Sorry if these are n00b questions

is it safe for the guitar to paint a pickgaurd?

I have a squier Strat, i know i have to take off teh pickgaurd by unscrewing it, but how do i get over the volume and tone knobs?

If it is safe, what kind of paint should i use?

You have to take the volume and tone knobs off, and then take the nuts/washers off as well. Pop the knobs off and you'll see what I mean.

You also have to unscrew the pickups, as they are attached to the pickguard. Be advised, they are a bitch to reattach, so be VERY sure you really want to paint it before you take them off.

As for the paint, I have no idea.
just be sure to take EVERYTHING off.
you probably will have to do alot of clearcoats. if you just paint it, the paint will peel off when you strike it.
id say just buy a new one, unless your going for some wicked color
use the spray paint designed for plastic, i think they call it Krylon or something. Seeing as the pickguard is plastic and all, you could get a few sharpies and really go to town on it if you mess up though, or do some scribbles with a siver on a dark surface and call it a punk/grunge guitar.
If u do paint it, then get a normal painnt and put a clear coat on it. Or use the Krylon for plastic.
hmm yea i'd like to know more about this too, since i can't buy a replacement pickguard for my guitar (the company doesn't sell them). could i just use poster paint or something? i was thinking of some black and silver stripes id like to paint the whole body of the guitar too, so i couldnt use the plastic paint stuff