View Full Version : Open for debate, painting on lower end vintage ukulele.

Inksplosive AL
01-25-2014, 02:15 PM
I went on eBay the other day and started looking at lower end vintage ukuleles and came across and old Harmony likely from the 20's or 30's by the label that was in repaired and refurbished condition that I just fell in love with. After hearing the youtube clip I was sold and the ukulele beast in me needed to be fed. (No worries I have no intention of painting her as her scars tell a story)

This and an eBay announcement from a firefox plug in led to me buying another less fortunate Harmony from the 50's - 60's that needs some work before it wears strings again. I will be posting a thread on that instrument as I repair him but I have other questions. I also bid on and lost a few banjo style ukuleles as well but lets not focus there or my apparent new addiction.

As an artist I'm always looking to create art. I haven't given it much thought as to what subject matter I would paint on them yet but I have been thinking of painting ukuleles. Maybe even sharpie art one or two. As a tattoo artist I have changed many lives with my art but that art will not be around very long after I'm done here. Painting has the ability to live on and touch others long after as well as music.

Thoughts on painting old department store ukuleles like the broken Harmony? I think I can do a fairly responsible street repair to these little guys and get them back out there. Does the painting ruin the value of a vintage Harmony? Would you sooner buy a nicely painted vintage lower end ukulele over a painted lower end newly mass produced model?

Would you never consider buying such a monstrosity as a painted ukulele or a vintage department store ukulele as anything other than a wall hanger anyway.


01-25-2014, 02:39 PM
I wouldn't hesitate about painting on an old Harmony that requires restoration anyway. Have you seen any of Amy Crehore's ukuleles?

Inksplosive AL
01-25-2014, 02:57 PM
I have now... I would be doing much simpler artwork I do believe.

I want to bring them back to playable and have people to still want to play them. I'm thinking period style folk art or even a tattoo flash art style. Those are so nice I couldn't play one. I really love the almost circus sideshow quality the named headstocks have but I wouldn't trash a good factory label to paint a headstock.


01-25-2014, 05:18 PM
I think flash style would be cool. Or, some Von Dutch striping, if you want to keep it abstract. Or, given that those old Harmony and Regal ukes were stenciled, you might consider something like that.

01-25-2014, 05:25 PM
paint some dolphins instead!