Ever wonder the best way to paint a guitar? Well, there are certainly a lot of opinions on the subject, but most popular option recommended is to go with a nitrocellulose paint. This shiny automotive paint really looks great on guitars, but you’ll want to make sure it gets enough drying time.
Without further ado, let’s talk about getting a perfect paintjob right on your guitar!
Can I just paint over the current paint?
While you technically COULD just paint over the current paint, I simply can’t recommend it. Aside from not looking very good, too many coats of paint can affect your sound as well and you definitely don’t want that.
The right way to go about repainting your guitar is going to be scuff-sanding it first, so that you are removing the clear coat before you start giving your guitar it’s new paintjob. It is time-consuming, yes, but you’ll get much better results and you are less likely to ‘dampen’ the tonal quality.
For sanding, a good 220 grit will get the job done nicely. What we are basically doing with the sanding is giving your paint a rougher surface to stick to. That way the color you’re painting on will go on properly and you can seal it up to give it a nice shine later.
So, I should definitely sand my guitar before painting?
Yes, you definitely should, but you do have two choices of how you can go about it. The first option is to sand away at your guitar’s finish completely, so that you can start completely from scratch. This way is you want to do any repairs to the wood for an ultra-smooth finish then you can definitely do it right.
The second option is going to be ‘scuff sanding’, which just roughs-up the current finish so that you can get the paint to stick. Depending on what you are doing, that might ideal, such as if you are simply painting a small portion of the guitar rather than overhauling the entire paintjob.
Simply put, the sanding is not option, but you do have a couple of options!
What is the best way to paint a guitar?
Ideally, if you are planning on painting the whole guitar one color, I think that you’ll get the best results with a polyurethane or a nitrocellulose paint. The nitrocellulose paint can be found in your local automotive stores, or you can simply purchase it online (Krylon is a popular example).
Now, if you are just painting a design and not necessarily altering the entire color, then you can use acrylics if you like to get and seal in a perfect look for the design or logo that you want. Finally, you can even make a stencil and use spray paints for a quick and cost-effective customization.
Whatever you choose, just don’t forget the clear coat!
Some closing words on guitar painting
Today we’ve had a talk about the best way to paint your guitar and the method of choice for a perfect, shiny axe seems to be nitrocellulose or polyurethane. These aren’t your only options, of course, but it is the one you’ll find recommended most by the pros.
If you’d like a nice 3rd party tutorial to help you review, then be sure to click here and you can get a lot of great painting tips that will help you get started on painting your guitar how you like. Just be sure that you don’t scrimp on the sanding if you want that super-smooth finish. You’ll be much more pleased with the results you’ll get for taking that extra time – trust me on this one!