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first swirl finish

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Ok I'm stripping the paint off my Epiphone SG Special this weekend, and then i am going to refinish it as a 'swirl'. It's my first time doing this, so I have lots of questions to make sure I dont make a mistake. :D

Firstly is regarding the stripping. I will be using chemical stripper. Once the paint is gone, can I handle the body straight away or do I have to let it dry or do I have to sand it? Because I know the chemicals are corrosive and dont want to burn a hole through my hands..

Once the body is stripped, I'm assuming I have to apply sealer.. how many coats would I need seeing as though I'm going to dip the whole thing in water (for the swirl)?

Regarding the swirl, once I dip the body in and out, will the paint run? Should I keep the body vertical at all times when dipping and drying, or horizontal?

And finally, would swirling in only two colours look good? Most swirls I've seen seem to have a fair few colours but to me they seem too harsh on the eyes.. B)

Many thanks in advance :D

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Hey there,

If your SG has the factory finish on it, i dont think your going to be able to "strip" the paint off with a chemical. Ive known this from expirience. What Ive done personally is just sand all of it off. Using an orbital sander, use a 60 grit to start off with to get down to where u can see wood grain, but its still colored. Then go to a higher grit like a 100-120, get whats left, an then try a 220 to smoothen it out, and then do go over it with a 340, then a 600, then 1500, and then 2000 before you prime it (for the sanding 600+ spend about 5 minutes on the back, front, and sides & horns per grit.) Before the primer whipe it down with a tack cloth. If you want just 2 colors you could do a splatter effect, when you paint it one color, and then take a paint brush or something, and just splatter paint all over it... Ive done it. With me it was White with red splatter (Looked like blood hehehe) - Scott

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Thanks for the reply :D

My SG does have the factory finish on it but its an SG Special, not the more expensive models that have a pickguard etc, its just a plain black paint.. the reason I want to use chemical stripper is because i don't have an electric sander.

And thanks for the idea about splatter, I might give it a try - those Kramer splotted guitars look cool!

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Dude, in all honesty, if you want to try swirling it, you're better off leaving the factory finish on, prep it, spray it white, and swirl that, you have to seal every single bit of wood, if you strip it to wood, you have have to use a really good paint to seal it, just sanding sealer isn't going to cut it, you need to get into screw holes, into all cavities, everywhere. The BEST prepped surface you will ever get is the factory surface, you can go to wood, but you will have to spray a good poly urethane or tons of laquer to seal it and get it dead smooth again.

my personal opinion, spend the $$$ and send it to ATD :D

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Thanks for the heads up about the sealer... I will leave it then. But should I remove the lacquer before painting it white?

I'm just trying it out for myself with a spare guitar I have for fun, so I dont really want to get someone else to do it. :D

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