Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Need some advice on painting a guitar

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse







X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16

    Originally posted by Chordite View Post
    I have often considered asking a car body shop to spray a body for me with 2 pack paint left over when they finish a suitable color car repair. Should give a very durable finish.

    A friend who does trick paint jobs on motorcycles is painting a guitar for a friend - pearl white with blue ghost flames - it will cost him about 600 bucks. Here is an example of what can be done with quality materials and a good painter

    Comment


    • #17
      ^^^ That's definitely Purple Haze.

      I do have a compressor at home but I do need a dryer attachment if I'm going to use it for spraying. The only reason I haven't used it in the past id I just don't do enough spray jobs to justify it. I'd think one of those self powered air brushes would do a better job on a single guitar body but again, You still have to buy enough chemicals to get them at a lower price, a good deal of it gets wasted if you don't use it, You have to know when to add dryers and gradually thin your clear coats down till its almost 100% lacquer thinner, then you got to clean all the stuff up and make sure the stuff doesn't harden up in the tips and all.

      I've used them but you really got to be using that stuff on a daily basis to stay in shape and have the right touch. I may do one finish job a year now. Most of it like I said is natural finishes so I can get away with using a couple of rattle cans for a body, or even easier just use Tung oil. Last one I did I put about 12 coats on and you'd swear it was a lacquer finish except its allot harder.

      Comment


      • #18
        This guy does some great videos on refinishing,

        Besides being a guitar player,
        I'm a big fan of the guitar.
        I love that damn instrument.
        -Steve Vai

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Floyd Rosenbomb View Post
          This guy does some great videos on refinishing,

          He's not refinishing. He is just polishing it out. That's what you do after you have painted and it has cured.


          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by DaleH View Post

            He's not refinishing. He is just polishing it out. That's what you do after you have painted and it has cured.

            Geez, man. If you look though his videos you'll see that he does refinish guitars and that he does a really good job. I just posted the link the one of his videos. Carry on.
            Besides being a guitar player,
            I'm a big fan of the guitar.
            I love that damn instrument.
            -Steve Vai

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
              ^^^ That's definitely Purple Haze.

              I do have a compressor at home but I do need a dryer attachment if I'm going to use it for spraying. The only reason I haven't used it in the past id I just don't do enough spray jobs to justify it. I'd think one of those self powered air brushes would do a better job on a single guitar body but again, You still have to buy enough chemicals to get them at a lower price, a good deal of it gets wasted if you don't use it, You have to know when to add dryers and gradually thin your clear coats down till its almost 100% lacquer thinner, then you got to clean all the stuff up and make sure the stuff doesn't harden up in the tips and all.

              I've used them but you really got to be using that stuff on a daily basis to stay in shape and have the right touch. I may do one finish job a year now. Most of it like I said is natural finishes so I can get away with using a couple of rattle cans for a body, or even easier just use Tung oil. Last one I did I put about 12 coats on and you'd swear it was a lacquer finish except its allot harder.
              I have a full on spray booth available where I work - that is the only way to do nitrocellulose. Otherwise it is simply too toxic, explosive and otherwise nasty for a home painter - if you shoot outside you have a hard time controlling temperature, humidity and dust. I did finish a couple of my early guitars in my garage with rattle cans of nitro - I'm lucky I didn't kill the cat, blow the place up or destroy even more brain cells. My wife complained that the leather in her car stunk for weeks.

              When I want to shoot nitro I take it to the booth, but for home finishing I now use water born lacquer (specifically KTM-9) which I shoot with a little HPLV gun and a yard sale 8 gal 1/2 hp compressor. Filter and water trap for sure - I've probably got 50 bucks in my whole outfit. I can shoot tints and bursts, wear only a dust mask and it doesn't stink up the garage. The finish buffs out to near pro quality - I'm satisfied.



              Hard to photograph but here is my attempt at a '57 'burst

              Comment


              • #22
                Looks nice. That would be the way to go for sure.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I didn't mean to hijack the OP's question - he asked about painting his guitar which I consider different from "finishing" wood. They involve the same basic steps, however. Start with bare wood unless you know for 100% sure that what you are putting on is completely compatible with what is already there. Otherwise strip it and sand to bare wood. Strippers will damage plastic binding, decals, etc - use with caution.

                  Sand to 320 or 400 and fix any imperfections in the wood - drop fill or putty. Pore fill open grained wood or prime with a primer compatible with your final finish. Sand the primed guitar to 320 or 400.

                  Apply your final finish/paint. Spraying is obviously best if you have the space and equipment - a gun and compressor are better than rattle cans, but they can be OK. Brushing is last choice, but can be used with some finishes. There are hand applied finishes (French Polish, TruOil, etc) that can give good results - I don't know if anything equivalent for paint. Put on enough coats with total drying between each (lacquer can be applied three coats a day, each one melts into the previous one). Paints need to dry thoroughly between each coat. Sand lightly between coats - just enough to take out imperfections and supply a little "tooth" for the neck one. With pigment paints you might put on six or so coats, with lacquers I'll put on 20+.

                  Many people hang guitars to finish, I like to put them on a stool in the middle of my shop and walk around, shooting from side towards the center. This lets me do any shading or 'bursting and minimizes runs and sags. Of course you can only do one side at a time this way but I get a lot better control of the application.



                  Now we digress - some finishes (lacquers mostly) require "color sanding" (wet sanding with progressively finer grits starting about 600 and going to 2000 or higher). Each step removes the sanding scratches from the last grit - don't skip any step. Finally you buff with different grades of compound. I wait at least 30 days after the last coat is applied before color sanding.

                  With poly finishes and most paints the final coat should dry to the final gloss, you don't need to buff them. Paints are often clear coated to give depth and gloss - again, you use a compatible product. This also means that your application needs to be dead nuts on - any dust or orange peel or runs or sags are really hard to remove.

                  Last but not least, whatever product you choose use the appropriate safety measures - any solvent based finish requires a respirator and some, like lacquers, are highly explosive.

                  I'll add my disclaimer - I am not a professional finisher but I get acceptable results. However, as has been said previously, finishing is probably the hardest parts of home building and it is almost impossible to get the same results that a pro will get. Keep that in mind as you approach this project.
                  Last edited by Freeman Keller; 06-06-2014, 11:00 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    ^^ Good tips. Its obvious you've done this a few times.

                    The only thing I'd add which I didn't see is using shellac as a primer will allow most paints to be applied over it.

                    Also, if you If you haven't tried to paint or refinish and instrument before and want to learn how, find a Junker and learn how to do that one well first.
                    If you take an otherwise good guitar and are just board with the color, just remember all your resale value comes off that guitar when you strip it. I'd also like through the graveyard of bodies on EBay where people get half way through a refinish and discover how tough it actually is then sell off their botched jobs. I used to pick up great deals for $10~20 all the time there and undo the screw-ups people have attempted.

                    Here's a few examples.

                    This one used to be red and someone decided to strip it. It looks like its a plywood body and they didn't shellac or sand it smooth and left all that wood grain behind. Paint doesn't hide faults, it makes those faults blatantly apparent. Bet you this guy had wished he had just left the thing alone. Instead of getting $25 for the body and the same for the neck he may have gotten $150 for the guitar.

                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/80s-Vantage-...item540a30fee5

                    Here's another fugly mess someone will have to undo. He may have gotten $250 for it and is lucky to get $85 for the neck and body them make people go scrounge for all the other parts. Did he really think he could grab a can of black paint and get a factory look? He's not only out the time and effort and cost of supplies he shot his resale value all to hell.

                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Epiphone-Got...item338f79a531

                    This one was allot better. There is some ripple on the front side though. I don't know who likes that puke green color but maybe someone will.
                    Still $80 for a refinished body? if it was vintage and original it may have brought $200+ for a reissue body

                    Refinished PBass body $28 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Squier-P-Bas...item27e5248973

                    How bout a botched Les Paul for $399. This guy probably lost $350 on that screw up.

                    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Gibson-...item540a302e4a

                    It goes on and on. If you know how to refinish you can get some good deals, But I hate seeing guys attempt this and not knowing what they are in for.
                    Last edited by WRGKMC; 06-06-2014, 02:40 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Best advice I can give is to practice on scrap - every step of the process - until you get it nailed. Then do the real thing. Unfortunately few people will follow that advice.

                      FWIW - here is a thread on a guy putting together (and painting) a Guitar Fetish kit. Making many of the usual mistakes - you can learn a lot by watching how others try to do things.

                      http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/v...=10122&t=43603
                      Last edited by Freeman Keller; 06-07-2014, 11:16 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Do not bother stripping the body. The finish on it is a good base to work from. Use automotive spot putty to fill any dings in the body. Sand the entire body lightly using a sanding block on the flat surfaces. Spray with light gray Duplicolor or other sandable primer. Apply as many coats as needed to make it smooth and cover all spot repairs. Follow the last primer coat by wet sanding with 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper. Wipe down with miner spirits and then apply a Duplicolor color coat.

                        Like freeman said, I like to lay the body flat and spray, let it dry, flip it and do the other side blending the color coat at the body contours around the sides. It helps to slip something into the pickup cavities to lift the body up off the spraying surface . I slip a spray can lid in the control cavity and one in the neck pocket to get the body up off the paper. On the back, a single spray can lid in the trem cavity works fine.

                        After laying on multiple coats, you can wet sand (color sand) with 800 to 1600 grit paper and then buff by hand with a polishing compound (white ... not the brown rubbing compound which is too coarse and will leave a dull finish).

                        You shouldn't have to clearcoat a solid color like white to get good results. If you feel compelled to clear coat, use the Duplicolor Clear Coat product. Make sure the body is perfectly clean (mineral spirits wipe down) and lay the body flat and spray multiple coats of clear. Don't bother sanding between coats, just build up a nice deep clear coats and then do the same wet sand and buff as above.

                        Forget the Plasti-kote products, they are not as heavily pigmented as the Duplicolor and do not cover well. Also, the Duplicolor clear coat nozzles on the cans are very fine and give a near flawless spray pattern. I have done clear coats and gone straight to buffing without wet sanding because the finish goes on so smoothly. Here are couple white refinishes I have done this way:





                        Last edited by 6down1togo; 06-08-2014, 02:05 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          If you want to do it the easy way and just go over what's already there, I'd recommend roughing it up with 400 grit sandpaper, then priming it with Zinsser BIN primer. It's shellac based, and sticks to pretty much anything, and covers anything. Then after that, hit it with the ReRanch / Gracey's / Ohio Valley Nitrocellulose lacquer color of your choice, then top that off with clear nitrocellulose lacquer - you can get Deft clear nitro spray at Home Depot or Lowe's for less than the ReRanch / Gracey's / Ohio Valley products cost.
                          **********

                          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                          - George Carlin

                          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post



                            A friend who does trick paint jobs on motorcycles is painting a guitar for a friend - pearl white with blue ghost flames - it will cost him about 600 bucks. Here is an example of what can be done with quality materials and a good painter

                            Looks awesome!
                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              So long as you stick with the same kind of finish, (Poly, Acrylic, Oil or Alcohol based finishes) roughen it up with sandpaper and use naphia to remove and waxes of silicone you should be OK getting the new finish to bond with the old. You run into issues when you mix them because they don't chemically bond properly.

                              If you use lacquer over a poly coat for example it will peel off. Lacquer doesn't stick to plastic very well. Or if you try to poly over a lacquer finish it will peel off in big chunks like sunburned skin.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                                So long as you stick with the same kind of finish, (Poly, Acrylic, Oil or Alcohol based finishes) roughen it up with sandpaper and use naphia to remove and waxes of silicone you should be OK getting the new finish to bond with the old. You run into issues when you mix them because they don't chemically bond properly.

                                If you use lacquer over a poly coat for example it will peel off. Lacquer doesn't stick to plastic very well. Or if you try to poly over a lacquer finish it will peel off in big chunks like sunburned skin.
                                It's a good word of advice / caution - you do have to be careful about incompatible products... The great thing about shellac primer (BIN) is that it sticks to anything, and is compatible with pretty much anything. You can spray lacquer over it, no problem, even if there's polyurethane or polyester beneath. I have used it as a primer on three lacquer finished guitars that I did a few years back, and all three are doing fine.
                                **********

                                "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                                - George Carlin

                                "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                                - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                                "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                                - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X