I was recently given a guitar that has a great smoky paint job on it. The guitar sounds great, looks great, the only problem is that with the slightest amount of liquid the paint comes off. There's been a few times where I was sweating while playing, put down the guitar and had a friend point out the red paint that was on my arm. With a little bit of saliva on my finger, I just put it onto the body of the guitar and it's the same story.

What would cause this? Also, what can I do to prevent this from happening further?
You may like the color but it doesn't sound like a "great" paint job. Me = I'd pull the strings, tape off all the unpainted areas, and spray the painted areas you want to preserve/seal with a clear coat (you can purchase a rattle can of clear coat at Home Depot/Lowes/Ace...one can should be more than enough) I'd apply LIGHT coats until you were satisfied with the seal/finish.
What would cause this is a shitty paintjob that was done by someone who didn't know what they were doing.

What they should've done is protect the paint with several layers of clearcoat so that what you're experiencing doesn't happen.
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Yep. Might look cool, but at the very least, the job was left half undone.

I'm also wondering if the right kind of paint/stain was used.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 31, 2016,
I agree with you guys, appreciate all the advice. I went out last night and picked up a nice shake can of clear coat and painters tape and applied two light coats of clear. Dried overnight and now seems to be fairing better.
False positive: the color still comes off with water. My friend says it looks like it's an oil or wax finish on the guitar. Should I try applying more clear coat or do I need to do something else?
If it's an oil or wax finish it shouldn't come off with water as they tend to repel it, it's one of the advantages of oil/wax based paints.

I'm not sure what kind of finish is on it, but if it is still rubbing off like that you may just need to keep applying clear coats and letting each layer dry for quite a while. One coat each day and letting dry overnight for maybe a week or so.
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sounds like a water based paint was used which is not the type of paint you want, or the paint was bad. You need to strip the paint and make sure the surface is prepped good and re-paint the body. Use a primer for the best result.

The bond to the guitar is what is bad applying layers of clear will do nothing to help that at all.
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