Hello people,

I'm going to try to give you as much information as I can, as I have no experience in this field. (If sending pictures of the guitar is relevant to solving my problems, I can do that on request ).
I apologise in advance for all the text, I tried to structure it all to make it more clear.


I've found an old guitar (in the attic, so to speak) for children, it's about 10 years old at LEAST by what I remember, the brand is "Skylark guitars" and it's pretty small (shorter than my leg, as it's a guitar for children) but it's "playable" I guess.
Now the sound on this kind of children guitars, afaik, isn't good because it's meant to make them interested in music, it's not an instrument they'll keep playing forever, I guess it's about 30 euros max to buy one of those.
Now that I reassured you that the sound is already sub-par, this is my plan (as what I'm trying to do is apparantly frowned upon as it messes with the sound ) :

A project I'd like to do this summer is customising this guitar the way people use Sharpies to draw on their guitars and to use that guitar to either decorate my room or MAYBE to use it as a traveling guitar when I go to music festivals or to other gatherings, or holiday trips with friends etc. ( because I'd rather die than to bring one of my "real" guitars, so to speak, as things can get damaged pretty fast in those environments)

The procedure:

Now I've already planned out to sand the coating off with sandpaper by hand.
(1) Even though the sound is sub-par, i'd still like it to be like that after the procedure, not completely messed up. Does that mean I should refrain from doing anything to the neck+head of the guitar ?

Once the outside is sanded down to the wood, I will draw and color a design over the whole guitar after I removed the strings.
(2) People tend to use sharpies for that from what i've seen, but would it be possible to do this with regular markers (colors) or EVEN Pencils (colored pencils or 2B B HB H greyscale ones ) ? Or would the pencil design be completely invisible under the coat i'm going to apply to protect it ?

And finally, as said, I need to find a coating to replace the one I sanded off, to protect the design underneath. (and the guitar, I guess.)
(3) Are there any keywords I should look for ? A specific type or application method ?

(4) The current strings are old, but more importantly the bottom 3 are nylon or something (not all-metal, children guitar). If I want this guitar to still be playable, even though it had a sub-par sound to start with and the procedure will probably cut that down more, should I replace the strings with all-metal strings, or what can I do about the strings to improve the sound a bit after the deed ?

The goals after this is to limit the sound quality loss and the design has to be clearly visible and not completely hidden by the clear coat (or even dissolved by it, god) .

So can anyone help me solve questions 1-4, or does anyone have any tips I can use in this endeavor.
Last edited by NVDT at Jun 21, 2013,
4- You can't replace the nylon strings of a classical guitar with the metal ones of an acoustic guitar, as it will bend the neck to make it completely unplayable. You're pretty much forced to stick with classical strings.
Thanks, good to know.
Also: I read lots of people talking about the clear coat peeling off because it had "nothing to stick to". This shouldn't be the case for me right ? Because I sanded down the old coat, so it should just stick to the wood, I guess.
EXTRA QUESTION RELATED TO THIS: If I use sharpies (or pencils ? question still open), should I still use some kind of primer or base coat I have to spray onto the wood, or is that just for painting and in my case I can just sharpie/pencil into the wood ?
Last edited by NVDT at Jun 21, 2013,