#1
I want to buy a cheap guitar, to paint Pelham blue. I only want to use it for standard and half step down tunings, as I have fitted my current with heavy strings. How hard is it to paint and what would be a good, cheap guitar to do this to that looks good in Pelham blue?
#2
Depends what kind of job you want to do. You could just spray it and it'd take ten mins and look shit. If you want to do a GOOD job and end up with a finish on a par with a professional job (i.e like you would expect to find on a new guitar) then youre in for a big job which involves much sanding and all sorts. Theres a reason people charge £200-£300 to repaint a guitar, cos its an effing big job.

Plus how cheap a guitar are we talking? £50? After youve painted it youre gonna be left with a nasty £50 guitar thats going to be awful to play.

The whole thing sounds like a waste of time, effort and money to me personally
#3
Any guitar will probably look good. If you're looking for something inexpensive, try to find a fixed bridge as low end trems are not great.
If you get a guitar that has a lighter color, like white or similar, you may just be able to rough up the surface with some sandpaper instead of stripping the whole thing. 3 or 4 cans of spray paint and some clear coat and you should be fine.
What kind of guitars do you like?
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#4
I am a luthier, and unfortunately I agree with Livinjoke84. First off, for this to look good, you would have to strip off and sand down the old finish, you cant just paint on to of the old color. Second, for the paint, you cannot use a water based paint, only lacquer based. But the painting is the easy part. It's the clear coat that you put on over the paint that is the time consuming part, not to mention that if you know nothing about spraying lacquer and how to water sand a clear coat, that you would have a lot of research to do on that topic before you begin.

My recommendation is to try www.stewmac(dot)com and other sites that are like it, spend a little more money, and just buy an unfinished body blank, or an entire guitar building kit.

One final thing, before you paint anything, you may want to look in to staining, rather than painting, to stain it google this product "fiebings leather dye"

it is alcohol based, so to get the exact color you want, you start with the blue one and add rubbing alcohol to dilute it until you reach your desired color.

When you stain, you enhance the beauty of the wood grain, rather than just cover it up. (also, trust me, it is a LOT easier to stain a guitar than it is to paint a guitar)
#5
Quote by LivinJoke84
Depends what kind of job you want to do. You could just spray it and it'd take ten mins and look shit. If you want to do a GOOD job and end up with a finish on a par with a professional job (i.e like you would expect to find on a new guitar) then youre in for a big job which involves much sanding and all sorts. Theres a reason people charge £200-£300 to repaint a guitar, cos its an effing big job.

Yep.
A friend of mine who's a carpenter and helped me on my Squier Stratocaster customization project said that he'd charge at least £150 for the materials and man hours spent on a stripping/repainting/refinishing work like the one he did on my guitar.

The little can of custom paint alone (McLaren MP4-12C's azure blue metallic ) that was made by order for me at the paint factory cost nearly £50.

Quote by LivinJoke84
The whole thing sounds like a waste of time, effort and money to me personally

Depends on the particular guitar. My Strat is cheap, but a great guitar. Customizing it made it more appealing to my taste.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
Last edited by Linkerman at Jan 21, 2014,
#6
Quote by ryanbwags
Any guitar will probably look good. If you're looking for something inexpensive, try to find a fixed bridge as low end trems are not great.
If you get a guitar that has a lighter color, like white or similar, you may just be able to rough up the surface with some sandpaper instead of stripping the whole thing. 3 or 4 cans of spray paint and some clear coat and you should be fine.


I should clarify. You won't come away with a custom shop look, or an absolutely perfect finish, but if you take your time and pay attention to what you are doing, it won't look like complete shit either.
I never heard of the leather dye stuff mentioned above, I may check it out on my next project.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#7
Don't wanna start a new thread what do you guys thinbk of a full body guitar sticker or decal? Seems like an easy and cheap way to make a cheap guitar look kinda cool.

How crappy are they they do they peel off easily? If someone puts it on good are they not bad?
Jackson DK2
1962 Fender Esquire
PEAVEY JSX 212
PEAVEY 6505+ 112
#8
Quote by UFC on VHS
Don't wanna start a new thread what do you guys thinbk of a full body guitar sticker or decal? Seems like an easy and cheap way to make a cheap guitar look kinda cool.

How crappy are they they do they peel off easily? If someone puts it on good are they not bad?

I made a custom pickguard this way for a J-bass I used to have. Got a custom vinyl from some site (don't remember which one). Went on easy, worked out the bubbles, and it stayed there until I took it off prior to sale of the bass. Stands to reason it would work equally well on the guitar body. Only concern would be around the edge. How do you keep it from coming up there?

Come to think of it, I had a friend back in the day who put chrome contact paper on an RG. Looked great, and worked ok.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
Last edited by ryanbwags at Jan 21, 2014,
#9
Quote by ryanbwags
Any guitar will probably look good. If you're looking for something inexpensive, try to find a fixed bridge as low end trems are not great.
If you get a guitar that has a lighter color, like white or similar, you may just be able to rough up the surface with some sandpaper instead of stripping the whole thing. 3 or 4 cans of spray paint and some clear coat and you should be fine.
What kind of guitars do you like?


I learnt on a strat knock off, but am now a typical Gibson/Epiphone nut. I have been taking an interest in ESP though. I have an SG-G400 currently but don't want to repaint it because it already has a nice worn finish. A fixed bridge should be fine, as it is staying in standard, as the SG is fitted for drop B/A
#10
i've spray-painted a coupe of Squier Strats. Sprayed some primer over existing finish. Then sprayed paint. Then finished with layers of polyurethane spray.

Do the look like factory finishes? From a few feet away, yes. But not up close. But I actually like the sort of rough-hewn quality they have. Gives them an aged feel, almost like some of the relic guitars.
#11
It's much easier to just buy a blank body off of ebay or where ever and paint it. It's pretty time consuming to remove the finish of a guitar, easily more than half the work.

Best bet is take everything off the guitar you want to paint (Strat is the easiest to work with), buy a body blank on eBay, paint it and put everything on it. If you decide you don't like it or it gets FUBAR all you've done is sunk £50 on a body and however much you spend on paint. You can put the original guitar back together and you get to learn a lesson the hard way without the full consequences. I speak from experience.