View Full Version : Fret Markers On Ukulele- Need Advice

08-27-2009, 07:09 PM
I got a mainland concert a while ago and it has fret marker's on the fret board, but not on the side where I like them. Has anyone ever made their own using paint/fingernail polish or other means?

Thanks in advance for any help.

08-27-2009, 11:33 PM
The fret markers on my Fluke wore off a long time ago (it's a plastic fretboard, so totally understandable). Recently I re-marked them using the silver touch-up paint for my car. Worked like a charm.

08-27-2009, 11:42 PM
I used a bit of my nail polish, also on a Fluke, and now my fret markers are so lovely!

Ah, but not that I wear fluorescent yellow nail polish on my ninja missions or anything... don't misunderstand... :nana:

08-28-2009, 12:23 AM
my favorite method, that will never wear off, is to drill a very shallow hole and fill it with colored grease pencil.

When you rub it off it's perfectly round.

08-28-2009, 12:59 AM
Or glue a tiny piece of dowel into the same shallow hole and then cut it off flush.

08-28-2009, 01:01 AM
I had the same issue when I got my uke 3 months ago. I went to staples and bought 1/4" round labels (item# 298182). Just stuck a couple of them on and they work great. They do not mark the finish and are removable. Lasted over 2 months when one of them came off. No problem though as I have a couple hundred more to stick on. Not a bad fix for $4.00

08-28-2009, 05:01 AM
thanks for all the advice. i might try the fingernail polish technique. i'm a little scared to drill little holes into her.

thanks everyone!

Ahnko Honu
08-28-2009, 05:10 AM
Any art supply store should stock paint pens. I bought a gold, and silver ones for signing my wood art, works great with fine point.

08-28-2009, 05:28 AM
Look into getting a pin drill. I bought one a Radio Shack years ago for less than $8

This tool works by holding the drill in your hand and twisting the handle. Make a small divot and fill with nail polish.

Here is a image I found to give you an idea what it looks like

08-28-2009, 05:46 AM
I have a paper hole punch that makes small hole about 0.15 inch or 1/8 of an inch diameter. I punched some holes out of adhesive label paper and stuck those on my soprano Ohana. So far it has worked great, especially since the uke lives a pampered life, without much contact to dirt and grime. I don't know if the adhesive will hurt the finish, but I figure I will always have some sort of markers there anyway.

Or try some of these


08-28-2009, 05:57 AM
I put yellow dots on the side of my Flea's fretboard by using some acrylic paint and a tiny paintbrush. Looks fine, and no signs of it damaging the rosewood.

08-28-2009, 10:52 AM
I used a sharpie on the side of the neck of my Flea. I only did tiny dots, and it hasn't worn off yet. It's lasted about 4 months so far.

I've also used silvery nail varnish and that also looks fab and lasts quite well. I found the trick was to just use a tiny amount, applied with a matchstick or toothpick as the brush is just far too big and too messy.

Let us know which works the best for you :)

08-28-2009, 12:12 PM
take a junky woodburner and burn a dot...takes 3 minutes to warm up and 30 seconds to do

08-28-2009, 02:36 PM
I'd go with the stickers. As well as being able to remove them if you change your mind, you can experiment with which frets you like to have marked.

I tend to find lots of dots annoying and prefer just one at the seventh fret.

08-28-2009, 03:12 PM
Here's a photo of my paper punched dots on my soprano uke. Very easy, with no worry of a paint or nail polish accident.

This adhesive label stock was just uncoated paper. You could color these with a marker if needed. Or, if you had a sticker with a plastic coating, you could get a more durable surface. You could always punch a hole from one of those "kids stickers" that used to be so popular. The plain paper sticker dots have worked just fine for me. My fingers just don't touch that area that much.


08-29-2009, 06:45 AM
I have no marks what so ever but after seeing those inlay stickers I think I am sold... maybe i will just go down the local kids shop and find some pineapple stickers though!

08-29-2009, 06:53 AM
I re-marked them using the silver touch-up paint for my car.
In a similar vein, I use a fine permanent marker (silver) to mark mine. This isn't "permanent" but lasts quite a while. I also use it to add dots on the side to indicate fret positions.

Since the frets of a Fluke aren't very easy to see (black on black), you can also use the marker to lightly highight them. But it's finicky.

08-29-2009, 08:12 AM
You can custom order fret optics for your scale length (I asked at their NAMM Booth).



08-29-2009, 08:23 AM
You can custom order fret optics for your scale length (I asked at their NAMM Booth).



that's crazy!