#1
Hey UGers, im back from a 45 day trip with the bannhammer. Ive decided that im going to refinish my $100 stratocaster that i got from star power guitars. And as some of you may know, i LOVE the psychedelic borax paint swirl technique, so thats what i'm going to do.

For those of you who arent familiar with the finish here's a few pics of it in action.
these are from projectguitar.com, they have a great tutorial (here http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/swirled.htm)



the effect i'm after is going to be the latter pic, its more of a psychedelic type look.

anyways, with that being said, here's some pics of my guitar during the various stages of sanding.

^thats a nice photoshopped before picture of it.


^thats with all the guts taken out


^thats a hasty picture of the back, still before sanding


^there's the back after i got done sanding the finish off with 80 grit paper and a sanding block.


^there's a pic of the front, sanded with the same 80 grit sanding block, then finished with a 150 grit block to keep things smooth.


^and finally, here's the back finish sanded with a 150 grit block.



^ok, these pics are after the front and back were done being sanded, im not sure if you can tell but this guitar is not plywood. it appears to be a basswood body with some kind of veneer placed over the top so the sunburst that was on it would have a nicer grain to it.
And i sanded this all in one night, so i couldn't use any power tools, so it was all done with good old fashion elbow grease, it only took around 3 hours, no breaks. The 80 grit paper i used was a pretty open grit, so that helped things along nicely

so thats it for now, expect some updates soon. i still have to sand the sides down and then finish sand the whole thing with some 220 so the base coat stays nice and smooth. And speaking of base coat, I'll be using an off white Rustoliem base over a white Rustoliem primer. As for the swirl colors, well, im still undecided, so if you guys and gals have any ideas in that regard send them my way. Pretty much any comment thats decently useful (or funny) is welcome.
#2
Paint it ****in' pink!!!


But really, I reeeally like the blue swirl up top. That looks oh so nice. And matched with a white pearl pickguard...
#3
if your going for the psychedelic look get LOTS of really bright contrasting colours. I'd go for white, neon yellow, neon green, purple, red, blue, a pintch of shocking pink? Basicaly an acid trip but on a guitar.

This seems like a really great idea, not seen anything being customised like this for a while.


PSN ID: ArranP
Last edited by apmaman at Feb 11, 2007,
#4
yea, i liked that blue swirl too, but, i want it to have a sort of 60's theme to it, like what a guitar might look like if you were on acid when you painted it.

as for the pick guard, i'm going to leave it white, maybe i'll get a vintage cream one, im not sure though, i still have to see how the swirl comes out.

oh, and just a slight side note, if any of you are planning to do a swirl like this one, make sure you seal the entire body, apparently that's the main place people go wrong, if water gets in the wood the whole guitar is prettymuch screwed.
#5
I think you should go for the blue design :P When your painting it, apply it thick and before it has any chance to dry hang it up and let it run down the body. Just like under where the bridge would be on your first pic. That would look awesome (y)


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#6
the colors should be white, yellow, green and pink. yellow being the main color IMO


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#7
Glad to see you're back dude. I'm thinking doing it hues of blue (I'm really digging that first picture), with a cream pickguard, knobs and vintage-ey SC's and gold hardware.
This should turn out into a kick-ass project
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#8
yes, its very good to be back, i was thinking of maybe some metallic colors, they make metalic oil paints, ive seen them, im basically going to go and make a bunch of test dips and stuff, then find a color combo that i like and put that on my guitar, im thinking of something with white in it.

and, ive decided on a base color, got 2 cans of it today, its a creamy off-white rustoliem, should go good with what im going for
#9
ok, so just a quick update:

i tried doing some practice swirls on a sculpture today and i have to say that, swirls are kinda hard to do. for some reason the paint wanted to run right off the piece so the swirl effect didn't really stay on the whole thing, and the weird part is, it appeared to only stay on the really smooth parts of it, so i'm thinking that if i can get the finish really smooth on the guitar before i dip it maybe it will turn out better.

for now, i'm going to see if i can get it to work on practice stuff first, im not about to just jump right in and screw up a good guitar.
#10
Hey, you got any luck getting the swirls to stick yet?


PSN ID: ArranP
#12
ok, so, here's an update of sorts, i couldnt get the swirl to work, at all, on anything, i went by the book and it still failed miserably, so i gave up on it, that tutorial on project guitar must be flawed somehow.

so i used a new idea that i had, basically, i took and sanded the guitar body with 6oo grit paper and put 12 coats of clear poly on it, and i used some pretty decent stuff too, it had some nice ambering elements in it, so its drying now, and im waiting to sand off the orange pealing and buff it out to a nice shine, oh
and, i left the edges black, so it has a really classy look to it, when this is all done i'll post some pics for your viewing enjoyment.

oh, and i havent been around in awhile because im a senior in highschool, so getting prepared for college and playing with my band and just life has really taken up alot of time.
#13
sounds cool, cant wait to see it

im gonna refinish a guitar too soon, i so im interested to see how the clear idea comes out
#14
Awesome paintjob, its got my attention!
Hope this turns out good!! Good luck.
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#16
ok, its finnally done. it plays great and looks about that good.








so thats it, it turned out pretty good.
i used ace hardware brand clear furniture poly, which has an ambering agent in it, so with time it will get darker.

here's the list of mods i put into this guitar

1. new pickups from guitar fetish.
2. new fender 3 ply black white black pickguard.
3. vintage cream selector knob.
4. deepened the nut slots and widened to accommodate heavy strings.
5. sanded entire fretboard and re-burnished it with oil.
6. filed a radius into the edge of the fretboard.
7. buffed out fret edges with 2000 grit paper and metal polish
8. 1 coat of rustolem super clear enamel
9. 12 coats (consisting of 3 light coats) of furniture poly
10. sanded entire body with 1500-2000 grit paper to level paint
11. buffed paint with industrial car wax (obtained from car detail specialist)
12. finished with a heavy coat of gibson's pump polish.
13. restrung with DR tightfit .10s with excess coiled up
14. saned back of neck with 600 grit wet paper for playability

and thats about it, i left the edges black, so i didnt have to paint them black, just scuffed and cleared over.

i'd say that the best mod would have to be the radius on the edge of the fretboard, it really improved the feel of the neck.
#17
Very nice, sempri.

I've been meaning to ask you. Are Star Power's any good? I've been wanting to pick up one of their Les Pauls, but the it seems to good to be true.
#18
well, my starpower was good, its finger jointed basswood with a maple veneer, but it sounds pretty decent, and when i took it all apart it all looked well constructed, it had been adjusted well and they took the time to shape the neck into the neck pocket nicely, and the neck pocket was bare wood, they didn't paint over it. in all, i'd say they're pretty good guitars for the money, you might need new pickups though. i used www.guitarfetish.com, because they are also cheep and good.
#19
yeah Im glad you went away from the swirl idea, they are so hard to do and even harder to get to look good. Theres a reason why a decent swirl job will cost you anywhere from 3 to 5 hundred.
#20
yea, you don't see to many swirl jobs turn out around the diy forums, especially on the first shot.

plus, the natural tones a clear coat has just screams blues
and thats what i do
im a blues man, but a good man, understand
#21
hawt.

I might do that to my johnson copy (wood permitting0
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#22
Quote by sempri_fi
well, my starpower was good, its finger jointed basswood with a maple veneer, but it sounds pretty decent, and when i took it all apart it all looked well constructed, it had been adjusted well and they took the time to shape the neck into the neck pocket nicely, and the neck pocket was bare wood, they didn't paint over it. in all, i'd say they're pretty good guitars for the money, you might need new pickups though. i used www.guitarfetish.com, because they are also cheep and good.


That's great to know. Thanks, man. I also think we got out of solitary confinement about the same time, too.
#23
Quote by Pacifica112J
That's great to know. Thanks, man. I also think we got out of solitary confinement about the same time, too.


no problem

and yea, its good to be out of solitary
#24
Quote by sempri_fi
no problem

and yea, its good to be out of solitary


Yeah, 45 days wasn't fun.

Hold me.
#25
Quote by Pacifica112J
Yeah, 45 days wasn't fun.

Hold me.


yea, that was a long time. too long to be gone, but it did give me a bit of freetime
#26
Quote by sempri_fi
yea, that was a long time. too long to be gone, but it did give me a bit of freetime


Most definitely too long to be gone.

But, I don't wanna hijack your thread. So, I guess I'll shut up here.