View Full Version : Painting guitar...2 questions..

10-23-2012, 03:43 PM
Hey guys,
So I got a used Charvel 375 for a bag of dirt and thought I'd try painting it. First time trying this... I've run into a few speedbumps along the way, but so far, so good...I'm now on my next, "phase" and was was hoping someone might have some insight.

1) I just sprayed the pink color ontop of the white base. Is it safe to light sand the pink paint on the guitar to get rid of overspray, etc? I wetsanded the white no problem, my fear is that when I wet sand it, the pink might run and stain the white...and I ain't starting from scratch! haha After I wetsanded the white, it was smooth, the pink is a little rough like a very high grit sandpaper.

2) I have some lacquer clear I'll be using, when do I wetsand? From what I read, I think I just keep doing coats and at the very end(+4 weeks or so) I wetsand and buff out. I was just wondering what I do if I have overspray/orange peel on a layer. Do I stop and sand, or will subsequent layers fix it up?

I'm using rustoleum for the color and minwax spray lacquer, if it helps.

Thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate it! Here's a pic of the guitar so you can see how I'm thinking the pink might bleed into the white if I sand...

10-23-2012, 05:37 PM
When I normally do stripes like what you are doing, I normally mask off the stripes, shoot a light coat of clear, then the color. This way the clear will ensure sharp lines and no bleed. If you wet sand now, your pink may stain your white. It's hard to see the overspray in this picture, but I would just start clearing it it's not really noticeable. When using cans, I normally shoot 3 coats of 3 passes in a day and wet sand then next day with 400 grit. Do this for 3 days. Depending on temp and humidity, you can final sand/polish in a week. Minwax lacquer dries very fast and hard. Is your Rustoleum color coats also lacquer? If not, your first coat should be light mist coats to make sure there's no adverse reaction. Here's a couple of my minwax finishes:



10-23-2012, 07:52 PM
Hey, thanks for the advice! I made sure I'm using lacquer all the way, I heard horror stories if you mix and match chemicals...I also read something about the rule of 3 on the reranch site, which is what you were pretty much saying; I'm going to follow that.

Random, have you noticed that if you spray at night you get more runs? Even light coats of paint at night seem to run...note, I live in Hawaii so it's probably not under 70 degrees when I'm shooting...

10-24-2012, 07:31 AM
Do you shoot inside or outside? I find that humidity is much more of an issue than temperature. If you're shooting where you are using outside lighting, maybe you are just overspraying at night. I have sprayed during all hours of the day and night and never had any issues that weren't caused by me. :)

10-24-2012, 12:48 PM
I shoot outside in my garage. I shot some lacquer last night, no problems. That stuff dries...FAST. It was acting much nicer than the paint I was using for sure.

10-26-2012, 08:07 PM
This thread has given me the direction I need to go, awesome.

Only problem is getting hold of the products themselves. I want lime green but it seems rustoleum doesn't do that in laquer.

10-26-2012, 08:07 PM
P.S. The pink stripes look cool.

10-28-2012, 02:26 PM
Try looking at the rustoleum specialty line, they have a nice green, but it's more neonish. Isaid screw it and added some black lines and started lacquering. It's alright, definitely not as shiny as a pro job, but I like it. Lots of blemishes you can see within 2 feet and orange peel on the lacquer. I'll post some pics of it later.

10-28-2012, 05:34 PM
Just sand and polish. It'll take a little bit of work, but it will be worth it after you get it done.

10-28-2012, 05:58 PM
P.S. The pink stripes look cool.
I agree, I never saw that color combo before. Nice change of pace...

10-28-2012, 06:03 PM
Great suggestions/info. The pink and white is interesting. Ihrocker , that gold Jackson is very cool. Nicely done guys.

10-28-2012, 08:44 PM
Just sand and polish. It'll take a little bit of work, but it will be worth it after you get it done.
the problem is that the black stripes are pinstripes, so when I sand, I can feel some of the edges start to come up. There is lacquer covering them, but it's not thick enough to make it one smooth surface. I used about 1 and 3/4 cans of minwax too! I figure before I REALLY screw it up, I'll stop. :eyemouth:

The only reason I used neon pink was because I miss my first Ibanez which was hot pink(should have never sold it) and at the same time I was thinking of recreating a monster of a hello kitty guitar...:lol: At this point, I think adding the hello kitty face would really clash..:think: I kinda dig it, has an 80's vibe to it to me. The pics don't really show the true color, seems like it gets washed out or really saturated so it looks more red.

Just ordered the hardware, so far I have tonezone slated for the bridge, thinking an air norton s for the neck? Note, I filled in the middle pup hole. I was gonna fill in the neck pup hole too but I need a neck pup hole, so oh wells. I guess if I redo it again, I may just do away with it. We'll see.

It's not perfect, but it defintely catches the eye...


10-29-2012, 08:02 AM
If the black is actually pinstripes, then you will have to just keep spraying lacquer and sanding back until the top is flush. There's no easier way to do it since the pinstripe is thicker than a coat of paint.

10-29-2012, 10:52 AM
FWIW, a can and 3/4 of lacquer is next to nothing. That stuff shrinks back like junk in cold water.


10-29-2012, 12:28 PM

10-29-2012, 01:18 PM
haha! So how much do you suggest? Also, if I have orange peel on the current layer of lacquer, can I keep shooting and then at the end do the sanding? Or do I need to take care of the orange peel after every coat?

Dang it, you guys are slowly convincing me to shoot again...haha

Oh, and I put a couple coats of car polish on it; if I wanted to start relacquering, I figure I need to try and strip that polish? If so, any suggestions on how/what to remove it with?

10-29-2012, 01:55 PM
Generally speaking, you should shoot at minimum of 9 coats; 3 coats per day, shot 3 hours apart for 3 days. However, since you’ve got tape lines and stripe tape in the mix now, you need to make sure that the lower levels of the finish (whatever your first base color was) is as level as the highest. Does that make sense? If you want it to be perfectly flat, you’re going to need to lay on more clear. Then let it sit for at least a month before sanding and buffing it out.

I wouldn’t worry too much about orange peel with lacquer; keep shooting until you’ve got enough on there. If you’ve already polished it, you’ll want to wipe it down with a cleaning solvent before adding more clear.

10-29-2012, 04:25 PM
thanks for the info, I appreciate it!

10-30-2012, 04:32 PM
K, so I bought 2 more cans and have been spraying. A tip I learned at least for the minwax stuff is every time you start shooting, fire off a few "warning shots" to get the spray working well. I was wondering why I would keep getting drips in the same spot every time I shot, and come to find out I guess the can doesn't shoot really smooth in the beginning. Much better now.

So, now I'm shooting heavier coats, saw some blushing last night, I let it dry overnight and till I come home from work to see if I can get it to clear up..crossing fingers...

BTW, the minwax seems to dry pretty fast, I swear with light coats it's not even tacky within 10-15 mins!

10-31-2012, 09:13 AM
Keep the cans in bowls of hot water and rotate them; it'll help it spray more evenly.

10-31-2012, 01:00 PM
Oh...thought that was a reranch/nitro only thing, didn't know it was relevant for lacquer. Thanks!

10-31-2012, 01:04 PM
yep! Nitro is lacquer, so warm it up a little.

11-26-2012, 02:07 AM
So...it's done. Just to close up this thread, here's a couple pics of the final product. It plays well, even better after a pro set up.

Ended up using:
- Schaller chrome bridge
- Air norton S for the neck. Had to do some major dremeling to make the pickup fit. Should have opened the pickup hole before painting...
- ToneZone in the bridge. Very surprised how good this pup sounds; glad I gave it a try.
- Gotoh chrome tuners
- Aftermarket big brass block..the stock block was too big anyways, so it worked out well
- Got a charvel wiring kit off ebay and used that.
- Various parts and pieces from Stew Mac
- ebonized the neck.

As fun a project as this was, I think it's a much better, "deal" to buy a completed guitar...unless you have alot of parts lying around. Learned alot about building and painting, next one will be nicer! :Headbang:

Thanks to all the forum members for all the help and advice!

From this...

To this...

11-26-2012, 03:11 AM
Oh wow, that is the shit dude, well done indeed. My only niggle (just my personal taste) is I would've gone with black hardware but the chrome still looks cool. Reap the rewards of hard work man, enjoy her, she's hot.

11-26-2012, 11:45 AM
Oh wow, that is the shit dude, well done indeed. My only niggle (just my personal taste) is I would've gone with black hardware but the chrome still looks cool. Reap the rewards of hard work man, enjoy her, she's hot.
I agree! I guess I thought it'd be nice to have one guitar with silver hardware...;) It was too late to return the hardware, so I just rolled with it.

12-02-2012, 10:55 PM
looks good man. I did a similar thing to my 275dx.

12-03-2012, 03:59 AM
Very nice, I dig!