How do you paint a pickguard?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by donnyjaguar, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    Howdy fellow gear builders. I'm creating a guitar right now and toying with various paint schemes for it. My question is how do you paint a pickguard? I guess the question really is how do you paint it so that it won't come off and look like el-caca?

    While we're at it, what type of durable clear-coat would you recommend for the body and neck?
     
  2. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

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    Use clear plastic and paint the side that touches the body
     
  3. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Good idea. Clear plexiglass is available all over the place. This is what Gretsch and Rickenbacker do to get the gold and silver guards they use. I made a repro guard for a RIC 325 in gold that turned out perfect. The thought has occurred to me to try to make a Strat of Tele guard the same way, but as of yet, I haven't done it.
     
  4. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

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    I think StewMac makes clear strat guards, and as scottlr knows from his experience, when you look at the paint from the other side, it looks just as good if you used a brush or sprayed. Or I should say, it looks like it was sprayed, even if it was brushed.
    Could get tricky if you were to paint a picture where you normally would paint the background, then an object over that. You'd have to do that backwards, with the clear plexi method I suggested.
     
  5. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    To add to that, The Ric and gretsch guards don't have much wood, if any touching the painted surface. On a Strat, you might consider some sort of clear coat or another thin piece of plexigass after its painted, to keep the color paint from sticking to the body if you take it off years later. I had a Ric in the 60s, and when I took the truss cover off, the paint had stuck to the headstock, and pulled some of it off. It never quite looked the same afterwards.
     
  6. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I clean with soap and water, and then clean with plastic cleaner, scuff sand and then apply plastic adhesion promoter.

    So far I have had great luck and great adhesion. I just painted 2 Tele pickguards copper pearl in the last few months. I also painted a black pickguard and 2 pup rings cream years ago on one of my guitars. No problems to report of as of yet.:)
     
  7. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Hmmm, now you got me wonder what a CAR painted Guard would look like on my CAR Tele... Or maybe gold.
     
  8. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Scott, considering auto body shops paint plastic parts all the time, it's no big deal. That is if you have the right stuff. Plastic bumpers, fiberglass, smc, interior plastics, etc... are just a small portion of plastics we paint. The list goes on and on. The trick is finding what will adhere best to the type of plastic you are painting. Prep is everyhing once again.:D
     
  9. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    I like the clear acrylic idea a lot - thanks! I don't however like the idea of forking over 40$Cdn for one of 'em. :) Where can one purchase a suitable 3/32" clear acrylic sheet for making my own? Or is making your own so fraught with failure that I should just pay for one? :(
     
  10. Ricman

    Ricman Member

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    location, location - it's the most important thing
    I'd say almost 4 years is too long for a thread to go without a post...
     

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