How to Make Dark, Black Fretlines on C. B. Gitty Acrylic Fretboards

How to Make Dark, Black Fretlines on C. B. Gitty Acrylic Fretboards

C. B. Gitty Clear Acrylic Fretboards come with laser-cut fret markers on the underside, giving a beautifully clean look to DIY lap steels (especially ones made from 2x4's).  

Lately, I've been placing Pearloid drum wrap material underneath them for a classic look. 

However, the fret lines become washed out a bit and camouflaged in with the pearl (as seen in the left side on the picture above).

To make them pop, I've come up with a simple way to darken the fret lines. 

Follow the easy steps below to drastically improve the look and playability of your cigar box guitar or 2x4 lap steel tricked out with a clear acrylic fretboard.

This insanely useful trick applies to clear acrylic fretboards for use on both

Note: This process relies on the blue protective plastic to act as masking tape. Do not peel off the protective blue plastic until the end of this task.

Prepare The Fret Lines

Place the fretboard with fret lines facing up. 

Follow the next steps to clean out the tiny blue plastic remaining in the lines.

Cleaning blue protective plastic from the fret channels in acrylic fretboard

  1. Use a sharp nail or pointed tool to gently scratch the edge of the fret line. 
  2. Once started, use your fingers to gently pull the blue plastic.
  3. Slowly remove the plastic from the entire fret line.

Draw The Frets

Filling in fret channels of acrylic fretboard with black marker

1. After cleaning out the blue plastic from each fret, use a black marker to draw over the fret lines.

Fret channels of acrylic fretboard filled with black marker

2. The lines don't have to be perfect. Just make sure the entire fret channel is filled with black marker.

Blue plastic pulled from acrylic fretboard revealing black fret lines

3. Peel away the remaining blue plastic to reveal the clean, black fret lines.

Final Result

Black fret lines in clear acrylic fret board

And installed with Pearloid underlay

White pearl underlay beneath acrylic fretboard


As you can see, drawing clean, black lines on your clear acrylic fretboard is insanely easy to do. 

Worry no more about losing the fret lines with a white, Pearloid underlay beneath your fretboard.

Follow my simple steps above and you'll make those fret lines pop like a pro!

Get your clear acrylic fretboards here:


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5th May 2017 Shane Speal

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