If you are looking for information on how to paint guitar successfully, keep in mind that patience and time are the two most important things you need.
It’s not just about using the spraying can, you need to prepare your guitar for the painting, and if it needs any special customized paint, you should be aware of how to go about it.
Materials Needed for Guitar Painting
- The paint stripper – You need this to remove the old paint, and you don’t need it if your guitar has no painting already.
- The sanding paper – you can choose between the 200-2000 . for guitar painting, the 240-grade sanding papers are needed.
- The rubbing compound or scratch removal – This is needed to remove any scratch on your guitar. cleaning compounds also help to smoothen the finishing product.
- The rubbing cloth – this should be clean and made of cotton. You can make use of your old pieces of clothes.
- Sanding block – needed for sanding and wrapping the sanding paper tightly to ensure that you sand evenly. You should consider the one that measures 5 x 7 x 0.5cm in breadth, length and width respectively.
- The masking tape – You should choose varying widths of masking tapes, including the 3 meter option.
- Knives – You need two types, the paint removal knife , and a sharp knife for cutting the masking tape.
A neat and well ventilated working area- You should consider painting your guitar outside when it’s not raining and not too hot.
- Wood filler – You need this to absorb the stain , during staining of the guitar.
- Stain – a wood dye can be used for staining. You can also use amber clear coat for the guitar neck, and black leather paint to create an ebony finish on the fret boards.
- The spray paint – This is where you have to take your time to choose the right spray can. There are several kinds of guitar spray paints, the commonest are; Polyester, Polyurethane, Acryl, Alkyd and Nitro cellulose. Each of these paints have their advantages and disadvantages. While polyester can be used by professionals, acryl may be the most suitable for the average or beginner painter, and the reason being that it is very easy to handle, and the surface can be easily sanded and re-spray in the future.
How to Paint the Guitar
Step #1: Strip the Guitar body
The body of a guitar may be covered by a sticky sealer; you can remove this with the use of the 600 grid sanding paper.
You can also make use of a paint remover solution to strip the guitar body and neck without binding.
If your guitar parts have bindings, it is better to sand off completely.
Make sure you first remove all parts of the guitar body and neck, but cover the entire fret board during the removal process, with a masking tape , then you can use an old brush to apply the paint-remover solution.
Smear this solution on the body and neck of the guitar.
The paint solution will loosen up the old pain within 30 minutes; therefore you can easily scrape it off.
Sand off any part with some stubborn paint left overs. You may have to repeat this step several times, just in case you didn’t remove all the paints at once.
For more effective paint removal , you should start with low sanding grids ( 60 for example), in order to remove the upper layer of paint.
Make sure you don’t go beyond the 600-grid for paint removal.
Step #2: Fill the holes up
There should be some little chips on your guitar wood, and these may not be filled up easily with a primer. You can make use of two-compound wood filler for this purpose.
Make sure you fill bigger holes with wood (but don’t fill them completely).
Once the holes are filled, make sure you sand again, then clean the wood with a piece of cotton cloth contain some amount of methylated spirit.
Let it lie for about 24 hours to allow the cleaning liquid resolve.
Step #3: Mask the Guitar
The parts you don’t want to spray, must be masked. You can take two approaches here; The body and headstock binding, and Neck binding.
Body and headstock binding involves masking the side edges in order to create smooth lines, then mask the top surface , pay attention to the round contours.
Neck binding involves masking with the 3m masking tape. Once the paint is dry, simply remove the paint on binding, with the knife.
Step #4: Apply the Primer
Spray the primer on body, neck and head stocks before applying the solid colour. You should consider a white or grey primer if you are applying light colours like white or yellow later.
Make sure you hold the guitar object properly; you can attach a holding stick, for instance, in order to hold the guitar body with one hand, and hold the spraying can on the other hand.
Once the primer has been applied, simply allow it to dry for about 20 minutes in a ventilated atmosphere.
After three days of primer, you can sand once again , using a grid of between 120 and 600 grid. You may spray an extra layer of primer just in case you sanded much paints away .
Step #5: Apply the Guitar Paint Colour
Spray the paint colour exactly the way you spray the primer, but make use of a minimum amount of passes, to achieve a perfect stunning cover.
Make sure you pay careful attention to the guitar horn, when painting. Mask parts you don’t want to stain especially when you are staining the neck and bodies.
When stains are apply, make sure you sand excess out. If you are applying metallic spray , make sure you spray the parts further away from the guitar , last.
Step #6: Apply the clear Coat
Apply the clear coat, the way you apply the primer.
Step #7: Sand and Polish
Make use of the sanding paper grid of between 800 and 1,200 for this purpose, but be careful not to change the contour of the guitar.
Make use of small detergent and water while sanding finally and pay attention to minor contours or holes at this stage.
Sand appropriately and your guitar should be ready after sanding for about 30 minutes or thereabout.