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Honestly, the best option depends on your goals.

If you must do it ALL yourself, automotive pressure packs are a good option, just allow plenty of drying time and plenty of clear coats. The great thing about this method is that as long as you have enough clear on the body, any imperfections will rub out and polish upto a nice gloss finish.

The Best way I feel by far is to paint in Polyurithane 2 part paint. Its expensive to buy in bulk and you need special equiptment to spray it but the finish is TOUGH and you'll get a beautiful deep gloss. An option for this would be to prepare the body yourself, and take it to a Automotive refinisher. As long as the prep work is done and all they have to do is hang the body and spray it, it shouldnt be too expensive. You can pick any colour you like and they can mix it for you.

The other bonus with this is that you dont need to remove all the original Poly coating from your original guitar. Completely sanded with 800 grade wet/dry, the original coating makes for an excelent undercoat, and you dont have to worry about grain filler and such.

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Grab a scrap piece of wood while your painting the graphics on and use it to wipe any excess off of the brushes as you go along.

Later on when your finished with the graphic use the scrap piece as a model to test the clear coat you finally end up choosing. This way you'll be able to see if it is compatable before taking a chance on your project.

Oh and welcome to the forum :D

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2 pac poly clear will adhere to automotive acrylic and look excelent, but automotive acrylic clear wont adhere very well to 2 pac poly.

Do your graphics in auto acrylic and then you can choose which clear coat you want to use later. For tyhe sake of a few dollars, Id recomend buying the auto acrylic for the colour coats. At a few dollars a can at least you know it wont react badly with the clear. Your wood paints may work but Id hate to put in all those hours doing a graphic only to find it frys up when the clear hits the surface. I wouldnt risk it to save a few dollars.

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2 pac poly clear will adhere to automotive acrylic and look excelent, but automotive acrylic clear wont adhere very well to 2 pac poly.

Umm, that would be the other way around... 2pak base will work with acrylic colour and clear, but 2pak over acrylic is a no no.... Acrylic moves/shrinks/expands/sinks over time, 2pak doesnt. You DO NOT want a rubbery base with a rock hard coat over it, it wont stick.

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I stand corrected, although you might want to explain that to my old Ibanez in the corner..............she's been painted that way and she looks and sound great. :D

Now I think about it, the base coat spent 2 weeks sitting in the corner of my friend oven at his Auto Paint Shop. They bake 3-4 cars every day. I guess thats why it worked for me. My acrylic would have been FULLY cured, but I get your point

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You can actually get an additive that you mix with the 2pak to give it more "flex" for painting over acrylic, but its not advised. You may have heard people talk about "bare metal resprays" when they talk about cars, thats because the cars were originally sprayed with acrylic, and it all needs to be stripped.

On something like a guitar, which is usually kept in a roughly climate controlled area (your house as opposed to the sun and rain outside), it shouldnt be too much of a problem, but i have seen 2pak peel off in full sheets when applied over acrylic.

2pak primer is supposed to be better under an acrylic top coat, but im not sure if the differences could be measured, or someone was guessing.... might make more of a difference for cars, not guitars.

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