Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: What would you do? Bassman painted black...

  1. #1
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,845
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 134/6
    Given: 90/0

    What would you do? Bassman painted black...

    So I got this 1962 Fender Bassman on the bench to get it all up and running great. Taking a look at the inside of the amp the only components changed are two screen resistors and everything is all original. On the outside cab it's another story altogether. Apparently people thought it was a good idea to spray paint the blonde tolex to black. So I have a few ideas on which way to go but none of them involve re-tolexing the head cab. So I could do nothing and leave it alone. I could get the cab to be a better black again and make it look like it is really black tolex. Or I could consider options on how to remove the black paint and bring back the original blonde look. Has anyone here successfully removed black spray paint on a blonde tolex cabinet before? The option to remove the paint seems like the least likely option honestly, but I would love to hear everyone's opinion on the matter.

    I attached some pics of the outside of the amp. Of course the knobs have been replaced and I will put some of the cream one's back in place.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0608.JPG 
Views:	81 
Size:	836.6 KB 
ID:	45984   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0591.JPG 
Views:	111 
Size:	1,018.8 KB 
ID:	45985  

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    101
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 4/0
    Given: 2/0
    Sell to colourblind guitarist.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,715
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 264/4
    Given: 555/11
    I would clean it, but not necessarily scrub it, until I had the time & money to get it professionally done. Which likely means never...

    Otherwise, I'd hope Chuck H sees this post...

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  4. #4
    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    3,554
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 128/0
    Given: 90/1
    I have been successful removing paint from tolex using Goof Off heavy duty spot remover and degreaser. However, it depends on the type of paint that was used so the first thing I would do is a test spot on the bottom of the cabinet.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  5. #5
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    10,413
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 560/15
    Given: 456/13
    You can´t, even less on such old and degraded Tolex which will hold fine if unmolested, but Plastics in general and WAY more ultraflexible vinyl became so by generously doping it with plasticizers, oily substances added to the plastic mix when molten which allow molecules to "slide" against each other, enhancing flexibility.

    But such plasticizers evaporate/oxidate/get cracked by UV (all 3 effects at the same time ) , which is easily visible on old car cracking and crumbling seat Tolex/Vynil.

    Amp/cabinets do not *show* it to such a degree simply because Tolex is glued to a rigid backing so no flexing, but degrading still happens.

    If anything, this amp might be in better "chemical" condition because black paint on it might have both kept some oxygen away and stopped UV, go figure.

    Even if you happened to remove 95% of black paint, same solvents used to soften and wipe it away will cause at least some to migrate into blonde tolex plastic layer and colour it, you´ll probably end with ugly splotches here and there.
    If it were the opposite way, trying go get black back (suppose earlier owner sprayed it bright pink fluo or whatever) is way easier , since "black is black" , hues hardly apply to it.

    Personally I see 2 options:

    1) leave as is, and if owner finds it very important, or his friends ask or he wants to sell it, he can be candid and frank about it and if/when asked he can plainly state: " this IS a Blonde Bassman,;some early Rocker, think around 1965, envied his friends´fancy new Black Fenders and he painted his to match, it has been unmolested since, I will definitely not touch that and in fact it´s the most f*ck*ng original ´62 amplifier I ever saw"

    2) if visuals are important (say owner plays in a Rockabilly or Country band or whatever and *all* other band members use period correct Blondes, his being the Black Sheep in that flock) then he may Retolex and *age* it.

    FWIW soaking fresh Blonde Tolex with acetone or paint thinner , letting it absorb a little and then wiping out with crumbled newspaper will in 4 or 5 applications remove some plasticizer and leave surface rough and less flexible, then 1 year touring without a case or cover will look like 20 or more years on the road.

    Just you don´t get involved in this unforgiving and failure prone job, only what you do best: the Electronics/sound side.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Wernersville, PA
    Posts
    12,452
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 181/2
    Given: 84/0
    Hah!

    My brother painted his '63 Bassman black.

    I ended up with the amp and had it retolexed.
    Installed new cream knobs & a Logo.
    Happily, the oxblood front grill was unmolested.

    There are two different textures used on the Blonde's.
    A very coarse & a smoother 'coarse.

    A friend has a '62 & his is the smoother one.
    The '63 is coarser & there is no way you would get the paint out of the nooks & crannies.

    Interestingly, the '63 had the holes drilled for the T-bone handle but it has the single strap two holer.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  7. #7
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Dogpatch-on-Hudson
    Posts
    5,569
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 655/15
    Given: 707/0
    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    1) leave as is, and if owner finds it very important, or his friends ask or he wants to sell it, he can be candid and frank about it and if/when asked he can plainly state: " this IS a Blonde Bassman,;some early Rocker, think around 1965, envied his friends´fancy new Black Fenders and he painted his to match, it has been unmolested since, I will definitely not touch that and in fact it´s the most f*ck*ng original ´62 amplifier I ever saw"
    Some 25 years or so back I was tasked with repairing a similarly treated Bassman. Its owner, Larry Hoppen (Orleans) explained in late 60's it was common for owners of early 60's Fender amps and even tweeds to paint them black to have a newer-looking back line. Yes it was folly but . . . isn't that what the music biz is made of?

    I don't have any special solutions. Just the usual 3 and a half choices, leave alone or repaint(!), try some paint remover or similar, or re-tolex. Great amp though, no matter what the box looks like!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  8. #8
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,845
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 134/6
    Given: 90/0
    Thanks for all the great responses everyone!! This pretty much settles it for me on the idea to even attempt to remove the paint in any hope for a blonde recovery. At this point I will probably leave it as is and only focus on the circuit restoration. Might go the route to repaint it better so the blonde within is not so obvious.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  9. #9
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    10,413
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 560/15
    Given: 456/13
    Oh ye ruly Colonists.
    Can´t even make decent Scotch, your Beer must be drunk very cold to hide the taste, and have no clue about paint cleaning so fumble about all day long with no clue.

    Please step aside and let the British Masters teach you how:


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 0/0
    Given: 0/0
    I am late to this thread, but see my account of paint removal from Tolex:

    Removing Paint from Tolex

    This worked very well, did not harm the Tolex, corners or the handle. I still own the Sunn 1200S and it looks great!

    And please ignore the subsequent posts about shoe polish and wire brushes!!!! Not recommended!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  11. #11
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,845
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 134/6
    Given: 90/0
    Quote Originally Posted by 66tele View Post
    I am late to this thread, but see my account of paint removal from Tolex:

    Removing Paint from Tolex

    This worked very well, did not harm the Tolex, corners or the handle. I still own the Sunn 1200S and it looks great!

    And please ignore the subsequent posts about shoe polish and wire brushes!!!! Not recommended!
    Hey thanks for posting. I actually did come across that exact thread of your Sunn 1200s and it nearly inspired me to get going on it. If this amp was mine I would just go to town on the thing and cross my fingers. I might entertain the idea while sitting on the amp waiting to help sell the guy off to somebody. If the owner of the amp reads this thread he might get hopeful that it can be done. However, I feel that the paint on this Bassman is not spray paint but some type of brushed on acrylic type or something.

    I actually like black shoe polish on hard to clean tolex. Not saying I would use it all the time but the few times I have, it was natural black again. Once it is on it does not rub off onto things like I have read on a few other forums. Now using a wire brush is just a horrible idea of course!! lol

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  12. #12
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    13,853
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 912/5
    Given: 941/0
    I didn't get in on this thread, but I read once where a guy had success removing most of the paint from a Tolex amp with duct tape. I'm sure it's not always the same depending on the condition of the Tolex and the type of paint used, but most paint won't stick to Tolex very well. So this guy just kept putting strips of duct tape on the painted areas and rubbed them in, then pulled it off, taking a lot of the paint with it. Easy enough to try.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 0/0
    Given: 0/0

    So.....

    Quote Originally Posted by DrGonz78 View Post
    Hey thanks for posting. I actually did come across that exact thread of your Sunn 1200s and it nearly inspired me to get going on it. If this amp was mine I would just go to town on the thing and cross my fingers. I might entertain the idea while sitting on the amp waiting to help sell the guy off to somebody. If the owner of the amp reads this thread he might get hopeful that it can be done. However, I feel that the paint on this Bassman is not spray paint but some type of brushed on acrylic type or something.

    I actually like black shoe polish on hard to clean tolex. Not saying I would use it all the time but the few times I have, it was natural black again. Once it is on it does not rub off onto things like I have read on a few other forums. Now using a wire brush is just a horrible idea of course!! lol
    No need to cross your fingers......I've already done this. And it restores the Tolex back to original. Why would you paint over the paint on the original Tolex? Who will want this amp? What are you thinking?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  14. #14
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5,015
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 23/0
    Given: 22/0
    I've done two of these Bassman heads in my lifetime one a customer's '62 (rough) and my own '63 (smooth). Neither one was easy, but neither one was all that hard either. The worst thing is that hidden under the black paint will probably be cigarette burns and maybe some resin stains from the pine knots bleeding through the Tolex.

    When they are done they look great and in my opinion better than a recovered cabinet. A lot of the paint can be removed mechanically and some chemically, but the hardest part will getting the paint out of the deep nooks and crannies of the Tolex.

    If you decide to do it, test whatever cleaner or stripper on the bottom or on the edge of the rear panel. Some solvents will melt the surface of the Tolex making for a real mess and a ruined job.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  15. #15
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,845
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 134/6
    Given: 90/0
    Quote Originally Posted by 66tele View Post
    No need to cross your fingers......I've already done this. And it restores the Tolex back to original. Why would you paint over the paint on the original Tolex? Who will want this amp? What are you thinking?
    Well my thread posed 3 scenarios: Do nothing, Paint it black or Try to remove the paint. Most of the replies were right in line with my thinking and that was to just get the amp running great. I am a repair tech first and that is my most important goal for any amp. I am not going to paint it black. The person who buys the amp can decide what they want to do with it. Hopefully they just play it for it great tone. The blonde tolex is not as forgiving as black. So if it was red, white or blue paint on top of black tolex I would have more hope for a successful removal of the paint. With the blond tolex I have a feeling that the end result of removing the black paint will reveal a stained looking blonde. I just don't have faith in the time honored labor it would require and it might just end up looking a mess anyway. That time I would spend on it would also take me away from repairing the amps I have to work on daily. Trust me I have imagined the amp blonde again and it irks me that some lame brained hack painted it black in the first place. That is my thought process on it all.

    Edit: P.S. If I can convince the owner to try to remove the paint, which is one great reason why I have not done anything to it yet, then we might just try your method 66tele. Start at the bottom of the amp and clean it all off there first to see what it could look like.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  16. #16
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 60/0
    Given: 0/0
    I've been through this exact same problem before. I found a brown Concert at my local store asking $800. I bought it for less as a fixer-upper. It had been modded, it was missing some knobs, it was missing the pilot lamp, but it had original speakers and iron. The biggest problem? It had been painted black once upon a time (very common in the 60s) and someone had tried to use chemicals to strip the paint. It was a disaster. The brown tolex had bee treated so aggressively with chemicals that it looked more like blonde tolex with an orange cast. I'm not sure if it was bleached or what, but the tolex was absolutely horrid. In spite of all of the chemical treatment, the people who stripped it still couldn't get the black out of the cracks, so it was obvious that it had been painted black and then abused trying to un-do the paint job. The original tolex was worthless, so I re-tolexed it in brown tolex.

    One thing that you need to consider is that there's no value in the original tolex any more. Once it's been painted it's no longer original, and you don't lose anything by re-tolexing it. In cases of extreme tolex abuse, re-tolexing is the least intrusive way to make the amp look good again, and IMO that doesn't really degrade it's value, it only improves it.

    I would refused to get involved in trying to clean up the tolex. It's an Uncle Remus "tarbaby" project if there ever was one.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  17. #17
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,715
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 264/4
    Given: 555/11
    IMHO those knobs are a bigger travesty than the painted Tolex...

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  18. #18
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 60/0
    Given: 0/0
    those knobs don't bother me. i'd be happy to rock that amp as-is.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  19. #19
    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Wernersville, PA
    Posts
    12,452
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 181/2
    Given: 84/0
    It's a real shame but it appears the Oxblood grill cloth was also painted black.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  20. #20
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,845
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 134/6
    Given: 90/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    It's a real shame but it appears the Oxblood grill cloth was also painted black.
    Actually it seems they spared most of the grill cloth. It does look a bit like the edges of the oxblood was hit by the black paint even, Savages!! Look at the picture to decide. I will check it out and see.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Grill.JPG 
Views:	72 
Size:	1.02 MB 
ID:	46690

    I had to change those knobs to replacement cream knobs just to at least get it looking right. Of course they are not vintage original knobs but it makes it look better.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CreamKnobs.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	1.52 MB 
ID:	46695

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  21. #21
    Supporting Member Randall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    1,773
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 107/0
    Given: 16/0
    Seems to me it would be just as easy to re-tolex as it would be to go thru all the paint removal. And it would look cleaner.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

  22. #22
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    10,413
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 560/15
    Given: 456/13
    +1 on re-covering and calling it a day.
    Same with grill cloth.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  23. #23
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,845
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 134/6
    Given: 90/0
    So a follow up on this amp. I figured it's nice to be able to know what happens to an amp like this one once it's sold. So I sold the Bassman as is and did not re-tolex it. The amp sounded excellent and the gentleman I sold it to planned to go ahead cleaning the tolex. That original plan did not work out very well and he then just bit the bullet to re-tolex the amp. It turned out great! Since I was not the owner of the amp it was decided to just sell it after I made sure it was 100% electronics wise. Most of the time your left wondering what became of the amp. Did the new owner finish the restoration or are they just happy with the ugly duckling? Here is a link a thread that was sent to me showing the finished restoration of the amp.

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/in...oject.1958777/

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  24. #24
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    13,853
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 912/5
    Given: 941/0
    Nice. A little rough on the corners and seams (the photo's were taken from angles intended to hide it ) but still better than black paint

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Black pole screws, any know were to get
    By Peter Naglitsch in forum Pickup Makers
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 10-13-2011, 01:40 PM
  2. Spray painted Gril Cloth
    By WholeToneMusic in forum Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Repair
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-10-2008, 07:57 PM
  3. Black Twine
    By Zhangliqun in forum Pickup Makers
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-10-2007, 10:58 PM
  4. painted traces
    By gtrboy in forum Theory & Design
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-09-2006, 10:43 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •