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Hand Painting

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Hello everyone. :D

I have a Gibson SG that has been stripped of all its finish. I want a solid color on the back of the guitar/neck/headstock, and I have an idea for a paint job on the front. Would it be possible for an artist to hand paint the top with a brush, on top of a solid/smooth paint?

I really don't have any knowledge of paints. I have painted guitars solid colors and with lacquer before. Would there be some type of reaction? What paints should I use? If this is even possible, would I be able to spray a clear coat on top of the design? I'm going for a rough, kind of rustic/beat-up look, with a smooth, glossy clear over the top.

Thanks for your help,


Edited by deepsouth
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you could hand paint it, but you want to try and keep it as thin as possible, or smooth would be a good way to put it. I don't know what you want to paint it with, but if you aren't painting with lacquer then you don't want to finish it with lacquer, that'll eat through the other paint, not a good thing. You can clear acrylics and uros and even enamels with uro clear. That's what I would use.

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I would have the artist lined up and know what materials they are going to use and co-oridinate your bases and clears.

Also thickness, mil thickness is important for preventing delamination. The tech sheets will be important to figuring that out, you paint manufacturer should provide them.

Personally I would look to an artist that does custom auto or motorcyle work since they are very similar processes. One of the reasons most of this work is done with the airbrush is to keep the paintwork thin and so it can be made level in the clear coats.

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Local guy in my town is got a small business building really nice Fender-style instruments. He's done at least a couple with hand-painted designs by a local artist. Here's one of them. I know they did a fair amount of testing to just to make sure things were compatible. He pretty much only sprays nitro, so I'm sure that's we he did for the clearcoats - try dropping him an email and ask him what they used. He's a nice guy, he's probably willing to share, although I know he's a pretty busy dude. If I run into him again in town I'll ask him.

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