How To Paint A Guitar Body by Ricky Sharples
There are many ways to paint a guitar body, some are simple, some are multi-staged and hard to follow. I'm going to try to keep this tutorial simple and hopefully you will be able to paint your guitar body without wanting to kill me.
The truth is, you should not expect your first guitar painting job to be any good. You might have to do it a few times before you get to the stage where you have the confidence to paint the body of a guitar you really treasure.
You can buy aerosol cans of paint for car bodies that will do the job on your guitar or you can buy guitar paint in cans that will duplicate your popular Fender or Gibson colors. You will do well to get a face mask and goggles unless you plan on your lungs and eyeballs matching your guitar.
The alternative to cans is a spray gun in which case you will get a better finish that needs less sanding.
Wherever you choose to do your painting, make sure you remove the neck and hang your guitar from a taut wire so that you can walk around it concentrating on spraying without having to stop and move the guitar.
For more information and more tutorials in painting your guitar body, visit The Guitar ReRanch website. This is the place to go if you need some more info on whatever stage of repainting you are at.
Your guitar will already have a coat of lacquer on it and this must be removed totally before you can begin to add a new coat of paint. There are lots of chemicals that will strip the paint off your guitar, many of which will have no hesitation in killing you if you go near them with your mouth open. Get advice on which lacquer removal product is best to start with on your particular guitar.
If you have experience in painting, which I hope you have, you know the kind of surface you need to get down to. The guitar, if it is getting a complete repaint, should be a nice sanded down palette waiting for your artistic interventions. Any holes and dents should be filled.
The final coat of paint for your guitar body will look only as good as the layers of primer beneath it. You took great care on your sanding and now you need to do a careful priming job. Now you can give your primed guitar a nice light sanding. Your surface should be smooth. At this stage, if you are a beginner to this kind of work, you will be starting to want the job to hurry up and get finished. Don't be tempted to rush. If you are sick and tired of all the effort, take a day off.
Keep applying coats of paint till you are happy with the color you have achieved. This means maybe six coats. Then a clear coat of lacquer. Hang the guitar up to dry for a month so that the lacquer is hardened.