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What Is A Good Finish To Draw Or Paint On?

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I have an old bass body in a deep blue finish. The bass body came off of a starter ibanez bass. The wood is nothing special looks like compressed stuff to me. The only reason I hung onto the body was because a friend gave it to me and it was the bass he used at our first concert - a high school talent show! Right now the body is in bad shape, lots of chips and cracks. I have a friend who is a very fine artist and I want him to draw on the body. I want to know what would be the best finish to let my friend draw and paint on the body. My plan was to strip the body down to bare wood then give it some type of white primer to let my friend draw on. What do you guys suggest would be the best finish to draw or paint on?

Also after my friend has done his work, how would i go about preserving the work? I know most guitars get a clear coat after being painted, would this be the same? As always i turn to the board before making any moves! Thanks in advance

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I'm brand new to this forum, but I've painted a couple of my guitars and I did the same thing everytime.

They were all fairly cheap guitars so I just sanded down the paint, taped off unwanted areas, primed it with can of spray Kilz, and used artist oils to paint them.

as for preserving them, I had some bad experiences. Make sure whatever you get is compatible with the paint you are using. It may not be the best option for you, but I put shelac over my paint jobs. It's probably not the best thing to use, but I was in a rush and wanted to put my guitar back together.

Here is a link to the guitars I painted.


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If you use oil paints you have to let it dry for several months before clearcoating or putting anything over it.

Oils may look dry but in reality it is still drying and expanding over a period of several months maybe longer depending on humidity and if you paint over it it will crack the clearcoat or whatever is covering it.

I suggest using acrylic paints but be careful as they are easy to peel off until you coat them with a protective finish.

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