View Full Version : Pimp my Uke [color suggestions please]

06-29-2008, 07:26 PM

I have in my posession a decent sounding Famous (Kiwaya) FU-150 soprano ukulele that I got for free. It's oldish but far from vintage, a bit worn and worst of all: ugly as hell. Made out of bubinga, it's a hideous deep red-brownish abomination that forces me to play with my eyes closed. Needless to say, this results in missing chords, transposing songs into keys that nobody has ever heard of, and more of those things that can really wreck the idyllic serenity of a happy home.

So, the plan is to sand the body and repaint it into a different color, perhaps with a bit of a design, so as to make it fun to play and perhaps do some videos with. The problem is: I can't think of a color combo or design that would satisfy. It can be loud if functional, or very low-profile and cool. Perhaps a theme (camouflage, matte black?) or a drawing (I love the Tikiking Flea with the open mouth figure on it), or just a cool color. I am strongly considering to keep the neck just the original light-reddish color, and only go for a body makeover. Doing the neck would be hard to do nicely and it would seem to be more work than this uke is worth (perhaps I should leave it as is and learn to play blind, ha!)

Please think with me and donate some suggestions or thematic directions for the design. Thanks! :D

06-29-2008, 10:37 PM
Made out of bubinga

Bubinga is actually a very nice tonewood. While somewhat hard (I've used it for Fretboards and Bridges), here is LMI's take:

Bubinga is a wood that has been used for years with success. It is a better tonewood than it’s been given credit for—probably because low price is not usually commensurate with high quality. Harder and heavier than either Brazilian or Indian Rosewood, Bubinga is sometimes known as African Rosewood, although it’s not a Dalbergia. It has a medium texture with interlocking grain, and when finished gives a mottled “bees wing” appearance. It’s pinkish-mauve cast oxidizes to a nice brownish-red over time.

Question I have is why paint over it when you can just refinish it?

My friend has a Martin Tenor, Mahogany. The back is a two piece, non-bookmatched anomaly that is, of all things, flatsawn. The sound is almost untouchable (especially when he says "make me a replacement").

06-30-2008, 12:08 AM
Hmmm.... yes, well I wasn't complaining about the sound. But you may be right that a nice thick amateur paint job could be the death stroke to my little freebie ugly ducklin. Sanding it down and then refinishing with a lighter varnish or something might help. Good thinking. The finish looks pretty thick as it is now, and the rosette is painted on...

P.S. Nice to hear about the Martin, but this is more in the range of "ukes whose life hang by a thread" and only because of the sound (it's LOUD! and intonation is OK). So I am not too afraid about painting/experimenting with it.

06-30-2008, 03:55 AM
You Can't Go wrong with lime green with pink polka dots

you know it makes sense

06-30-2008, 11:07 AM
Try some zebra or leopard.

06-30-2008, 03:34 PM
Do you have a regular favorite tattoo arist? If so, if they also do painting, you could get something really nice and different, even just with sticking with traditional tattoo themes: