So, I've had this guitar for a few years, playing it occasionally, and the body is in a bit rough shape. Its got some scratches and such. (The pic is a google one, I have the same thing)

What I want to do is sand the body down, re-paint and clear coat it, and ideally have it look nice again.

What Paint should I use?

Will this compromise the (little) integrity of the guitar?

Clear coat? Which and how?

My girlfriend is a professional painter, so I was hoping to have her do something nifty with it.

Thanks guys!

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safe? yes
easy? meh. not really, but with patience its not that bad... just have to take the whole guitar apart, tape off the neck and pup routes, then your best bet is to scuff sand the current finish until its smooth, and paint over it.

i suggest acrylic lacquer, NAPA or other auto stores will carry it, it may not be clearly labeled though, but it has to be acrylic lacquer not acrylic enamel. use that for the color, and that again for the clear.

follow this, but of course, assume youre already sealed and ready to paint after you scuff it.
taking it down to wood is, well, words i dont want to use right now.
the only thing it will really effect is the value, which may or may not exist anyways :p
but it takes patience and time.
Since your GF is a pro, you have a very valuable resource. Anything you mess up your GF will tell you what you did wrong, what you should have done, and how to fix it. Go for it, Make it art!
I've sprayed two guitars and not bothered with a clear coat for either. Sand down the finish until it's rough. Whatever you do, don't sand down to the bare wood, otherwise you'll have to use primer and that's just a pain in the arse. I use dirt cheap auto spray paint. It's like £1 a can.
It's safe to do, and easy enough for the average person as long as you know/learn how to put your guitar back together again properly if you've never taken one apart before. On a side note: that was my first electric guitar that could be considered playable (memories *sniff*)... I still have it, plan on setting it up again after years of being stored elsewhere and occasionally mess around with it. From what I remember it has a really nice neck for a budget guitar; was the cheap parts that let it down.
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