Painting Tips N Tricks

by Brian Calvert

One simple step which a lot of people over look when refinishing a guitar body is masking off the neck pocket. While it really isn't necessary it does have benefits. If you find yourself building up the clear coat rather thick, the tape guarding the pocket won't allow your paint to form unnecessary buildup, especially around the edges which could effect alignment of your neck during assembly. Another benefit which is purely cosmetic is when you peel the tape away from the body you will be left with a more professional look to your finish.

Suspending the body while painting is a must in certain situations.

One simple tool which you will find yourself making is a hook to hold it up. If you use a wire coat hanger, you will find that taking your time to form the shape of it will help you build a custom tool. First of all allow the actual hook which fit's through the body to extend further than just a simple "J" shape. I use more of an extended flat bottom "J" (pictured below) which allows me to paint around the hole without any problems. This extended shape also allows you to suspend the body upside down by hooking through the trem cavity. You will find this advantage helpful when painting the bottom of the body.

Making your hook long enough to be able to hold on to the top will also allow you more control of the body when painting around it if your working in a limited space. Keeping the design simple on top also allows you to remove it from the area your painting it and hang the body elsewhere to dry, like if you find yourself painting outside and the weather is less than perfect.


Ever wonder how to go from a shiny metallic, bright or dark burst edge to the middle and keep relatively the same hue of translucence color on your body?

Here's a few tips which may help:


Metallic looking edges are made by applying a silver burst around the body, then painting the entire body in the translucent color of choice.

Bright looking edges are made by applying a white burst around the body, then painting the entire body in the translucent color of choice.

Medium to dark edges are made by applying a medium to dark gray burst around the body, then painting the entire body in the translucent color of choice.

Painting pickups:

I have had limited experience here but I will tell you of one success story. I used acrylic artist paints which are flexible even when dry to paint the missing part of the pattern found on a Jem FP. It looked pretty cool because it gave the illusion of the pickups disappearing into the body.


 


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