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Old 01-12-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
Jaggers
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Painting a Guitar

Hey guys,

I've decided to try and recreate George Harrison's famous Stratocaster 'Rocky', and I've got a question about painting it.

I've read around and everyone says you should sand off all the paint, and then paint when you're down to just the wood. But, the body I've got is the colour I want below the painting, as the paint will only be going on some of the body, not completely covering it. George Harrison painted directly onto the guitar.
Here's a link to what it should look like:

http://www.thepaintedplayer.co.uk/i...atocaster .jpg

The colour is a really nice Sonic Blue, which you can see in the top left as that still being on the sides and on the back.
What kind of paint should you use to paint the body, and how would you suggest doing it?

Also, for painting a pick guard, what sort of paint should you use, and do you need to varnish etc once finished?

Sorry for the longwinded post!
Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
marcusfrost777
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i tried to paint my first act me506 guitar. it was all black at first but i wanted it to be white. so i painted directly ontop of the black coat. it turned out horrible so i beileve u should sand it down first. luckly it was a 15 dollar guitar i bought from a garage sale.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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The problem with not sanding down the guitar first is that any imperfections in the original paint will be highlighted in the new paint job, the new paint job is more likely to crack and split because of the varnish on the guitar. In my experience, painting onto an already painted guitar gives an effect like oil on water, if done intentionally you can get a great marble effect. The pick guard needs a good plastic paint and then varnished or it will scrape and wear off very quickly.
Good luck anyway and have fun.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help so far!

The only reason I posted it is because it's more painting a design over the top of the original colour, all the guides I've seen just talk about stripping the paint.

Is it suggested I just strip the areas I want to paint, leaving the rest the natural colour, or just painting on it, then varnishing. I'm leaning towards that because that's what George Harrison did, but is there a way you can stop it from just flaking off?
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:18 AM   #6
PTModIT
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I wouldnt strip the paint off . If the colour is the same why do it. It sounds like its in good condition.I 'am doing another Jimi Hendrix 67 Monterey guitar that he burned and smashed. I 'am using a new guitar for it. Its Fiesta red like Hendrix used.I just wiped the body real good to remove any wax etc.I used folkart paint from Micheals.I used it on the guitar body and the pickguard.I didnt use a clear coat. Jimi used nail polish and maybe some other stuff to put on the design. I doubt he cleared his .Heres a pic of my practice painting. From that view it looks really good .Close up is another story. I've seen a closeup of Jimis guitar and it wasnt pretty either. .
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTModIT
I wouldnt strip the paint off . If the colour is the same why do it. It sounds like its in good condition.I 'am doing another Jimi Hendrix 67 Monterey guitar that he burned and smashed. I 'am using a new guitar for it. Its Fiesta red like Hendrix used.I just wiped the body real good to remove any wax etc.I used folkart paint from Micheals.I used it on the guitar body and the pickguard.I didnt use a clear coat. Jimi used nail polish and maybe some other stuff to put on the design. I doubt he cleared his .Heres a pic of my practice painting. From that view it looks really good .Close up is another story. I've seen a closeup of Jimis guitar and it wasnt pretty either. .





Thats amazing looking, great job.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTModIT
I wouldnt strip the paint off . If the colour is the same why do it. It sounds like its in good condition.I 'am doing another Jimi Hendrix 67 Monterey guitar that he burned and smashed. I 'am using a new guitar for it. Its Fiesta red like Hendrix used.I just wiped the body real good to remove any wax etc.I used folkart paint from Micheals.I used it on the guitar body and the pickguard.I didnt use a clear coat. Jimi used nail polish and maybe some other stuff to put on the design. I doubt he cleared his .Heres a pic of my practice painting. From that view it looks really good .Close up is another story. I've seen a closeup of Jimis guitar and it wasnt pretty either. .


That painting looks amazing, nice job!

What I'm doing is the same to you, painting a design over the original colour. So you just sanded off all of the wax, leaving the original paint and then painted on it, then covered in varnish etc?
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Hi, don't sand of the wax ,Wipe it off with mineral spirits or I use Ronsonol lighter fluid.I didn't use a varnish or clear coat.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTModIT
Hi, don't sand of the wax ,Wipe it off with mineral spirits or I use Ronsonol lighter fluid.I didn't use a varnish or clear coat.


The body is covered in a Nitrocellulose Lacquer. WIll the mineral spirits just get rid of the lacquer, leaving the paint?

If so, which one do I buy, and how is it applied? Sorry for all the questions - I'm completely new to this!

Last edited by Jaggers : 01-13-2011 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:26 PM   #11
PTModIT
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The mineral spirits or lighter fluid will only remove the wax, dirt and grime. It WILL NOT remove the paint lacquer.The original paint will not be harmed.You are just cleaning it so the design will stick to the surface.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTModIT
The mineral spirits or lighter fluid will only remove the wax, dirt and grime. It WILL NOT remove the paint lacquer.The original paint will not be harmed.You are just cleaning it so the design will stick to the surface.


Don't I need to remove the lacquer so I can actually paint it, then apply a new coat of lacquer on top of the new design?
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:42 PM   #13
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I painted the design right over the lacquer clear coat. Just make sure you clean the surface really good.I did not apply a new clear coat. You dont need to.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTModIT
I painted the design right over the lacquer clear coat. Just make sure you clean the surface really good.I did not apply a new clear coat. You dont need to.


Doesn't the paint just flake off, and not apply to the body?
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:39 PM   #15
RobAnders2K11
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Fantastic paint, I like the design and the color combintation. I will try to do painting stuff on my old guitar because I'm bit jealous of what you've done.

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Old 01-18-2011, 03:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTModIT
I painted the design right over the lacquer clear coat. Just make sure you clean the surface really good.I did not apply a new clear coat. You dont need to.


You DO need to if you want to do it right...
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:27 PM   #17
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Yes, and scuff the original finish before applying the next layers. Just because Jimi did it one way or george did it one way doesn't mean it's the right way. Jimi's guitar only had to last one show.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:47 AM   #18
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I'm a painter first player second heres what you need:
First clean the surface with rubbing alcohol, when that is dry use a "deglosser" avoid WilBond this will sometimes melt paint. Follow the directions on the deglosser. Then lightly sand with the finest grade emery paper you can find. This will "break the surface and give it some bite. Wipe with a tack cloth to remove dust and debris. Wipe again with the deglosser. tape off the area you want to paint and "prime" it with a spray can of BIN primer. this will be white, do the whole area to be painted. this stuff is the crazy glue of paint, sticks to everything, everything sticks to it. The use Ben Moores ironclad for your colors and seal with a spray lacquer. Allow all coats to dry, preferable overnight before going onto the next coat. Do the same for the pickgaurd and you should be fine under "normal" use.
keep an eye out once I figure out how to post pics here my finishes will blow your mind!
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviMan_2001
Yes, and scuff the original finish before applying the next layers. Just because Jimi did it one way or george did it one way doesn't mean it's the right way. Jimi's guitar only had to last one show.


Scuff the original with sandpaper? The whole thing, or just the part I want to paint? And what do I do after it's all painted?
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:55 PM   #20
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Thats the problem.One person will do like the original,like me. Others will have a professional artist do it. Nice straight lines ,perfect curves.Make real pretty.Then clearcoat it to make it nice and shiny.Again Its what you want.If you do it original then you don't need to sand the clear.If you want to clear it after ,then scuff the original clear. Another guitar I replicated was the Van Halen guitar.Some people painted theirs with no clearcoat,Like I did.Others used clear..What do you mean if you want to do it right? There is NO right or wrong here.Just preference.
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