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Old 03-11-2007, 02:54 AM   #1
UniverseZero
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The ULTIMATE painting/refinishing thread

THE ULTIMATE REFINISHING THREAD!
Read before posting any question about painting or refinishing


Any thread that could've been answered by looking in this thread will be locked

Hi GB&C, due to the amount of "how to paint a guitar" threads that have popped out lately I decided that UG needed a sticky about refinishing.
This thread will always be a WIP and I will try to update with new tuts everytime I see something cool and new, if you think there is something missing I would like you to PM me so that I can add it to the first post of the thread. any other questions about refinishing should be added here instead of opening a new thread. For links to many other great threads, check out the GB&C Central Hub.


Stripping Paint
Using Heat This tutorial explains the use of a heat gun to strip paint off the body of a guitar.
Using Chemicals This tutorial explains the use of chemicals to strip paint off the body of a guitar.
Using Sandpaper This tutorial explains the use of sandpaper to strip paint off the body of a guitar.

Painting

Basic Refinishing As title says, tutorial on basic refinishing, both on full body and area refinishing.
The Whole Process This Pictorial shows everything, from preparing the wood, to clearcoating it!

One color
Solid Colors Want only one color on your guitar? this is the tut to check then!
Spray cans Video showing how to use spray cans to get a very nice finish.

Bursts
Fender Strat Burst Want a vintage 2-tone burst like those on those old fenders? this tutorial is for you!
Gibson Burst Tut explaining how to burst a guitar gibson style.
Taylor Burst Pt. 1 Video showing the factory process to get a Tobacco burst finish on a Taylor guitar. Part 1.
Taylor Burst Pt. 2 Video showing the factory process to get a Tobacco burst finish on a Taylor guitar. Part 2.
Semi-hollow burst A thread that explains the process of bursting a semihollowed tele using dyes.
3D burst This tutorial shows how to get an amazing finish with 3 colors and a figured wood, also shows how to get faux binding on the sides of your guitar.
Easy Burst Tutorial explains an easy way to burst your guitar using templates.

Dyes and Stains
Dyes Explains the use of Dyes to paint a guitar
Figured Wood Stain Explains the use of black and colored dye to bring that flame alive.
Wood Stains Explains the use of stains to paint the wood.


Other Finishes
Material Finish Explains how to use a material like fabric or paper to cover your guitar and clearcoating it.
Holoflash Explains how to add a holoflash finish to the top of your guitar.
Swirls Explains how to get psychodelic paint swirls on your guitar. Video
Airbrushing Explains various Airbrushing techniques, not on a guitar, but process aplies too.
Tru-oil finish This is a brief article about Tru-oil and other oils/varnishes and how to use them.
Mixing shellac This article explains how to mix and use shellac to protect a finish.

Polishing
Polishing Explains how to get your guitar glossy as a mirror
French Polishing Explains old techniques to get your finish amazingly mirrored.
Buffing tutorial This is AlGee's tutorial on Buffing, better than most factory finishes!

Schedules
Nitrocellulose Shows a step by step guide to get a nitro finish.
Waterbase Shows a step by step guido to get a waterbase finish

Random Stenciling Tips
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ippon
1. When cutting masking tape on top of the guitar body that has dried for at least an hour, go through the pattern with the blade very lightly at first. Then go through it a second time to make the final cut. Yes, don't cut through with the first pass. The paint is still "soft".
2. If you prefer not to cut on top of the guitar body, you can use regular paper for the mask. Use all purpose Elmer's gluestick to stick the mask on top of the body. I've used white rice, watered down flour (sticky) but Staples or Office Mart carry this special spray for temporarily sticking paper to anything ... kinda like the adhesiveness of PostIts ... I've used those made by 3M, works great.
3. When using #2 above, make sure you go through the edges, twice, thrice to ensure it's stuck and that paint won't seep under.
4. After you're done masking and spraying each layer, wait at least 1 hour to ensure it's sufficiently dry.
5. Then using the 1500 grit sandpaper that you've soaked overnight, very lightly sand the demarcation lines. Make sure the paper is always wet, lightly sanding until you can no longer feel the ridges between the star's edges and the background.
6. When clearcoating, spray the edges first, the front, the back, then repeat immediately 2 more times.
7. Wait another hour, repeat the above: 3 coats of clear.
8. Wait another hour, repeat the above: 3 coats of clear.
9. Repeat steps 6 to 8 the following day and for a 3rd day. This is called the rule of 3s.
10. Wait a month for the finish to fully cure/harden, then use 3M Finesse It II to buff the body.



Remember that this thread is a WIP.

People who have contributed to this thread:
Dave293, xifr, Ippon, Invader Jim.

Cheers,
UniverseZero
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Last edited by UniverseZero : 02-04-2008 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:55 AM   #2
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Buffing Tutorial - written by AlGeeEater

Originally posted by AlGeeEater
Quote:
Hi. I was asked to do a mod/tech tip of the month type of thing. I thought it would be good if I could teach you guys how to bring the luster and clarity to your newly finished guitar.

Before I begin the polishing stage, I sand the body down with 400 grit. I spray one more coat of lacquer to get it flat so I don't have to start with 400 grit. After it has dried for 2 weeks you can begin!

I first start out by sanding the top of the body with 1500 grit. It doesn’t take long until the whole body is in a dull sheen. Sand from the bridge to the neck (lengthwise). Do the exact same with the back. There shouldn’t be any pits, craters or large scratches. If there are, just drop fill them with lacquer and sand them down. Rip off a piece of 1500 sandpaper and sand the sides. If you have a flat top guitar unlike a Strat with bevels, don't sand the edges yet. The clear is thin there unless you build it thick on the edges like me. I like to do that so I can sand everything. The next step is to repeat sanding the body with 2,000 this time.

Once you get the whole body sanded with 2,000 and the lacquer is deadly flat, you can begin polishing. I use Stew Mac buffing pads in absence of a buffing arbor. They work great! For my buffing machine, I use a Craftsman Variable Speed hand drill. I think it reaches about 700 RPM.



The first step is to use a fine cut compound. I use 3M products, and IMO they are awesome. They remove 1200+ grit scratches.


Apply the compound all over the body like so:


Start using the buffing pad. I always go against the sanding marks. Never go with them or you will never get them all out. I usually buff slowly letting the compound work. Don't stay in one area too long or you will buff through! Make sure not to get the surface too hot also, it will cause the lacquer to heat and will allow the wheel to pull the lacquer right off. OUCH! Get all the scratches out with the fine. I call this the cutting stage because I push pretty hard on the wheel to the body to get the scratches off. Never start on an edge. When you are done, wipe the body down with a cotton cloth.

As you can see this thing already glows and looks better than most factory finishes:


The next step is to use a swirl remover.



They make them for light and dark colors(although, you can hardly see any swirls on lighter colors). I only had the dark color swirl remover, so whatever You don't need a lot of this stuff because you are now removing swirls and buffing the finish. I use about a gaurter sized dot.

Use as light as you can get away with. Use light pressure to buff the surface. Once the compound starts to dry, buff the finish to a high gloss.

The next step is to wax the body. I usually wait a week before I wax a body, but I did all this in about 30 min Here is the body before waxing:



I use this wax. I'm not sure where YOU can get it, but I get it specially ordered through a friend.



Here she is!

P.S.-I sprayed this with dupli-color too.
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:28 PM   #3
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Ippon's Paint on Plastic tutorial!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ippon
If you want the paint to not scuff or peel, you need to use:


You have 2 options with Acrylic Paint for Plastic:
  1. Paint for Plastic Primer + Acrylic Colorcoat Paint; or,
  2. Paint for Plastic Colorcoat.

With either options, you need to lightly scuff sand. Use 400 grit, nothing coarser, or else the scratches will be too deep/rough. 600 is better.

With option 1, you'll have more choices with the colocoat. For example, if you decide on an elaborate or intricate design, the primer for plastic will serve as your base. This is best if your design is at least 3 or more colors.

Here's a sample:


With option 2, you can stick with a simple 1- or 2-color design. Here's a sample:


It is best to use Clearcoat on Option 1. Clearcoating is optional on Option 2.

Remember, Paint for Plastic will form a molecular bond with your PickGuard's plastic.

Good Luck!

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Last edited by UniverseZero : 02-20-2008 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:58 PM   #4
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Old 03-17-2007, 02:26 AM   #5
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:06 PM   #6
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:26 PM   #7
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How would I go abouts painting a guitar so it looks like the following:


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Old 03-18-2007, 12:48 PM   #8
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Cool thread, for the dude above, that looks like a swirl paint job. http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/swirled.htm
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:54 PM   #9
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It appears Steinberger did a few of these way back when aswell.

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Old 03-23-2007, 06:22 AM   #10
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hey

im thinking about buying a used guitar to refinish (completely different colour). so i will have to strip it and re paint it etc etc.

the tutorials on sanding and painting (as far as i can see) use guitars that do not have binding.

my question is do you have to do anything differently when doing this to a guitar with binding? sorry if its a dumb question, im new to this and wanna get it right

cheers,
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:11 PM   #11
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xX_JIMI_Xx
hey

im thinking about buying a used guitar to refinish (completely different colour). so i will have to strip it and re paint it etc etc.

the tutorials on sanding and painting (as far as i can see) use guitars that do not have binding.

my question is do you have to do anything differently when doing this to a guitar with binding? sorry if its a dumb question, im new to this and wanna get it right

cheers,


here's a tutorial on stewmac that shows how to work with bindings , it also shows the way to handle paint if the guitar has binding.
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarislife125
How would I go abouts painting a guitar so it looks like the following:




That guitar looks like the same guitar the other guitarist in Death had in the vid for "lack of comprehension"
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RG_FANMAN
That guitar looks like the same guitar the other guitarist in Death had in the vid for "lack of comprehension"


Because it is, the guitarist, Paul Masvidal, played for Death on the Human album.
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:08 PM   #15
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Because it is, the guitarist, Paul Masvidal, played for Death on the Human album.


Sweet! I've only started to get into Death, so I wouldn't recognize him on the fly.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:51 PM   #16
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Yeah I am wondering what type of paint I should get for my project. The guy at the Hardware said there was Latex And oil based enamel. Which do I choose?
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:32 PM   #17
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neither, the easiest way to go is using duplicolor or krylon spraycans.
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Old 03-30-2007, 03:00 AM   #18
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Hey, I'm considering painting my crappy Yamaha with a Canadian flag design, are there any tutorials around for how to paint designs like this (two colors,not very detailed design) ?
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Old 03-30-2007, 03:43 PM   #19
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Hey, Im planning on doing a JH Flying V based guitar for art. How would I go about painting it?
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Hey, Im planning on doing a JH Flying V based guitar for art. How would I go about painting it?


jimi used nail polish on his flying v, and it was all hand painted, you could try using a picture of it and doing a grid scale replica onto a full sized guitar. or you could just wing it and see how it turns out, it really depends on how artistic you are.
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