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New Paint job - Shop v.s. DIY

vashuba

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,601
I have spray painted my squier in the past, not trying to do that.

Does anyone know an in-expensive place to get a guitar re-painted? Just spray over the current color? I have searched and found the cheapest around $270.

thats not cheap. I could possibly buy and airbrush kit and paint it myself right? anyone have experience?
Cheers
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,559
$270 is pretty cheap for a refin - I suppose if it's a bolt on neck guitar and you don't want the body stripped it's fair, but refins are always more work than they look to get a pro level result.

Remember you're paying for time and experience, it's not just the hours it takes, it's skilled work and you pay for the experience that goes into doing a good job. If they're good at finish work they shouldn't be making minimum wage doing it.

My first attempt at a refinish in theory was going to take a couple of afternoons and £50 in lacquer - it ended up taking several times that and I had to buy multiple extra cans because I kept going back and doing bits again to get it right. I got it looking like a decent semi-pro quality job in the end, but it was a lot of work.
 

blaster

Member
Messages
1,193
$270 isn't bad for a refinish. By purchasing an "airbrush" and some paint does not guarantee that it will come out like the factory painted it. I've seen many of guitars come through my shop that were painted by hand and most didn't turn out that well (drips, orange peel, overspray, etc.). With a little practice and with some of the Re ranch sprays you can get a pretty good looking paint job, but it takes time and the costs start adding up for supplies.
 

Neverwhere

Member
Messages
614
I would be very leery of a place offering a refin for $270....refinishing a guitar to a degree that is "professional" is a ton of work and quite expensive from the person doing the refinish just from materials point of view (paint, consumables). Painting guitars and doing it well is the most tricky part of building guitars where the chance of royally messing up is very high if you do not have everything well under control (IE, spray gun is high quality, air source is high quality, you have to paint indoors with optimal conditions, a ton of care done in prep work and final finishing/buffing/polishing.
 

vashuba

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,601
I saw the $270 online. So it’s gonna be more with shipping.
What’s the standard rate so to speak. I mean it’s gonna be a project guitar. The paint job might cost the same price as the guitar lol
 

Alan Wolf

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
265
$270 is not very much. Some who’s good, and experienced, will take how long to disassemble a guitar down to its bare body, or take off as much as possible from a set neck, and then carefully mask? Then, even if they’re painting over the existing finish, they’ll need to break that surface, prime the guitar, possibly put a base coat, and then several coats of color on it, with some rubbing out in between. Each coat means having to tear down your spray gun, and get it really clean. Polish the finish, then reassemble everything. If you’ve got binding, that can be 45 minutes just masking.

Then, there’s cost of materials. Good sandpaper runs $1.50 or more a sheet. Lacquer is expensive. Even the thinner we clean the guns with is $12 a gallon now, and that doesn’t include the fees for hazardous waste removal, fire department inspections, etc. I’ve been running a shop for a bit over 40 years and still get sticker shock when I add up estimates for work we’re proposing to do.
 

( . )( . )

Member
Messages
331
I wonder if someone like Maaco or Earl Shieb car painting would do a quick and cheap guitar body. I know this sounds like a joke, but hey - if it’s a project guitar, it might be worth a shot.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,559
The only refinish I've paid for was about $1500 (for an aged finish on a relatively high value set neck, bound guitar by a well known and highly respected vintage specialist). I'd have thought $4-500 was in the ball park for an unbound body only refinish. I'm sure that could be bargained down a bit more by supplying the body already stripped of parts, being willing to accept painting over previous paint etc. $270 sounds like the cheap and cheerful end of the market, you might have a few bits that don't look perfect.

To get cheaper really I think you need a wild card solution. An old-school car or bike spray shop as suggested above isn't a bad shout, it's one of those where one could quote you something way over what a guitar shop would do, the next could be a $150 cash in hand, knock it out in his lunch break when the boss is not looking sort of deal. Worth looking into if you really don't want to spend $270.
 




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