1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass: DETONATOR YELLOW with competition stripes!

  • Posted by Krishna
  • at 11/01/2008 12:52:00 AM -
Here is a refinish of a vintage instrument, but not to a "vintage" color - rather, the owner wanted to replicate the look he had seen on Dodge's own "reissue" of the Superbee muscle car - a color that Chrysler labeled "Detonator Yellow". To really capture the look, the owner also wanted to add a set of Mustang Bass style "competition stripes" in gloss black. Below is the car that inspired this paint job.

The body had a very poorly done black refinish - which is why the owner didn't feel obligated to do a "correct" vintage color - the body had already been through a lot over the years.

Thankfully though, the black finish came off easily with some furniture stripper - with only the edges still having some bits of finish.

After some more sanding - the body got a coat of vinyl sealer and then several coats of white nitrocellulose primer. The primer revealed, as it often does, that the body was fairly rough still - since in some areas the 70s era sealer coat had been stripped off and in others it hadn't. Another round of sanding and priming followed before the body was ready for painting.

For the color coat - I decided to simply use Stewart-MacDonald's yellow pigment paste in a clear lacquer base to create my own bright yellow. The paste was a really brilliant color - and I had test sprayed a square for the client when he initially brought the bass over, and he liked it. However, to get a really solid color, a lot of pigment was required - I probably ended up using about 1/3rd of the tube on this one guitar body. You definitely want to use this over a white primed body, as this will improve the coverage greatly.

But as you can see - the color is great !! Next up - the stripes !!


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  1. Hey.... What happened next? I'm really curious about the competition stripes- where can you get them? do they go under the top coat of lacquer? I have a 'housepainted' '66 Mustang and am considering options.... keep it traditional.... go a bit nuts etc... (I'm in Australia) Tx man. Great site.

  2. Hey Vin .. there is another post with the final product - shows how I did the stripes - not sure it was the best way to do them, but I'm always learning. I think masking and spraying stripes - and then clear coating over is the way to go.

    And glad ya like the site !!

  3. Not sure it will let me paste a link: