#1
I want to re-paint my old guitar, which is a cheap black Strat copy. I need some help as I've never done this before and I don't know how to do it.

This is how i want to do it. Please tell me what I am wrong about or what I forgot and wat else I should do.

1. Disassemble the guitar, so that I have only the body.

2. Sand it with sandpaper, but not to the wood.

3. I was told, that if I don't sand it to the wood, then I don't need primer. Is it true? If so, then I'll clean it with spirit, hang it outside and just spray the paint on. I'm thinking 3 coats, 15-20 minutes between coats and wet sanding with 1000-1500 grit sandpaper between each coat.

4. Then wait for the paint to dry and the next day apply lacquer. I'm thinking of using nitrocellulose lacquer. Also 3 coats, with 1 hour between coats and wet sanding.

That's all I think it will take, but I am probably wrong. How long do I need to wait for the lacquer to dry? When can I reassemble the guitar? When can I play it?

Please tell me where I am wrong and what I need to do differently, what else I need?
#2
Sanding the original finish is fine. Gives the new paint a surface it can bite into.

I would still use primer as this increases the chances of good surface adhesion of the color coat. I expect the cheap strat finish is poly, so you definitely want to etch prime the finish as if you are planning to use nitro its a dissimilar finish to the poly.

You will need to wait longer than 15 - 20 mins between coats for wet sanding. If you are looking to use nitro you definitely will not be able to do any sanding this soon after laying a coat. It's better to just do all your color coats, very very thin and waiting the recommended drying time in between coats. If you spray it even and no blemishes you won't need to sand between each coat. Just sand the final coat. You will need around 10 nitro colour coats. 2 - 3 coats means you will be spraying it thick and that's asking for problems pretty much right away. Then around 10 coats of clear, again very thin coats.

But with nitro you will need to wait at least a month before you can do any sanding. So hang it up and forget about it for at least this long. Nitro is very soft and will gas for weeks before its stable enough to wet sand the final finish. Then you can polish and glaze. Use carnuba wax based polish for the final wax finish. Don't use silicon based polish on nitro...ever.

Also need to ask why you think you want to use nitro....there's lots of finishes that will get you finished sooner with a harder and deeper shine finish.
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Last edited by Phoenix V at Jun 11, 2015,
#3
Quote by Phoenix V
Sanding the original finish is fine. Gives the new paint a surface it can bite into.

I would still use primer as this increases the chances of good surface adhesion of the color coat. I expect the cheap start finish is poly, so you definitely want to etch prime the finish as if you are planning to use nitro its a dissimilar finish to the poly.

You will need to wait longer than 15 - 20 mins between coats for wet sanding. If you are looking to use nitro you definitely will not be able to do any sanding this soon after laying a coat. It's better to just do all your color coats, very very thin and waiting the recommended drying time in between coats. If you spray it even and no blemishes you won't need to sand between each coat. Just sand the final coat. You will need around 10 nitro colour coats. 2 - 3 coats means you will be spraying it thick and that's asking for problems pretty much right away. Then around 10 coats of clear, again very thin coats.

But with nitro you will need to wait at least a month before you can do any sanding. Nitro is very soft and will gas for weeks before its stable enough to wet sand the final finish. Then you can polish and glaze. Use carnuba wax based polish for the final wax finish. Don't use silicon based polish on nitro...ever.

Also need to ask why you think you want to use nitro....there's lots of finishes that will get you finished sooner with a harder and deeper shine finish.

I heard that nitro is better than water-based, but maybe that's not true, so I don't know.

So how long do I need to wait between coats of paint? And is sanding between each coat necessary? Or can I just sand it after I put on all the coats?

How much time will the paint need to dry completely to start using lacquer?

And how much time between coats of clear? And do I need to sand between every coat or just after the last one?
#4
I answered all those questions in my post....wait time between coats is whatever the manufacturer recommends for the paint you are looking to use. If there's no guide, for nitro I'd wait 24 hours between coats.

Water based is acrylic. Don't know why you think it would be better to use nitro. Your guitar is likely already coated in poly after all.

Acrylic laquer is easier to work with. Dries very fast, can be sanded a lot sooner and the whole project done weeks before a nitro equivalent job. But its not very compatible to go over poly. You need to be very careful with acrylic over poly as it can flake away if the poly isn't well sanded first and good etch prime applied first.
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Last edited by Phoenix V at Jun 11, 2015,
#5
Quote by Phoenix V
I answered all those questions in my post....wait time between coats is whatever the manufacturer recommends for the paint you are looking to use. If there's no guide, for nitro I'd wait 24 hours between coats.

Water based is acrylic. Don't know why you think it would be better to use nitro. Your guitar is likely already coated in poly after all.

Acrylic laquer is easier to work with. Dries very fast, can be sanded a lot sooner and the whole project done weeks before a nitro equivalent job. But its not very compatible to go over poly. You need to be very careful with acrylic over poly as it can flake away if the poly isn't well sanded first and good etch prime applied first.

In the instruction of the lacquer it says that dust doesn't stick after 10 minutes and it dries completely after 12 hours. So I'll have to wait 12 hours between coats, right? 10 coats would take 5 days to completely dry? How much do I need to wait after the final coat to sand and reassemble it?
#6
Second last paragraph of my original post man....a month. While the paint may dry in 12 hours, which is the time to wait between coats, it won't have cured. Nitro takes weeks before its cured enough to finish sand and polish once all the spray painting has been done.

Also you need to go back and read again carefully. Its more than 10 coats total. You have colour coats and clear coats. All very very thin...
'It takes 100 guitar players to change a light. One to change the light and 99 to stand around pointing, saying..."Yeah man, look...I can do that too"...'

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Last edited by Phoenix V at Jun 11, 2015,