Okay I am new to the forum and have never posted before so sorry if I mess this up. But I am going to repaint my guitar and have a few questions. Now I have looked through other threads for the answers I need but haven't really been able to find them. So if the answers are somewhere else, sorry for asking again. But I still need the answer so either direct me to the thread or just tell me. Either way, thanks in advance.

The guitar I am painting is a Fender Starcaster (a cheap Strat copy)

1. I have heard you can just scuff sand instead of sanding down to bare wood and was wondering if that was possible on this guitar and how exactly to do that?

2. I am going to use black and red as my main colors and was wondering if I also needed to do a primer or just start with a coat of red? And if I prime, how many coats and do I need to sand at all between them?

3. If I paint one color, like red, and then black on top, do I need to do anything to get the new coat of paint to stick, like sanding, or if it is fresh enough will it stick and if that is the case, how soon after one coat is on do I need to do the next to make sure it sticks?

4. On painting the different layers, how many coats do I need to do and is there any sanding after I am done with a layer?

5. On clear coating, how many coats do I need and what is the process of doing that, i.e. sanding, drying time, etc.

6. And finally (for now) a technical question, I was wondering how much do tuners and the bridge play in the sound and tune of the guitar? I was wondering if I should upgrade those, since I'm sure the stock ones aren't the best, but I wasn't sure it would make a difference.

Thanks you guys. Sorry for the long post.
Last edited by supermandkk at May 28, 2008,
1. You can do a partial sanding of the entire guitar, the goal being to remove the clear protective finish. You would do this with sandpaper, starting at with a course grit sandpaper and once you've gone over the entire guitar redo it with a finer grit, possibly in the 400 range.

2. Depending on what color your guitar is originally will determine the need for a primer. If it was, say, black - you'd want a primer so as to avoid the need for countless coats of red to cover the base. The number of primer coats is subjective, it all depends on how heavy you spray and how well the guitar takes it. It could be that you only need one or two, but you may need anywhere up to six to completely remove the traces of a dark color such as black. You would sand between primer coats only if there were obvious trouble spots, things like orange peel or drips.

3. In order to paint black on top of red, it would be advisable to complete your painting of red, let it dry completely and then sand the entire body with a medium/fine grit sandpaper so as to provide a surface to which paint will readily adhere. The only danger in sanding your painted coats is that you might go through your red. This can be avoided by spraying enough coats of red and sanding gently - with the goal being only to 'rough' up the surface, not remove the paint. Your dry times will vary depending on the types of paint and how heavy you coat, but I might suggest anywhere from 3 hours and up between coats.

4. The number of coats depends, see above, paint and how heavy you are in the process, to go from a white primer to solid red, I would guess at least 6. For black on top of the red, maybe 3-4? You would sand as I said above, just enough to provide for adequate adhesion.

5. Clear coating is a different beast altogether, check the stickies and reranch tutorials, paying particular attention to the rule of three and such. It takes weeks/months for a proper clear coat to cure, and you wet sand numerous times. Clear coating is not something you want to mess up - do your research here.

6. I've no experience with the starcaster, but I would say the only thing to consider replacing would be tuners, if that, because they could easily lose their tuning. Pickups and such might also be replaced with things like the bridge but it wouldn't be worth it on such a guitar, or at all depending on your amp.