Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Bringing your older offset back to life.
User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by MatthewK » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:57 pm

Hi all - a few years ago I bought a rundown 65/66 parts Mustang as a project, and have gradually been acquiring the bits I need, along with refinishing the body (it had been stripped and varnished, looked OK but I prefer a more original look. Acquired a yellowed 60s MOP guard, white button F tuners, etc., and painted the body with sealer, primer and a coat of red. Finally got a late 60s bridge pickup at a reasonable price (thanks Will!) but I got busy at work and put it aside. Today I got out all the bits and realised I could actually put it together complete. Did a test fit and ... hm. Looks like the nice red is a bit too brilliant when placed against that yellowed guard - it's SUPER yellow and the whole thing looks a bit clown like. What do you guys reckon? I thought maybe a tinted topcoat on the red might knock it down and reduce the contrast, but would that look right on a Mustang, since they were painted pretty cheaply and wouldn't have had a clearcoat?
Anyway - here's the current situation:
Image
(also if anyone wants to sell me a string tree, this one had a screw in string retaining bar added but I've taken it off).

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by MatthewK » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:30 pm

Ah maybe a clear coat is legit - here's a '65 listed on Ishibashi, not much doubt there:
Image

User avatar
spacecadet
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4350
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:03 am
Location: Long Island, NY
Contact:

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by spacecadet » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:45 pm

Yeah they definitely had a clearcoat, and the same type as Fender's other guitars. Pre-1968 was nitro, 1968 on was poly.

Original Mustangs were definitely a lot brighter than the "Dakota Red" everybody calls the surviving ones now. (They were never Dakota Red, they were just "Red", officially.) That dark red is partly from the clearcoat darkening. You can see in old ads that they look brighter than they do now; maybe not to the level of your Mustang's red, but not too far off. I do think the pickguard kind of throws the color scheme off, because in essence you have a new-looking paint job with an aged-looking pickguard.

So if you want to match what an older Mustang would look like now, I think you're probably best off just doing an extra coat of some darker red because I don't think a tinted topcoat would quite get you where you want to be. But then you probably do want to do a topcoat of some kind too, since that's realistic.

Mustangs were finished pretty cheaply, but I actually have a red 66 Mustang and its finish is quite thick; much thicker than the higher-end guitars of that era that I've seen. So they seemed to cheap out in a different way than you're thinking. They just put a ton of paint and clearcoat on to hide whatever blemishes the wood might have. So it wouldn't be unrealistic if you end up with an extra coat of paint and a pretty thick top coat.

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by MatthewK » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:37 pm

Thanks - good thoughts.I guess for the degree of yellowing on the pearloid I am going to have to shoot for something a fair bit darker, viz:
Image
That looks like pretty thin coats, clear on red on white. Some work ahead!

User avatar
spacecadet
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4350
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:03 am
Location: Long Island, NY
Contact:

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by spacecadet » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:47 pm

Mine doesn't have any white primer. Like a lot of Fenders at the time, they probably just did whatever on any given day. It looks like two layers of red to me on that one, though, on top of the white.

I'd post a photo showing how thick my finish is but my imgur account seems screwed (and photobucket's dead) - hopefully I can fix it shortly.

User avatar
palesnow67
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:07 pm

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by palesnow67 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:26 pm

Thisis probably dumb of me to ask, but would lightly sanding the pickguard make it look whiter?
10. Signatures must be no more than two lines.

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2850
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by mbene085 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:19 pm

spacecadet wrote:Mine doesn't have any white primer. Like a lot of Fenders at the time, they probably just did whatever on any given day. It looks like two layers of red to me on that one, though, on top of the white.

I'd post a photo showing how thick my finish is but my imgur account seems screwed (and photobucket's dead) - hopefully I can fix it shortly.
Yep, fender was incredibly inconsistent with its finishing methods in the early-mod 60's. Demand was high and sometimes they skipped steps.

Many of the custom colour guitars have white primer, some don't. Most have a clear coat, but some do not. There are no absolute rules regarding their methods. Like for that double-layer red, there might have been a defect in the first red coat that they just sprayed over. They were known to do things like that.

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by MatthewK » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:07 am

Life has interrupted this project (and several others) but I promise to do it justice someday. Thanks for the input, forumites!

User avatar
amv
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 681
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:16 am

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by amv » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:35 pm

The only clown-like thing I'm seeing is you if you don't love that Fiesta + yellowed pearloid pairing. Especially gorgeous with that dark rosewood. I'd vote to keep it as-is.

User avatar
doublearon77
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:29 pm

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by doublearon77 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:58 pm

amv wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:35 pm
The only clown-like thing I'm seeing is you if you don't love that Fiesta + yellowed pearloid pairing. Especially gorgeous with that dark rosewood. I'd vote to keep it as-is.
+1 that guitar looks perfect now!

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by MatthewK » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:34 am

Well, six months later I have taken steps to remedy this ... not quite the way I originally planned, but ...

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by MatthewK » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:49 am

and a sneak peek:
Image

User avatar
Axolotl
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 909
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:06 am

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by Axolotl » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:47 am

pic could be better ;) but that refin sure looks the part color and wear wise. nice!

User avatar
PJazzmaster
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4780
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:59 am
Location: Bo Diddley Technical Institute of Cryptozoology (European HQ)

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by PJazzmaster » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:49 am

MatthewK wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:49 am
and a sneak peek:
Image
Nice, it's a slabboard neck example :-* (but I guess you are fully aware of that)
BTW: the refin really looks like the original color, nice!!

User avatar
MatthewK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1876
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Paint colour for 65/66 Mustang

Post by MatthewK » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:31 pm

Well, the secret is that I bought another body with original paint ... was looking into the cost of a pro refin and realised it'd probably be the price difference between selling the body I had and buying another. It was already a mongrel so no loss of originality.
And yeah the pic is terrible but I finished it at 11pm and it's midwinter down here - daylight shots will have to wait. The paint checking is pretty nuts.

Post Reply