#1
...that is the question

Ok, what was originally intended to be a simple pickup switch out on my Squier Affinity Fat Strat turned into a total electronics and hardware overhaul when I discovered Axetec.co.uk I decided to construct a completely new pickguard rather than switch stuff out for the old one and then shield the cavities. As there is pretty much nothing stock left on the guitar I bought a new plain black neck plate and was taking the old one off earlier today. The neck obviously came off and I sat there with just the empty body in my lap. I had the sudden urge to really go to town on my guitar and refinish it with a cool paint job. I really cant decide if its a good idea or if its just me getting a bit carried away. Im not asking how to do it because I would research the how to and materials I would need, I just want some opinions on if its worth it because I really dont know how big a job it is or if its expensive to refinish the guitar.

Pluses

+ Im a pretty good artist and my mother-in-law is a renowned graphic designer so together Im pretty sure we could come up with something spectacular
+ the guitar is already stripped to pieces and I already have all the parts ready to install when I want
+ I only work about 20 hours a week because I own my own business so time isnt an issue

Negatives

- 2012 is going to be expensive for me so if this is an overly expensive project its a non-starter
- I live in a 6th story apartment so I have no outdoor or garage space
- If I did find said outdoor space I live in Warsaw, Poland and its winter
#2
it's you getting carried away...
"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and i'm all out of bubblegum"
#3
it doesn't have to be that difficult, you can rub or brush on a solvent based lacquer reasonably well , don't need to be outside, just need a few windows open for ventilation, you can even get brush specific lacquers.
Epiphone Les Paul Plus Top
Jet City JCA5212RC (SLO Modded)
Ibanez WD7 Wah
Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive
TC Electronic Flashback Triple Delay
TC Electronic Trinity Reverb
#4
If you haven't done this kind of painting before, mentally prepare yourself for doing it several times before it really looks good. Or prepare to lower your standards (it already looks sad, so anything is an improvement, right?). Do you have other guitars to play while this one is out of order? Itching to play can make you rush when patience is needed. And we all want to see pictures, even if its just the same stuff we saw someone else do last week.
#5
Im starting to think I might wait a while to this now, I really think I am getting carried away. I am prepared to have to repaint and stuff, Ive done a lot of similar projects, tho not on guitars, and thats not the problem. My main worries are getting the poly off and getting the new finish on evenly and indeed the cost of the finish. Yeah I have another guitar and this one has been destrung for about six weeks anyway.
#6
getting poly off: polyurethane chemical stripper, needs ventilation and gloves/goggles but can be done on newspaper and a plank of wood without dust considerations.

if you get a solvent based lacquer they're really very forgiving, the solvent acts to smooth out the finish so unless you really apply it thickly in one place and not in the others it tends to be quite smooth.

you will still need to sand down the finish when you're done to get it to shine but a desk fan pointed towards an open window with the sanding in between and a whip round with a vacuum after will probably be sufficient.
Epiphone Les Paul Plus Top
Jet City JCA5212RC (SLO Modded)
Ibanez WD7 Wah
Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive
TC Electronic Flashback Triple Delay
TC Electronic Trinity Reverb