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Painting A Design Over The Factory Finish

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I have a friend with a Squire bass, and he wants a design painted on it. We don't want to strip off the factory black finish, but to paint the design on top of the finish. Any thoughts? I'm a professional furniture maker, but I've never tackled a guitar before.

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if you are using car paints... here's what you do...

scuff the entire finish with a scotchbrite (an autobody store will let you know which one to use)

clean it with prep all...

Mask the areas for your design... and do your design in base coat

Spray a coat of intercoat clear like DBC500 between each color layer.

spray a final coat of DBC 500.

Spray two coats of Urethane clear.. wait a week. sand it level and spray two more coats.. wait at least a couple days and polish 'er our.

the first two coats are two level your tape marks.. you MAY be able to get away with just two coats and be able to level sand and polish without breaking through to the color.. but i usually dont risk it!!!!

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i wouldnt think being a furniture maker he would use automotive paints. I would think he would stick to more familiar finishes. but either way the factory finishes are pretty much bullet proof and not much will hurt them so you will be safe with just about any finish over it.

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Thanks. I can use auto body paint. I painted a couple of cars way back in high school and early college back when I was building hot rods. They looked OK. I was thinking of something less invasive. I was hoping there might be a way to keep the factory finish without having to do the whole body. Sort of like pin striping over a car's finish. I think I'm just going to paint the pick guard with the design and leave the finish alone since it's not scuffed up or damaged. I may paint another one someday.

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