#1
Hey everybody,
I had recently built a guitar and wanted to try and paint it myself. Upon deciding what I wanted to paint it, I decided to just stick with a fairly plain paint job as this is my first build I've done. I also have a Schecter Damien Riot FR that has a flat black finish and I decided this would be a paint job that I'd like to have on my new guitar as well. I tried to paint it once already with some paint I grabbed at home depot but it turned out to not look a lot like the paint on my schecter. I used a primer, then a bunch of satin black coats, and then a matte clear, all Rust-Oleum brand. It turned out a lot more shiny than my schecter and not nearly as durable. I attempted to ask Schecter what they would recommend and they never got back to me.

Does anyone here have experience painting guitars flat black? What kind of paint would be good to get a paint job like that? I had heard automotive paint before, but don't really know what I should look for there. Is there a specific process to getting a look like that?

Here are some examples of what I'm looking for:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/schecter-guitar-research-damien-riot-fr-electric-guitar
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/11/ba/a2/11baa2a28abe78af4a0c1917f1e5be80.jpg
http://www.themusiczoo.com/images/4-07-14/10020_Modern_Flat_Black_Ebony_FB_21660_1.jpg

Thank you in advance for all your help!

Shawn
#4
Quote by Irocksyoursocks
Hey everybody,
I had recently built a guitar and wanted to try and paint it myself.


Plasti-Dip it.

Rubberized paint that's currently used to paint (among other things) cars and other vehicles. It'll last pretty much as long as you want it to, and when you're done, it will peel off to reveal the original paint, good as new.

Matte black is a current fad ("oooh, brootal" "sinister" yada yada). The fact that it's extended itself to K-I-T-C-H-E-N appliances should tell you something. It's going to join "avocado" and "harvest gold" and green/yellow shag as indicators of absolutely dated crap. But since it IS a *current* fad, like the paint that changes colors, you might want to paint the guitar a "normal" color, let it cure, and then plasti-dip it to matte black or slime green or whatever you like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYcicWaGfWU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J6rRj98A5s

http://www.dipyourcar.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw6cCuBRCh4KrGoJ6LoboBEiQAwzYsdOfp_VFXCg5k9bTITnrNZEvlxVcY4UpMbVrrr39eM-AaApZ58P8HAQ
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 16, 2015,
#5
I would call the finish in the pics satin, not flat. Mine a more matte:



This was done with automotive self-catalysing poly from a rattle can, I forget the brand, but it wasn't a cheap one.

The main problem is that coats don't burn into each other, and even if they did, it wouldn't help with a matte finish. This means that you have to be very careful how you apply the top coat, because you can't cut polish it back.

Mine isn't particularly hard finish, so it goes shiny if scuffed and at the wear points. I think you would have to use two-pack or UV curing to get a hardness that was wear and scuff resistant.
#6
I have used plasti dip....its shit. Always feels sticky and gross. Avoid.
#7
Most matte finished guitars are rather thin when compared to there lacquered counterparts. For the matte look you want its "ALL" in the prep work. You need the surface to be the way you want it before finish is applied (i know thats basic) it really matters here because anything you do after the finish is applied with alter the appearance. For matte finishes i personally use VHT flame proof back header paint and after several coats i put it in my oven (in my *******) at the lowest setting (normally 250° and let it bake for about 2-3 hours. If your wood is not kiln dried beware as the body can shrink or even crack from bad glue joints.

^risky process^ ^nice results^

An easier alternative is Valspar Tractor and implement paint "matte black" you can get it at lows in a gallon can or even in quarts i beleive. It is extremely tough paint! As its meant to be on farm equipment out in the elements.


As for automotive paints (acrylic, eurethane) they have different catalysts in automotive paints that dont react well to the way wood expands and contracts and often times the paint will begin to "spiderweb" after a few seasons of hot and cold.
#8
Well from I've heard here and seen online, it seems car paint is the way to go to get good results generally. Dick I would really like to try that paint you were talking about with baking it, but since I had to glue a lot of pieces together to make the body I'd be concerned that there'd be a lot of cracked spots.

When you say that the paint could spiderweb due to changing temperatures, though, I get apprehensive because I live in Wisconsin and that could be a very real possibility for that to happen here. Is there a good way to prep the wood to minimize expansion and contraction between seasons?
#10
Quote by Irocksyoursocks
Well from I've heard here and seen online, it seems car paint is the way to go to get good results generally. Dick I would really like to try that paint you were talking about with baking it, but since I had to glue a lot of pieces together to make the body I'd be concerned that there'd be a lot of cracked spots.

When you say that the paint could spiderweb due to changing temperatures, though, I get apprehensive because I live in Wisconsin and that could be a very real possibility for that to happen here. Is there a good way to prep the wood to minimize expansion and contraction between seasons?


Use a very good primer surfacer.SEM is a good one. And apply several medium-thick coats to acheive a good seal. But that means no bare spots! No neck heel pocket or anything. If you completely seal the wood,the weather effects will be minimal.
And the bake on method is best done on one peice bodys but can be done with glue joints also just requires constant monitoring and not moving until its cool.

In your situation i highly reccomend the Valspar option. It really is quality paint that will provide great durabilty and longevity. Plus it is absolutely matte black though it comes in many color options.
#11
Quote by Tony Done
Dick, how scuff and contact wear-resistant are your flat finishes?

I don't think mine will crack, but it isn't as hard as I would like it. It does seem to be getting harder over a long period though.


With the bake on method they are incredibly durable but will scratch if contacted with something sharp as any finish would.

The Valspar implement paint is incredibly tough (its meant for tractors and plows)

And if you used laquer based paint it will absolutely get harder with the passage of time. Laquer almost never stops hardening. Its like a car from the 40s or 50s they used laquer (better shine than any paint) but years later they have to be careful about just closing a door or hood or trunk lid too hard because it with "craze" "spiderweb" whatever you wanna call it. Because it got to hard over time and became brittle. Why do you think "old" fenders chip so easily? Automotive laquer.
#13
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^ The stuff I used was a self-catalysing spray can poly, so I'm a bit surprised at the long-term hardening effect.



Yea, thats kind of peculiar? Could just be the climate in your area? How long are we talking here?
#15
Quote by highlux
I have used plasti dip....its shit. Always feels sticky and gross. Avoid.


it doesn't always feel sticky and gross.
I'm thinking you haven't used it.

Whole lotta cars running around with Dip "paint" jobs in my neck of the woods. You really can't tell the difference.
#16
Quote by Tony Done
I'm guessing about three years ago, but could be longer. Maybe those rattle cans contain solvents and plasicisers that take a long time to evaporate?


Rattle can contents are a ongoing mystery for me really.

Iv refineshed bowling lanes with old school nitro lacquer,and iv been in autobody my entire life. So iv seen a wide variety of finishing products and application methods. But i am in no way a chemist so some things are still very mysterious to me.

But logic, experience, and deduction tell me your probably not far off with your theory.
#17
Quote by Dick Savage
Most matte finished guitars are rather thin when compared to there lacquered counterparts. For the matte look you want its "ALL" in the prep work. You need the surface to be the way you want it before finish is applied (i know thats basic) it really matters here because anything you do after the finish is applied with alter the appearance. For matte finishes i personally use VHT flame proof back header paint and after several coats i put it in my oven (in my *******) at the lowest setting (normally 250° and let it bake for about 2-3 hours. If your wood is not kiln dried beware as the body can shrink or even crack from bad glue joints.

^risky process^ ^nice results^

An easier alternative is Valspar Tractor and implement paint "matte black" you can get it at lows in a gallon can or even in quarts i beleive. It is extremely tough paint! As its meant to be on farm equipment out in the elements.

As for automotive paints (acrylic, eurethane) they have different catalysts in automotive paints that dont react well to the way wood expands and contracts and often times the paint will begin to "spiderweb" after a few seasons of hot and cold.

I've had very good results with Duplicor Acylic Lacquer (auto paint, not the enamel lacquer) and Krylon Acrylic Lacquer on guitar bodies. I haven't tried the Plasti-Dip It that dspellman mentioned but it sounds interesting.

For a flat Black finish like that motorcycle fender, I've used Acrylic Paint for Plastic on top of regular Acrylic base and clear coated with Satin Lacquer.