To many musicians their guitar is their prized possession, often people will own the same guitar for years, even decades. However, this can become embarrassing as either the guitar was purchased during a younger phase of their life when they had different personal preferences, preferences which they have now outgrown. Alternatively, through extensive usage the guitar’s original coating colour has become faded or the coating’s casing has become dented or chipped.
Many guitar owners assume that the simplest and most cost effective means of getting that new guitar look is to actually purchase a new guitar. This is because professional guitar repair shops offer recoating and colour changing services that often cost little less than the purchase of a new instrument.
However, there is an alternative means of giving your guitar a facelift that is becoming increasingly popular- to spray paint it. There are a number of key reasons for the popularity of spray painting guitars, these include:
- Low Cost: Unlike other methods of restoring or giving a guitar a new look, spray paint is incredibly inexpensive. Often the only financial expenditure required is the purchase of the spray cans themselves. In many cases a spray can is purchasable for as little as just £7.99.
- Selection of Colours Available: Spray paint is available in any colour that you require and desire. If you cannot find the colour of your choosing, then the majority of leading spray paint suppliers provide a colour matching service, enabling you to custom order spray paint can of your chosen colour.
- Selection of Coatings Available: It is not just a vast selection of colours that are available in spray paint cans, there is also a vast range of coatings options. These coating options vary from conventional coatings, such as high gloss finishes and matt finish, through to more contemporary finishes that are metallic based. This enables you to not only select your desired colour for your guitar but also to select a specific coating in order to create your perfect customisation.
Spray painting your guitar can be achieved quickly and with relatively little inconvenience. However in order to achieve the best effects it is important that the correct preparation is observed. In order to ensure you achieve the optimum results when giving your guitar a new look, we have provided a comprehensive guide.
Prepare Your Guitar:
First you should remove the strings from your guitar, unless you intend to give your guitar some new strings following the spraying process, then keep them close by as you will need these later. Once the strings have been removed, inspect the surface of the guitar in order to assess how it is going to be painted. As part of this process you should identify any and all areas of the instrument that you do not intend to recoat, remember these surfaces as they will be masked later.
If your guitar has been painted previously then this paint should be removed, exposing the underlying casing substrate. For this process you should avoid the use of chemicals, such as chemical dipping or paint remover, as these may have adverse effects on your guitar. The best course of action is to take some sandpaper and to run this over the entirety of the guitar’s surface, ensuring the paint is removed and that the surface is smooth. If the guitar has not been painted previously, it should still be sanded in order to ensure a smooth surface. This is important as it provides a strong foundation for the spray paint to be applied to.
Once you are satisfied with the sanding, it is time to clean the guitar. This is important as any dirt or dust that is on the surface will result in an uneven coating, and in a worst case scenario can result in complete failure of the coating itself. In order to clean the guitar, fill a bucket with soapy water and take a damp cloth then rub it across the entirety of the guitar’s surface. Once satisfied, allow the guitar to dry before commencing spraying.
Prepare Surrounding Area:
Whilst waiting for the guitar to dry, you can prepare the area surrounding where you intend to spray. Ideally spraying should be done outside, as this provides the best airflow for the aerosols released during the process. Once you have identified a suitable area, place some rags down on the surrounding ground. Also identify any other surfaces, these can be covered using newspaper and masking tape. This is important, as due to the spray based method of application, paint droplets can spread and land on the surrounding area.
Mask The Guitar
Earlier you identified areas of the guitar that you do not want to recoat. Now is the time to cover these areas in order to prevent them from being recoated. To do this is simple, take some masking tape and apply it to these areas, apply the tape in straight lines across the areas with a slight overlap on the previous tape layer.
The Spraying Process For Your Guitar:
Once you have prepared the guitar and the spraying area, it is time to give your guitar a new look. For the best results, follow the steps beneath:
- Test the spray paint: Most spray paint cans contain mixed paint, therefore application results can vary. In order to avoid disappointment, test the spray paint on some scrap paper or cardboard.
- Apply the spray paint: Once you have tested the colour and have prepared you guitar, it is time to begin spraying. For the best results, hold the can at least 30cm from the guitar’s surface throughout the process. In terms of application, this should be done in slow steady motions from left to right. Begin the spray slightly before the guitar and end slightly after it, this will ensure a constant flow of paint across the guitar’s surface.
- Allow to dry: On the can, guidelines for drying time will be provided. Allow the guitar to dry for this period.
- Respray if required: If you are unhappy with the original coating, a second or even a third may be required to achieve the optimum results. Apply further coatings as required.