on, it goes pretty quick as there is no leveling or crowning to deal with.



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THanks for the advice. I guess I'm going to have to take the plunge and try cutting fret slots. I had tried this out on some test wood and was having trouble getting a consistent cut, even though I was using a miter box and a pull saw. Gonna have to practice some more. I was thinking maybe I could save some work by painting frets on.

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