What are the differences in processes of painting a guitar body to look like this, where the wood is a different color, and you can still see the wood pattern:

And this, where it's glossy?:

I have the latter guitar, and I was looking into painting the body the style of the first one, but in white. Basically, I want it white with the paint pattern.
I have white acrylic house paint, and laquer. Can anybody explain the process of transforming the second body into the first body paint job? I don't know much about it, but I do know you have to sand off the initial paint, and add multiple coats of the new paint.

Aside from this, if anybody knows if the white acrylic house paint will work on the metal hardware if the guitar, granted I sand it first and not paint the saddles and parts that the strings touch, help would be appreciated.

Thanks for your help in advance.
Hey bud, this belongs in the refinishing sticky at the top of this forum
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Kinda like this http://www.blueskyguitars.com/images/72_tele_010_resize.jpg
but whiter?

I'll tell you...It won't be super easy. Stripping a factory finish can be pretty hard, but possibly easy, depending on the quality of the finish (thick, low quality finishes are a NIGHTMARE).

Once you'be stripped it, you will have to try to find out HOW to do that. I know a bit about finishing guitars, but not how to do that. Normally, you would stain it the color of your choice if you wanted to see the grain. But I know of no white stain. So maybe just paint it lightly and then very lightly sand until it looks good to you? That's the only way i can think of. Next, you will have to gloss it. You may want to look at a tutorial at ProjectGuitar for an in-depth instructional. Have fun!!
Yeah, like that. I have a bang or two on the edge of the body that show how thick the paint is on it, and it isn't all that thick.

Is the glossing necessary? Is it possible just to smooth it without laquer or gloss?
Some sort of sealant is necessary, from what I know. If you don't your guitar will reek of paint and will be dusty and lose its paint over the course of less than a year. Sorry, finishing is harder than I thought, too. If you just want a new look for your guitar, you can strip it and do an oil finish. It's the easiest finish out there, I used it for my first ever finish and it still looks great. You will end up with a "natural" finish if you do this. This website is pretty good to teach that. You basically wipe the oil on there with a rag, sand, and repeat with lots of time between.

Hope this helps
Hmmm... I think the wood might become dirty or rotten or something. The guitars you show are all sealed in some way. You COULD just strip it and leave it, but it would be uncomfortable. It would be dusty and unprotected. If that doesn't bother you, I guess you could... I can't think of a major reason not to, other than that it would be completely unprotected. You would have to be very careful not to spill any food or drink on it, and the humidity still may do something.

Honestly, I would do the oil finish, it involves no painting, just wiping oil. Even if you only do 1 coat, it will be better than nothing. Tung oil can be found at any hardware store, for less than or equal to the price of a can of paint.

You see, the paint does more than smooth the surface and look pretty. It seals and protects the wood from a lot of damage. This is why you see no guitars in stores with no paint at all.

It's good that you're going the the forum and asking. I painted my first guitar using my own logic. I actually just painted on top of the old paint. It sucked. You are WAY more patient than me...
Last edited by travistag at Feb 2, 2009,
you need a sealer under the paint job to fill in the pores of the wood, and a clear coat over the top to protect it. depending on what kind of paint you use, and how many layers you do you can determine how much of the grain you can see.