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  • Body painting bymyself turned into disaster

    First i had a thought, why i can't do a guitars paint job bymyself. Then i just searched how to make it. But everyone says a different thing. I tried many things. Solvent sprays, sythetic dyes and varnishes. But everytime it was a disaster. Leaking or melting lacquers. How should i do this? Any ideas? Can you share knowledge please.

  • #2
    The best resource I have found is at reranch.com they have a good amount of acurate and correct knowledge and products to go along with there tutorials. If you have any specific questions from there don't be afraid to ask.
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    • #3
      painting basics...thin quick coats..never use 2 different brands of paints..enamels and lacquers dont mix.
      theres no right way. to paint but there is a wrong way..its sound like a simple mistake thats easily fixed by doing lighter coats and giving more cure time between coats
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      <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>Bro Blue</strong>
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      <div class="message">- so it worked. If I could make a million or so dollars playing guitar by sticking a maxi pad to my forehead I'd do it.</div>

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      • #4
        Bvr covered most of it. Also surface prep is of paramount importance. It's been said a jillion times, once the hard work is done it's time to paint. That and using a good sand & sealer.
        It's 4am woman make up your mind. EITHER SPIT IT OUT OR SWALLOW IT!!!

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        • #5
          If you're getting drip marks, you were in a rush and putting it on way too thick. You cant do the job in one or three coats.

          You need to apply it in 15 or 20 fine coats where you just mist the coating on and give it plenty of time to fully dry. This can take days to complete. Its not a single afternoon job, so strip it and start over. This is the only way you're going to learn. After a few major disasters you learn thet refinishing a body is the suckiest job there is to get right, and exactly why I tell beginners if you dont absolutely have to refinish, dont. Repair of an existing finish should be learned first.

          If you're tired of your guitar color and the finish is decent, get over it or sell it and buy a new guitar.

          Refinishing a guitar wipes out its resale value. If a guitar was worth $300, its now worth $50 or what you can get for it in scrap parts.

          Refinishing is a craft that is acquired with alot of practice and few can bost they got decent results the first time round. It was more likely luck than experteese.

          I have a body i need to redo for a best friend of mine i been putting off for 3 months. One because I hate doing them, second, is the heat in Texas has been in the 90s and 100s. The ideal temp is 70s and low humidity using laquer so it doesnt trap moisture and make the finish turn white using an alcohol based finish.

          Other than that, read up on it as the others suggested. You started the project so theres no turning back at this point. You have to get it right.

          Last option would be to strip it to the wood and wipe on Tung Oil for a clear finish. Its pretty hard to go wrong with the stuff if you dont try to go to thick and apply many layers.

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          • #6
            I'm one of the exceptions that got a good guitar finish first time out. But I'd done alot of automotive and furniture finishing prior to that. Also lawn mowers, dog houses, people houses, Grandma, etc. So I wasn't really a complete beginner. BTW getting Grandma to hold still wasn't easy! As stated by WRG it takes practice. You may want to try a different project to perfect your technique.
            It's 4am woman make up your mind. EITHER SPIT IT OUT OR SWALLOW IT!!!

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            • #7
              I did my Strat-copy body with a good-coverage coat of white wood primer and two coats of white-tinted spray lacquer. I sanded the body smooth before I started with the paint. I was nervous about how it would come out, but I was happy with the results. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it works for me. The finish is not perfect mirror gloss - it has kind of a grainy-gloss look from the spray lacquer, but I like that as it isn't as sticky as a pure-gloss finish.

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              • #8
                it's already been said, but i'm adding my +1 to Thin Coats. Many, Many Thin Coats. This is true for all aerosolized painting.
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                • #9
                  One thing that you might want to consider is the weather. Seriously -- humid weather will ruin any kind of finish application. If it's raining, foggy ir even just humid outside, wait until it's dry to refinish.

                  And make sure that the base is absolutely dry before applying finish. The wood used in many inexpensive newer guitars is poorly seasoned before it's finished, and it can retain moisture for years under the finish. A lot of this can be taken care of by putting the already stripped body in a gas oven (on wooden blocks, to prevent it touching the rack) at just pilot light temperature (i.e., not actually turned on) for a few days. If that's not practical, find some other place that's about 100 degrees and very dry, and leave it there a few days, turning it periodically. I've actually found that a body being warm while I'm applying the new finishes, helps it adhere better. That's true of most things you might want to refinish; warm surfaces accept finishes much better than cool ones.

                  Also, did you use the proper solvent on the wood surface to remove any traces of oils, waxes or other contaminants? If the surface isn't totally degreased -- and even oil from your fingers will ruin it -- the new finish won't adhere properly. Unfortunately, most of these solvents (methyl ethyl ketone, or "MEK", for example) are highly toxic, so they need to be used with an appropriate respirator and gloves.

                  Good luck!

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                  • #10
                    +1 for Guitar reranch. They sell everything you need plus they have detailed instructions on everything from wood prep through to the final polish. Just take your time.

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                    • #11
                      One good thing about laquer is even if the application isnt the greatest, it can be buffed to a high gloss, and it can have additional layers added after sanding to remove flaws. Its probibly why most antique workers prefer it over other finishes. Ease of application and ease of removal.

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                      • #12
                        it's already been said, but i'm adding my +1 to Thin Coats. Many, Many Thin Coats. This is true for all aerosolized painting.


                        It depends. With some of the water-based finishes, you can go too thin - they need to look like they're just about ready to run.
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                        • #13
                          ? you're right, i suppose i like my water-based's a little on the thick side for non-porus surfaces, less so for porus, and runny-as-hell for t-shirts.
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                          • #14
                            With a spray gun they gradually thin out the mixture with the multiple coats cutting the mixture down in percentage till its mostly thinner.

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