Warning: the following thread is a guide to tinting maple necks with maple fret boards. The process involves some light sanding and the dismantling of a bolt on neck. This process was designed for, and executed on a Fender neck with a moderate polyester finish. I am not responsible for any loss, damage etc.
but I am responsible for any awesomeness that ensues.
A while back I decided to spruce up a circa 2004 MIM telecaster. While researching possible upgrades, I learned that one can tint a Fender maple neck with matching fretboard, with some shoe polish. After observing a few photos and reading success stories, i decided I could try it myself.
You will need:
-BROWN KIWI BRAND shoe polish, the type that comes in a tin.
I used the same listed above, except: I used a sock in place of a cotton rag. I also used gloves, since the process is slightly messy.
-an unwanted cotton rag or an old t-shirt.
-Paper towels, toilet paper, or any disposable form of tissue.
-sand paper (i used 220 grit, you don't want heavy sand paper!)
Here's the concept: you remove all the hardware on the neck, save for frets. if it can come off, take it off. you sand the entire neck, taking care to not sand any part of the frets, or any area that is not the wood of the neck itself. this is done so that the shoe polish will have a nice gritty surface on which to cling on.
Afterward, apply shoe polish to the neck using your cotton rag, shirt, or in my case, sock. I did about 5 coats. I just applied one coat, then went back and did it over again. no buffing in between.
it's not very noticeable, but here's a pic.
after i smudged it all on, I simply wiped it off with a paper towel.
Now that the hardware is off, it's a good time to clean it.
I dipped my tuners and string tee into some good ol' WD-40.
Now, after sitting in place for about 20-30 min, with your family wondering what the hell you're doing, wipe off the that neck one last time and re-assemble it.
WARNING: BE CAREFUL WHEN RE ASSEMBLING TUNERS. SOME AREN'T AS STURDY AS THEY SEEM, AND IF OVERTIGHTENED, MIGHT BREAK!
now, re attach the neck and screw it in...
and you get the finished product: a nice, golden yellow maple neck.
one more time:
before - After