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Satin White


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Hello everybody,

I'm new to this forum., and to guitar building so please bare with me :D

I recently decided upon ordering some parts from Warmoth.com to assemble my own custom Les Paul guitar.

Basically, I'm going for a white body and neck, ebony fretboard, and all black hardware. I am going for a very modern, sleek look rather than anything remotely classic. A very big inspiration for the general design is the Gibson Gothic line of guitars...I always loved the satin black on them.

It occured to me that since I don't want any "shiny" hardware, it'd be great if the paint job wasn't so classic looking either, and so I decided I'd like to get a satin finish.

Now, basically, I know nothing about what to do with the body and neck once I recieve it, and am only going to do this paint/finish job on my own if it proves to be much more cost effective than having Warmoth do it.

So to get a few things straight, the "finish" part actually has to do with what you put on the guitar after you've painted it, correct? So after I've painted the body and neck, I would apply the right finish to get that satin look/feel?

Would it be possible to just buy the white paint in aerosol cans from, say, Reranch.com and after spraying, apply the right finish (I've heard tung(?) oil is the right way to go) myself? How many cans would be needed to do the body, neck, and peghead?

I've also heard that I could bring it to an autobody place that does paint and they could spray it...would I then apply the right finish to get the satin effect?

I'm sorry I know so little, I've used the search tool and read the tutorials and the stuff still sounds so foreign to me. I'm just trying to shave off a few hundred dollars from the overall price of this project. Thanks in advance!

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yeah thanks for the help...

Dude give it time. Some of PG's finish experts can't be online 24/7. You will not last long with that attitude.

After a bit of searching on here i have heard that you can but the satin clear cans, sand with 2000 grit to get it flat then rough it up with 0000 steel wool. Im not sure though. I wouldnt take my advice to seriously :D

For the amount of cans, a good clear takes 10 coats so always get one more can then you think you need B) Maybe 6-8 cans for the color and 8-10 for the clear? Im never really sure.

You COULD bring it to an auto place but im not sure if they do clears and/or color coats.

Just my .02 cents worth

See ya,


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Dude you need to chill a bit, just go outside for about 5 min and come back.

Since you mention Re Ranch on your question I must have add that you obiously haven't read everything in their site.


after you read this thing, especialy the finishing and prep parts, I will have to add that the idea of tung oil over paint doesn't sound too bright. If you paint you can finish with more paint, leave tung oil for natural finishes, bare wood, etc... If you just want satin look, just get a flat white paint and that's it. Or finish it with satin clear, but remember that even satin finishes when you rubb them with your body, clothes, etc will start to get glossy. There is not way around it. The most durabl one will be an auto paint, poly then either sand it with 2000 or higher, or steel wool, and even this will look cheesy, not good, fake. But it will be flat looking, and that's what you want.

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You can really do it both ways. You can get satin paint and use that or you can go with a satin clear coat. I'm not sure what the recommended way of doing things, but it would indeed make more sense paint the guitar white (either gloss or satin, I'm not sure) and then go for a satin clearcoat that way you have a more protective finish.

I think that the easiest method would be to take it to a auto body place and have them paint it for you. With auto body paint, I don't know if you would even NEED a clear coat! That stuff is TOUGH! The should also have the required materials to give you a satin finish, too.

Don't bother with the tung oil. Oil finishes are only to be used on bare wood or over top of other oil finishes (i.e. boiled linseed oil followed by polymerized tung oil).

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Thank you so much everybody,

First of all I am SO sorry for my attitude...I stayed up all night researching guitar stuff so between the hours of 4 and 6 when there weren't any replies I must have just let my lack of sleep and bad mood get the best of me, please forgive me!

And I didn't even know there WAS satin paint, I was under the impression you had to do something to get the satin look/feel but wow that'll help tons...where can I get satin paint, btw?

Edited by everlong
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Okay guys I was looking into supplies online and was just a bit confused (big surprise, huh?) about what exactly I need and don't need...

On reranch.com, under "Colors (Clear and now Satin) in Aerosol Cans" I can't tell which products to get...

Now, assuming I do the paint myself, do I get the White Lacquer Based Primer? Their only other white is Olympic White which I don't want...

White Lacquer Based Primer

White primer is suggested for use over the Sand and Sealer 

coat and before the application of the color coat. A satisfactory finish can be accomplished without the use of a primer, but more color coats may be required. The white primer coat will dry to a matte finish, therefore allowing greater adhesion of the color coat. Light sanding of the primer coat is acceptable if necessary.

I'm so confused...but basically, is that "primer" acceptable to use for the actual coloring part of the guitar? And then could I apply this to get an even more satin look and feel...

Wood Satin Clear Coat

In response to those of you who have asked for a finish that feels less like polished lacquer and more like natural wood, Wood Satin Clear nitrocellulose is now available. It will work over Neck Amber and unlike tung oil will protect the neck from from warping due to moisture absorption. Wood Satin can also be used to give a guitar body a flat finish.

But is that Clear Coat meant only for natural wood and not colored wood? So all I would need would be that white primer? Cuz it DID say it comes out to a matte finish...

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From Re-Ranch, get the white primer, coat with it, then finish over with the satin clear. As simple as that. The withe primer is kinda like a white powder color, if that's what you are looking for, just make sure that you clear it, bucause primer loves to get stained, and it won't clean up like a regular finish will. I think that the Re Ranch paint are over priced, so I would look around. You can get Duplicolor white, which comes in various shades, and then clear with this after 3-5 days. I used their can version and I must say that is by far better than the Dupli clears. In drying time and hardness. The only draw back is that the spray nozzle is not as good as the duplicolor one and you will have to color sand a bit. And it comes in gloss, semi and flat (satin)

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