So I have a guitar that I'm going to start work on, new pickups, electronics, hardware and finish, the lot! currently it has a sickly thick red finish but I'm going to take it all off and try and go for a translucent white (see attached image for an idea).

I want to be able to see the grain of the wood through the finish but I have no idea whether I should use a white wood stain or spray paint or what? Any ideas/suggestions would be appreciated.

Can probably use a sprayable clearcoat.

I was asking the refinish thread about Minwax which I saw at homedepot but I never got a response, but it's only been a few hours. I think that's 100% clear though, so maybe a stain is what you're looking for.

Also, you should take in to consideration how much you want it to shine, I think it goes something like Glossy, Semi-Glossy, Matte, Satin, Eggshell, Flat (no shine). I think flat has no protection though.

Also I might be wrong, I'm still sanding off my first finish project and this is just some stuff I've dug up when doing research into what brands of paint to get.
Last edited by zomgguitarz1234 at Mar 9, 2012,
If you want to go with readily available stains then look for something like Minwax or Old Masters in a Pickling White. You can cut the Pickling White with Natural, which is just clear oil basically, until you get the desired opacity. If you want to go a little more professional you can look at Aniline dye stains.
Quote by timbit2006
What body are you planning on using?

the guitar is a Yamaha EG112. It's a strat-style Basswood body
Use a nice veneer on the front of it first then do a light stain so the grain really comes out. The bass wood probably wont look that great on it's own.
Quote by Twidler
Use a nice veneer on the front of it first then do a light stain so the grain really comes out. The bass wood probably wont look that great on it's own.

yeah that's what I thought in terms of looks. I haven't removed the original finish yet, but I've looked online at some bare basswood body and the grain isn't that pronounced so I will need to do something to bring the grain out a little more.

I've done some more research and found this guitar. The finish is exactly what I'm trying to get, slightly matt looking finish, subtle grain showing through, beautiful.
If it was me I wouldn't worry about veneers or anything, as the grain will be so subtle. Two other pieces of advice from me (from my experiences of messing things up), if you want to stain it, be very careful to make sure you've sanded all the existing sealer off of the wood, or else the stain won't sink in evenly. Also sand it very smooth or else the stain will sink in more in the rougher areas. Next, use sanding sealer. If you don't use sealer then it will make it much much harder to get an even finish once the paint and clear start flying. You'll probably hear it a lot, but it's all in the prep work.
I had a Jackson DKMGT a few years back and it had the translucent finish, they used a nice maple veneer under the colour and I have to say it looked really good. It'll also ensure there's no sealer to mess with the stain.