A majority of guitar players opt to paint their guitar themselves. They do it just because it would give their guitar a different and unique appearance …
Giving the guitar a unique customized appearance can be a lot of work, but believe it or not, this paint job is fun. You may paint your guitar in any combination of colors, and the variations are limitless. There are many guitarists and musicians from the music industry who have started the trend of painting their guitars in a customized way and personalizing them, is being followed by thousands of guitarists all over the world. However, nowadays, manufacturers are introducing guitars which already have the needed appearance and unique style. If you buy such guitars, you need not repaint them. Aspiring guitarists generally get attracted to the many signature models of world-famous guitarists. As a result, they go to a paint shop and ask for a paint job by referring to the guitar color pattern of the guitarist they like.
DIY Guitar Painting
Spray painting techniques can be used if you want the guitar to have a smooth and shiny finish which would enhance its look. This technique allows the guitar to have a mixture of colors on any particular surface area. The guitar neck has to be painted after dismantling it from the body. There are very few guitar players who actually choose to get their guitar pedal or the effects processor painted. Let us get familiar with the steps on repainting a guitar.
Procedure to Custom Paint a Guitar
Detach the Fretboard
Before starting the paint job, you need to remove all strings from the guitar, and unscrew the tuning pegs and tuners from the headstock. You need to remove the strings for detaching the neck which has to be painted separately. Use some masking tape strips for covering the guitar’s fretboard completely. You should not let any paint or lacquer get on the frets. Getting some paint on the fingerboard will make you treat the fretboard surface separately after the paint job. Detach the fretboard off the guitar, which you will need to do by removing the screws from the back of the guitar.
Remove Pickups and Components
Put on a single coat of wood finish to the back of the neck and on the headstock. Keep the neck separately for the paint to dry out. The next step would be removing pickups and the contact plate from the guitar. Pickups can only be removed when the wiring connections are disconnected, for which you can use a soldering gun. If you are thinking of painting acoustic guitars, you simply need to cover the sound hole to stop the paint from getting on the inside of the guitar.
Sand the Surfaces
You would need to utilize a 100-grit emery paper in order to sand both sides of the guitar body. Get rid of all the acrylic on the body, especially at the edges and arcs. You might even need to additionally sand the surface using a fine grit sandpaper. Ensure that the body is completely fine on both sides, and then wipe away the sawdust from the surface.
Surface the guitar body with a priming coat. You can utilize either spray can primer or simply a brush to apply the primer on the guitar. If you are using spray paint, no worries; but if it is a brush, you will need to further sand the uneven painted surfaces and bumps. Ensure that you coat both sides evenly, and then allow the primer to dry out for one whole day. You may even choose to paint one side, keep it for drying, and then start with the other side.
Smoothen the guitar surface by sanding down the runs in the primer. It is recommended to use a paint mask to avert breathing in toxic fumes coming from the paint. Use a sprayer to apply your favorite color on the front of the guitar body. Ensure that you use the back-and-forth motion while spraying. This will prevent the possibility of the paint leaving any empty spots. Let the paint dry out for approximately a day. You then need to paint the back side, and let it dry for another 24 hours. If you want to apply several coats, you may do so, but only after the painted surface is desiccated. Use a mixture of bright red, orange, and yellow color paint if you want a sunburst appearance for your guitar. You may even paint flames on your guitar by using the appropriate color and techniques.
Apply Lacquer and Reinstall Parts
After the paint dries out, you finally need to attach the neck to the body, and fix all the parts that you removed before painting. You may even think about applying a few coats of lacquer for giving the surface a finished, shiny look and feel. Additionally, since you are making the guitar somewhat new, you may even consider replacing its parts such as the scratchplate, switches, controls, bridge, and particularly the pickups.
If you are still not sure about how to paint a guitar, you can always get it painted from a professional. Before you use the spray gun and paint, ensure that you are familiar with using the tool in the correct manner. This is because the paint surface quality greatly depends on how the gun is used. If you want to get the guitar components replaced, it is always better to seek professional advice.