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What's Going On With My Guitar?


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I just bought a fender strat style guitar kit that i have to put together and whatnot. the body is made of alder, and it came with some kind of poly urethane sealer already on the wood and sanded really smooth. right now I'm tryin to paint the body of the thing and i have run into something that I don't know what's going on. I went to the local napa and picked up some spray paint. it's like red metallic with little metal specs in it. i also got some primer, and some clear coat. i started priming the body and everything was workin out good. it dried, i sanded it down, good. i put a bunch of coats of paint on it and made sure i had complete coverage so the primer wasn't showing. then, while the paint was sitll tacky, i put i think 4 coats of clear on so i had something to wet sand smooth. two days later, i took the guitar down from where it was hanging to dry, and took it outside and set it on some newspaper. i got some wet sand paper, 1500 grit, and a flexible type block for sanding. i put water on the paper, and water on the guitar, and began to sand on it just like you would wet sand a car. i went over the front a couple times, flipped it over, got the back about 3 times. then when i flipped it over to do the fron again, i noticed something that scared me. where all the holes are drilled in the body (for the bridge, pickguard, and whatnot) i could see the wood swelling in vertical lines over the holes. this was happening on all the holes in the front and back of the body. and that is what brings me to the computer. I have no idea what to do now, and don't know what caused this problem. is it the fact that i got water in the holes? i don't know. could someone help me out here??????????????????????????????????

sorry this was so long, i just thought that if i told the whole story, someone might be able to tell me what i did wrong.

Keep Rockin :D

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I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind you're finishing process, but the actual problem you're running into is probably caused by getting water in the holes. This causes the wood beneath to swell and crack the finish.


so should i sand the whole thing down and start over?

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As Wes just said, you can not wet sand with water if the holes are not COMPLETELY sealed. If there is any wood what so ever open, it will soak up the water, swell and crack the finish. You're best bet is to sand it back down, give it a week or two to dry out completely and start over again. NExt time, do not do anything more than a quick scuff sand to help the next coat adhere. If you are using metallics or flakes, you want to get a decent number of coats on before you touch it with sand paper, otherwise you will knock over the flakes, and lose the effect. I would say at least four coats. If you feel you need to wet sand that early in the process, I would say to use either mineral spirits or even better is naptha. They will evaporate fairly quickly, but will not leave any oil on the finish, and will not swell the wood like water does. I like to use mineral oil for the final wetsanding because it lubricates nicely, and does not evaporate quickly.

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