Say I wanted to get a fairly plain looking guitar and I wanted to spice the looks up a bit. A friend of mine said she'd be willing to give it a nice painted design on it, and I was just a little wary as to how we'd go about doing that. Has anyone ever painted a guitar before? How would it affect the wood of the guitar, if it would, and are there any precautions to be wary about, such as using specific paints or gloss or anything like that? Basically, if anyone's ever done this before, what do we need to know before attempting it.

Thanks in advanced!
I'd love to give you some useful info but i don't know anything about modding guitars. I do believe that the gear building and customizing forum will definitely have useful info for you.
Schecter Diamond Series C-1 Elite
Roland Cube 30x
Blueridge BR-143
The tone would suffer due to the added paint and whatever laquer you applied, I imagine it'd be like placing a blanket over your sound. With the added weight/stiffness of paint the top can't resonate as it normally would and resonance = tone. It'd be more of an art project that you can play than an instrument.
Okay, thanks a lot! I'll check out the customization board and see what I can find out there. Sorry to post here, I didn't know there was a designated board for it. Looks like there's a sticky solely for painting! https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=929962

Thanks, guys. I think I may end up painting my old guitar first, just to see how it turns out. I have an Epiphone AJ-1 that I wouldn't mind screwing up, as I'm planning on buying an Epiphone Hummingbird (which really doesn't need any painting, it's beautiful as it is). So I may just experiment on the AJ-1 once I get my new one. Thanks!
Don't ever paint an acoustic unless it's a real cheap bugger! Electrics sure, let yourself go wild.
Quote by Akabilk
Don't ever paint an acoustic unless it's a real cheap bugger! Electrics sure, let yourself go wild.


paint will dampen the sound of an acoustic guitar. unless it's cheap, dont paint it. heck, i dont even want to buy a coloured guitar because it takes away from the sound. that and the fact that i love the colour of natural wood.
- 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.
Now now, paiting your acoustic properly does not, in my opinion, affect the sound as much as some people seem to think. If you put the paint on thick, yes it can result in a potential decrease in sound quality. But if you use proper paints and minimal clear coats, you wont drastically change the sound.

Paints - Humbrol or Testors enamel model paints, I also love DecoColour paint pens. But the key here is to not glob it on, a little goes a long way. And priming it before hand is not necessary, definately sand the gloss off, but if a nice white space to paint on doesnt add to the design, skip the priming. But then again sometimes the priming is necessary. We've had success with and without.

While you're painting it helps to have workable fixatif to spray on the paint when it's dry. Its purpose is to help the new paint stick. It is also good if you aren't priming, to spray on before you start painting.

When you're done painting it is best to add the clear coats using a spray gun, but if you don't have you can settle for Krylon clear acrylic glaze. It's nice and shiny and way thicker than the paint so try to get it nice in as little coats as possible. This is where the thickness can build up fast.

Good luck and don't be scared. It's worth it.

Current in progress acoustic:

Last edited by muikoma at Aug 9, 2008,