Hey there GB&C readers. I'm in wood shop in school now, and seeing as how I have some free time, I figured I would sand out all the knicks on my guitar, and give it a fresh paint job.

What I'm interested in is what I would need to do to sand it. Should I just use a hand sander, a belt sander, my own hand? What grit sand paper should I use to get the paint off? Any tips for a newbie?

As for the paint job, I was just thinking of a high contrast, high gloss, white and black color (Black hardware, white body). I'm more concerned about the sanding then the paint. Could anyone point me in the right direction?
if it isn't a carved top guitar, the best thing you can do is use about 600 grit waterproof paper, wrapped around a cork sanding block so some areas don't rub away un-evenly.

for all the edges and cutaways use your hands with the same paper, and when you have gotten rid of all the nicks, dents, gouges. use some 800 grit of the same type paper. try not take off all the layers of paint.
if you do, the wood will absorb all the paint you apply.

when repainting try and use 2 pack paint or nitrocellulose/acrylic in a spray gun.
i wouldn't recommend spray cans for a musical instrument.


Good luck with it dude!
I'm sorry gregory, I can tell you have good intentions... but your just wrong.

It's gonna take you damn near a week to strip a guitar using 600 grit.

If you want to refinish your guitar? Try more like 150 grit if you want to get it down to the wood. Using 220 to scuff the surface is perfectly acceptable as well. Basically get the gloss off. Once you get through the clear coat and into to paint, then switch to 400 to smooth it out. Then you are ready, do a couple coats of primer (makes the paint stick better) and then start using white paint.

I don't know why gregory doesn't recommend using aerosol cans, but I do. And most people think it's perfectly OK. Don't believe me? Check out the thread in my sig... I'm doing a high gloss white guitar with all black hardware. I'm using Rust-Oleum lacquer, from a spray can, and it works wonderfully.

Also, hardwood doesn't soak up a lot of paint anyways. If you prime it, then the colour coats go on beautifully. Once again, if you don't believe me check MY build. I have pictures of how well my theory works when put into practice.

Also, what kind of paint does your step mom work with? You need the right stuff if you plan to do a guitar.
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Last edited by Øttər at Apr 21, 2008,
Ok great. In my opinion the best thing to use is PolyEurothane. It;s rather expensive I think, but it provides a long lasting finish that will look factory if you do it right. Another option is, like I'm using, lacquer in spray cans. It's cheap, $15 for all three cans (primer, colour, clear). The only downside is that the clear takes about 2 months to cure fully.

Anyway this gregory guy... he just doesn't know...

As for the tools to use, a palm sander is great, or you can just use sand paper wrapped around a block of wood (to keep the surface even) and your own elbow grease.
Enjoi <--- Friend me
Quote by Scowmoo
Otter, you're my new god.
random orbital sander, 80 grit all the way to 500 grit. hand sand the sides/roundover so as to not lose the small important parts.
fight the power that be
if your stripping back to do a solid colour you don't need to take away all of the paint.
scuffing the existing paint serves as a good anchor for the fresh layer, using such a coarse grit will only leave you will deep gouges that you will have to sand with finer grits anyway imo.