I have this really ****ing sexy stencil that I want to get onto my ESP. I don't know what the **** you call it(the finish) but it's all shiny and black. Do I need to completely strip the paint, then repaint it again or could I just like air brush some magical paint all over and have that work? I don't want to pay $400 to have a $450 guitar painted so I kinda want to do it myself.
Last edited by rhcp4ever77 at Apr 4, 2011,
i used gold spray paint on a strat and its flaking some, but that actually makes it look pretty sick imho. if you want something more permanent, spray paint is a bad option. i just printed out a stencil, cut it out of a piece of thin cardboard (from a cereal box, i think). then tape and spray.
Last edited by irollemphat at Apr 4, 2011,
id sand the clear down then paint the stencil on and then re-coat it in clear.

then wetsand and buff the **** out of it.
Quote by rickyj
id sand the clear down then paint the stencil on and then re-coat it in clear.

then wetsand and buff the **** out of it.

i'll try that thanks
You only need to sand it enough to give the paint something to stick to. To get a factory looking finish you will probably need to put on a lot of clear before wetsanding and buffing.
I don't know what I want to do really. Honestly I'm just trying to get it to look like this http://www.emgpickups.com/content/artistimages/justinwarped.jpg it's an ESP so I'm halfway there haha. And it's already black so I'm 3/4 of the way there. also. Do I really need to take ALL of my electronics out or can I just like cut spaces in the stencil for it and then tape it off to seal it?
Last edited by rhcp4ever77 at Apr 5, 2011,
That basically depends on the stencil itself, if its several small stencils I would apply them then mask off everything else with tape and paper. If its one big stencil however you could probably cut a rectangle out of the middle of it to go around the pickups then mask those.

Just remember though that if you cut away the stencil material it will make it more awkward to work with, especially if its very flexible.
Then the way I would do it is as follows. Bear in mind I have limited experience with painting guitars and dont know exactly what products you are using.

1. Remove strings, bridge, pickup rings and control knobs. Remove neck if bolt on or tape it if set/thru.

2. Undo pots and let them hang inside the control cavity, mask off control cavity from the inside.

3. Test fit the stencil to determine wether or not the pickups are causing problems with it laying flat, if they are you would need to cut out a space in the stencil for them.

4. Key the surface to be painted with 800-1000 grit wet and dry paper on a sanding block to give the paint something to adhere to.

5. Mask off the sides of the guitar and apply stencil. Mask anything else that is not covered by the stencil and you dont want to be white.

6. Shoot it with the paint using airbrush, spraygun or rattle can, whichever you prefer and is available.

7. Remove the stencil when the paint is touch dry and unmask everything except the neck then apply clearcoat (follow instructions on the paint and clear as to when you can apply each coat). Lots of thin layers is better than a few thick ones so aim for 10 or so thin coats, dont worry about minor runs as they will buff out later. You may need a couple of cans of clear for this stage.

8. Let it cure. This stage is quite important as some clearcoats take a week or 2 to fully harden even if left somewhere quite warm.

9. Wet-sand and buff the guitar. There's a good video on youtube about this from "Sully's Guitar Garage" which explains wet sanding and buffing really well.

10. Reassemble and play the hell out of your newly customised guitar.

Some guys in the painting thread might have better advice for you and as I mentioned I've not painted too many guitars but thats what I'd do anyway.