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Paint, Or Not To Paint

brentrocks

Guitar Hack/Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,282
I purchased this Korina husk from a well known Luthier in East MI. Its currently raw wood, ready for finish.

I have never "painted" a guitar before. I dont have a spray booth. I would have to do the painting in my garage. If i were to attempt to finish this husk, I would have to do it with Graceys Nitro in a can. I want to do it in a light amber tint.

From the research I've done so far, I would have to buy....

2 cans of sealer.....$40
2 cans of amber.....$40
3 cans of clear........$60
1 can of black........$20
Plus multiple pieces of sandpaper and masking tape.

Another big problem is that i dont have a buffing wheel. I could probably buff it with a buffing wheel attached to my cordless drill...which i have done before to buff out haze and light scratches on other guitars in the past.

OR

I could just pay to have it finished!!!!


WHAT WOULD YOU DO????

s-l1600 (1) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr

s-l1600 (2) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr

s-l1600 (3) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr

s-l1600 (4) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr

s-l1600 (5) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr

s-l1600 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
 

treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,056
If you haven't finished a guitar before, I am not sure I would start with a set neck design, especially something as cool as that. However, since you are doing an amber finish, if you mess up, you can pretty easily sand back down and redo (I have done this a few times). You may need to grain fill that korina.

Most people underestimate the time it takes to finish a guitar. Unless you have a pro setup, it is very time intensive. I joke with my friends that every time I finish a guitar of mine, it is like getting paid a dollar an hour. But there is a sense of satisfaction with learning to do it and knowing it is done the way you like.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,548
It's definitely doable as a DIY project, but be aware you'll make mistakes and it probably won't be 100%. The Les Paul refinish I occasionally show off on here looks pretty good, but I stripped it back to the wood twice and burned through dozens of cans on lacquer before I was happy with it!

On the plus side, there's no binding, on the minus side set necks are harder to handle.

I'd watch a lot of videos first, and think through each step carefully so you're never in the position of trying to think something through whilst there's wet lacquer on the guitar. If yoy make a mistake stop and figure out what you have to do to fix it. Making mistakes and learning from them is part of the experience so don't take it too hard when it happens, just take a step back and figure out you're next move.

Prep the guitar meticulously first, get the wood so you think it's perfect then spray a quick coat and look for all the little sanding scratches you missed. If the wood isn't prepped well, you won't stand a chance of getting a good finish so better take the time early on than decide after two weeks spraying you're going to have to start again.

Don't worry about buffing - you can get a great looking finish with a sanding block, an old t-shirt and a polishing compound. You just wet sand up to 1200 grit then get stuck in with the polishing cloth and it'll come up to a nice gloss.

Last rule, start a thread on it and post regular updates!
 

magicaxeman

Member
Messages
1,352
I'd go Pro, in fact I did and as I didn't have a local guitar painter had one body sprayed up by a mate in fords body shop (2 pack metallic purple) and the other was sprayed up using tinted nitro at a local furniture restorers spray booth. In both cases the finished item was miles ahead of anything I could have produced.
 

poppunk

Member
Messages
678
Most people underestimate the time it takes to finish a guitar. Unless you have a pro setup, it is very time intensive. I joke with my friends that every time I finish a guitar of mine, it is like getting paid a dollar an hour. But there is a sense of satisfaction with learning to do it and knowing it is done the way you like.
This can be easily overlooked; if you value your time and won't enjoy this activity then that's a huge factor. This will be a massive time suck, and have frustrating moments. And then you might not be happy with the results and either be salty about it or just have to do it again. The prep work here is critical and way more work than most people think about; it's like doing massive amounts of drywall finish work (joint compound, sanding) before rolling on paint. If you've never done it, you have no idea the relatively large amount of time the prep work will take and every little thing that doesn't go right on it will show through the final product.

The money you spend on the guitar is a huge factor too; I've done the refinish thing on a couple cheap bodies because it's not worth it to get someone to paint them. I have one body I had Marty Bell refinish because I wanted it done right, but it wasn't a cheap guitar. If you're putting a lot of money into this guitar, then having someone do it right (note: you won't do it right on your first one) is another serious factor.

If you go the refinish route, absolutely do not cheap out. Get the reputable person that a lot of people say good things about but you can't really find anybody talking bad about. If the business is not well run you may lose your guitar to them for many months or never get it back.

Since it's a set neck it's going to be a bit more expensive.
 

Ryan x Decent

Member
Messages
460
If you want it to look 100% factory fresh, pay someone. If you don't care if it looks "good enough" from arm's length, do it yourself! It's a lot of fun IMO.
 




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