#1
painting an acoustic guitar---can it be done without damaging the sound? How would one go about doing this without damaging the instrument? I already did the whole sticker thing with my electric so I thought about painting my acoustic but i've read a couple places that this might dampen the sound....there has to be some way to do this without ruining the sound.
#2
It's possible, but you'd be better off asking in the "Gear Building and Customization" forum, as the people there are going to be better at guiding you in the art of painting responsibly.
#3
just dont paint the strings, the fretboard, or the electronics if its electric, and i think you will be ok
#4
Painting an acoustic guitar by yourself will DESTROY the sound. this is something you CANNOT do on your own. Think of it like this... they make gloss on some guitars .003inches thick. think you can do something even thinner with paint? i doubt any untrained person could.

Electric guitars rely less on the vibration of the guitar and mostly on the pickup. acoustic guitars are ALL about body vibration. dont paint it yourself. you'll ruin a perfectly good guitar, i guarantee you.
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#5
^^Agreed. And do not listen to electric players who have no clue how acoustics work. Do not paint or sticker your acoustic, you will ruin your guitar.
#6
It cannot be done without causing a great deal of harm to the sound.
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#7
I think it depends more on how much the guitar is worth, if it is worth say $100 > $150 , it is my opinion that the manufacturer has done more damage in poor manufacture (i.e. woods , hardware etc) than a bit of paint you are adding. But if it is a top of the line guitar i would say , buy a cheap guitar & do it to that.
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#8
I would say go for it if this is a junker guitar you don't want anymore and you don't think it would be worth selling or giving away to charity, but I just don't see why anyone would do this to a guitar that is still perfectly playable, let alone a guitar that you actually intend to keep playing. For the sake of discussion, let's imagine for a minute that the paint would have no negative effect on tone - even if that was true, how do you envision this DIY project turning out looks-wise?

I don't know what you're planning on painting this guitar with, but I'm assuming that you don't have professional-grade equipment or paints/lacquers - I hope you weren't just planning on whipping out a can of Krylon. It will take a lot of prep work just to get the paint to adhere. Keeping the paint from chipping and scratching off will be another trial. If you haven't noticed, the professional finish on a guitar is TOUGH. Finding something equivalent in strength and hardness that will be easy enough for a layperson to apply at home will be impossible.

And even with spray paint or an airbrushing machine, it's not easy to cover a 3-dimensional object evenly and without a zillion dust particles getting stuck all over it (there's a reason why professional spray booths look like hospital operating rooms). If you're brushing on a design, forget it. The surface of your guitar will not come out smoothly unless you spray on layer after layer of clearcoat afterward, sanding between each coat. Even if the paint didn't destroy the tone, this definitely would.

Bottom line, it's not going to be some cute little Martha Stewart DIY craft project. It's going to be a lot of hard work for questionable results. My bet is that not only will the guitar sound like crap, it's going to look like crap too. If you're really determined to do this, you'll either have to pay to have a professional attempt it (which could easily cost many times your guitar's worth) or be prepared to throw this one away and buy a new one if you try to do it yourself.
#9
The finish on the guitar makes a huge difference in tone. Only refinish if you don't like the guitar anyway. If you like the guitar then don't touch it.
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#12
if it's just a little bit of permanent marker, then it wont do anything noticeable. marker is a LOT thinner than paint.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#13
Quote by Just_Matt
What about writing something with permanent marker, that ruins the guitar too?

Agree with captivate, marker won't affect tone, but even permanent marker will eventually start to smudge and look like crap. That's how resilient the gloss finish is.

That's also why it's not recommended to get autographs on a guitar that you want to keep playing - better to hang it up as decoration if you want to preserve the autographs.
#14
Quote by sunshowers
Agree with captivate, marker won't affect tone, but even permanent marker will eventually start to smudge and look like crap. That's how resilient the gloss finish is.

That's also why it's not recommended to get autographs on a guitar that you want to keep playing - better to hang it up as decoration if you want to preserve the autographs.


So you would say that writing a name on an acoustic is a bad idea?

with permanent marker of course..
#15
Quote by Just_Matt
So you would say that writing a name on an acoustic is a bad idea?

with permanent marker of course..


I would only write on a place on the guitar where you dont really touch in normal use. The back of the headstock is probably the place that gets touched the least of the whole guitar.

when you play you rub against the back, the top and the neck. when you put a guitar in it's case, the whole body touches the case. the only part that doesnt is the headstock... generally anyway.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#17
Painting your acoustic guitar will definitely impact your tone, especially when it comes to the low end of the spectrum. I would not recommend painting a nice acoustic guitar, but recently I had some success painting my very first acoustic guitar that I wasn't really using anyway. I knew that painting the body was going to deaden the low end, so I decided to tune it "Nashville Style", which takes advantage of the high frequency range of the guitar. Here's a video of the process of painting an acoustic guitar and tuning it 'Nashville Style'

I also wrote up a blog post detailing the steps of how to paint an acoustic guitar . Hopefully you find it helpful : )

Nick