Hi everyone! I just picked up a beater guitar with the intention of painting it and hopefully learning a little about how everything actually goes together in the process. I just started taking it apart and already ran into my first problem though. I don't know how to get the little metal grommets out.

Also, I've done some reading, and everyone seems to say to use automotive paint. Is there a special kind of primer to use with that? I've done some spray painting before, but only ever with Krylon, and it was easy enough to pair Krylon paint with Krylon primer and clearcoat (and I've only ever sanded...this is the first time I actually picked up paint stripper AND sandpaper, so it's a significantly more daunting project than those I've completed in the past).

Thanks in advance!
JS30 KE?

for the bridge studs, you have to screw in the post and either pull it out with a claw of a hammer (carefully) or put something in the hole and screw in the post so it lifts itself up.

for the string ferrules, i used to use a small screw that would slightly thread in it and pull it out.

Do NOT sand to the wood! Just sand with 400 grit sandpaper until its no longer shiny. Taht way you have a perfect surface.
You figured that out by that tiny picture? I'm impressed.

Thanks! The bridge studs and ferrules came out without much problem (nice to know what they're actually called now too). And I don't have to get down to bare wood? VERY good to know, that makes my life 1000x easier. My only concern is that the guitar is currently a deep blue, and I'm hoping to have part of it be white. Primer should take care of that though, right?
Yes, a primer different from the desired color is recommended. I learned this the hard way when I used white primer and paint, there were a couple patches where the color didn't cover the primer entirely and the clear coat reacted with the primer and lifted like this http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t556/sehnomatic/2013-04-28170610_zps6b13cdc8.jpg.

A grey, or even black primer allows you to know when the guitar is completely covered.

As for primer, i would recommend a "sandable primer" I personally like the one from Duplicolor

Don't use duplicolor clear coat, acrylic clear coat has a tendency to take more than a couple months to cure, acrylic paint is fine.

No need to sand down to wood, either sand down enough so that the dings are gone or fill the dings with bondo or drywall spackle.

Last edited by solidrane at Oct 3, 2013,
If you haven't already attempted, my favorite and painless way to remove the bridge bushings is I have these single coil pole pieces from a scrap pickup I drop inside the bushing, I then drive in the bridge post, the post forces down on the pole piece you dropped in, the bushing has nowhere else to go but upward.

It looks like you're missing the backing pieces of the string ferrules?.. I would simply use a drift punch (hardware store run for ya?) to drive them out.

If you want to know a really good clear coat to use for your project, I just used this stuff called 'Spraymax 2k'. As long as you prep up your surface, the top coat looks good, you're in a dust free environment with PLENTY OF VENTILATION, an ambient temperature of at least above 60, it should give you really nice results for what normally would be a tedious process if you used any other kind of aerosol clear coat.

Good luck.
Great, thanks all for the advice! Saved a ton of time and headache just sanding down rather than stripping completely.

The ferrules had both the front and backs...I got both sides out the same way.

Another question...I went to the autobody shop, and the guy recommended going with Duplicolor Acrylic Enamel. I bought a few cans, but now I'm reading that lacquer is the way to go (I guess I read "Duplicolor" and "automotive paint," but missed the actual type of paint when I was reading up on it). Should I take the enamel back and try to find some lacquer? Or does enamel work too, and I just have to use a non-lacquer clearcoat?
Last edited by Sally Paradise at Oct 4, 2013,
You could use any variety of laquer, acrylic enamel especially takes FOREVER to cure (at least two months in my experience) before you're ready to start sanding away this 'orange peel' texture you commonly result with when using a conventional aerosol can. As you gradually step up each sanding from 600 grit all the way up to 2000 grit before you're ready to polish... Yes, this is a real PITA the most tedious process of painting a guitar.

That two-part clear coat product I mentioned dries faster and harder. It left no texture for me to sand away, and I pretty much skipped the polish process as it pretty much cured as shiny as the coat I laid on it. Once you activate the can, I would recommend using the whole contents. It only has a 38 hour workable time. Basically you're spraying the same two-part urethane coat they use on automobiles. This stuff is good for the small projects you don't need to involve all the prepping/cleaning with spray gun equipment. Absolutely perfect for doing a guitar. Eastwood Supply sells them. They are $20. a pop, One can should be plenty for you.