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Spray paints...


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Hey guys!

I'm going to be painting a guitar using sprays very soon, and i was needing to know if there is any type that i should avoid...

From everything you all have said, i should avoid enamel, right? But what about acrylic enamel? That seems to be what the majority of paints i find are. What should i use? Any tips to get the finished product looking it's best?

Next question...

It seems like after spraying, well, anything with spray paint, it always smells REALLY strongly of it for a pretty long period of time... anything i can do to shorten or eliminate this?

Okay, one more... :D

What i'm worried about is the sanding in between coats part. What paper to use, how mush to sand, etc... if anyone has first-hand experience with this, it would be a lot more helpful than pointing me towards a tutorial. All tips are welcome!

Please help soon!


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Hi Ben topic moved :D

Anyway you don't really need to avoid enamel paints unless of course your planning on spraying them on top of a lacquer finish which is a big misteak.

My own experiance will say stay away from the brand name Rust-oleum simply because it run's quicker than you or me after getting our fill at a cheap mexican buffet.......

Personally I tend to stick with either Testors model paint's or Krylon if I'm going to use a spray can. But that's just my preference, when I'm in Europe I go with Plasti-cote which is manufactured out of a different factory than over in the states. B)

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i have used duplicolor products before when working on my vw's, (my last expensive hobby) and painted 2 complete cars with spray cans, and touched up several bondo spots on another. they didnt look bad at all for a do it yourself spray can job, so I wouldn't see any reason why you couldn't spray a guitar body with some. I have never tried it, I am thinking of trying out the ReRanch stuff since its been suggested to me here on the Forum but good luck if you go with regular spray paint. I liked the duplicolor's spray tips, i think they are better than some of the others tips, but thats my opinion and btw my garage always reeked of spray paint smell after a while when i did those cars, i think your just going to have to be stuck with that smell for a while, sorry :D but heres a suggestion, if your going to spray in a garage and have some laying around, some old sheets and just hang them onto the rails that the doors are attached to and tack one on the top of the door so it hangs down and that you now have a 3 sided drop cloth walls with the door opened for ventiliation and so that everything else in the garage is protected from overspray and it helps keep some of the smell outta the garage, it worked for me the second time i painted my other vw and my mom was happy because i had gotten some overspray on the wall the first time, it didnt eliminate the smell entirely but it helped, B) also our water heater is in the garage so be careful with any open flame and spray paint, that was another concern of mine, hopefully you wont have to worry about that, hope that info will help

take care


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I'm having some really good results with the brand Tempo Acrylic Lacquer and the Tempo clear gloss acrylic lacquer. It's only $5.49 for a 12oz can too, vs $9 for the 13oz stewmac nitro stuff. It is almost impossible to get runs with this stuff.. the spray nozzle can go from horiz to vert, it's working out GREAT. I figured since nitro is friggin impossible to get other than online, and that poly is the bomb but I don't have a gun yet, the acrylic lacquer was my next option. I found a place here in Arizona called Space Age Paints that has over 25,000 colors! The store is insane. Anyways, acrylic lacquer is working great. A lot of the guitar companies use acrylic lacquer ...

btw... Home Depot, Lowes, Pep Boys, etc don't carry acrylic lacquer, just acrylic enamel which I did not want to go with. You'll have to score some at a higher end automotive joint or something. I also spent $1.29 at WalMart and bought that "Can Gun" thing... it absolutely RULES. no finger fatigue and you have more control over the spray. kickass setup.

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SWEET! rock

Thanks for all of the tips, guys! It doesn't seem as if this will be too hard after all!

Okay, here's one i forgot to ask, too. How many cans will i need to do a complete body and matching headstock face?

Alright, so acrylic enamel is okay... so what kind of clear shall i put on top of that? Any tips on the sanding process?

Alright, let me tell you guys the kind of finish i'm thinking of doing here.... the best example i can offer is, unfortunately, from a very horrible { in my opnion } band's guitar player...

Did anyone see that VH1 special where all of those newish bands did Aerosmith tunes? Well, if you did, then you probably got a good glimpse of Kid rock's lead guitar player's Les Paul. It was black and silver, and the colours were divided on the body by a curve down the middle { sort of like the same curvature as that of the halves of a Yin Yang}. It's kinda hard to explain, so i hope someone knows what i'm talking about. Anyway, i think it looks totally bad-ass, so i'd like to do my guitar in silver and another colour { maybe metallic blue... please offer any suggestions} like that. So, how would you guys suggest doing this kind of paint job? Or would it be too hard to do by myself?

Thanks for all the help!!!

Please post soon,


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It goes without saying practice this on spare wood first. Me, I'm still in the practice stage, but getting better and better results.

1. Tape off all the parts of the guitar that can't be removed but that you don't want painted.

2. Paint THE ENTIRE guitar the lightest of the colors you want to use (this is to prevent possible bleed thru. I've seen people create some gorgeous finishes by using bleed-thru bassecoats to shade the top coat.)

3. When your light color dries tape off the ENTIRE guitar.

4. Draw the design you want on the masking tape. You might want to go over it again with an ink pen as it's been my experience that pencil doesn't show up well with masking tape.

5. Now this is the fun part. Take an X-Acto knife (although I've seen a LOT of people use razor blades for this, an X-acto knife feels more natural to me so that's what I used the last time I did this) and GENTLY cut the tape, tracing your pattern. Remember you ONLY want to cut the tape, not the wood (unless you're using stains, then, apparently, a light scoring of the wood helps stop bleeding)

6. Pull off the tape in the areas you want to tape. That is if you're doing silver and metallic blue, the part(s) you want to remain silver will be under the tape, the other parts will be uncovered.

7. Spray away with your dark color.

Just repeat the process for as many colors as you want.

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Wow! Thank you bery much for the excellent tips, GEdward! I'll be sweating my ass off while cutting the tape, but that seems to be the best possible way to do it!


1. How many cans of paint?

2. What type of clear to use over acrylic enamal?

3. What about sanding between coats? Is this even necessary? How do i do it, and with what paper?

Thanks guys, you're all a great help!


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Usually you will only need one can of paint. You need to primer coat the body first though, this will allow you to use less paint. For the clear coat, use acrylic enamel high gloss clear. I'd actually recommend acr lacquer instead of enamel though. Sanding between coats... sand your primer coat totally smooth.. then spray the color coat. sand that fairly smooth. the clear coats need to be baby ass smooth and you will probably use about 3 cans. my project is almost done and I'll post the link soon. Just got done staining my quilt top. Here is a pic ofstain with one coat sanding sealer ...

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Holy crap that guitar is going to be gorgeous :D !!! Share the specs, please! 6 or 7-string? That thing looks freaking amazing!!! Reminds me of my blue Ibanez USRG10.

Do you mean you'd reccomend acyrlic laquer for the paint of just for the clear?

What grit paper do i use to sand eveything? I'm sorry if i misunderstood, but do i have to sand the clearcoat, too?

Also, this may be a stupid question, but... do i have to put a coat of sanding sealer on the bare wood spots, or could i just primer over the bare wood? Oh, what type and colour of primer should i use?



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It's an Ibanez RG7-621 7 string that I bought used for $180 with the case. The whole friggin thing can be

seen here:


Click on Ibanez Refinish link... I've got it current as of about an hour ago. My entire right hand is blue by the way, thanks to a faulty glove that had a hole in it... lovely.

Check out the link and then if you have more q's fire away. As for the general questions, I would use the lacquer for everything, paint and clear coats. Don't MIX lacquer and enamel! Heh. And yes, you have to use sanding sealer on the bare wood. Then you put the primer on, then you do the color, then you spray the clear. The whole thing with gory photos is on my site. The type and color or primer is up to you. I've used both the white Zinnser B.I.N.'s as well as dark grey Sherwin Williams Ultra-Fill. You are going to be using everything from 120grit all the way up to 2000grit, but for most of the dirty work you will be hovering around the 220-400 range. Peace.

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