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How to Custom Paint your Electric Guitar (step-by-step) 50+ pics.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by tdc57, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Warning!, this thread is extremely long and contains over 75 Pictures and is approximately 10 pages long!.. Please. Please (for the children) feel free to pour yourself a cold one before your proceed.. If not.. Well… You’ve been warned..


    Hey Team,
    It just me again with another one of my (How to) threads.. This time I’ll be walking the newbie through all of the steps is takes to custom paint your own Solid body Electric Gautier.(I am such a giver!). Of course I’ll be doing my way thou (ie) in a P-40 WWII motif, complete with pin-up girl, bullets holes, grease marks, riveted panels and of course the ever popular Shark teeth.. Ahhh sometimes it’s good to be me.


    Step 1. = Project Foundation:
    The first step in any project is of course KNOWING where your going ie (Have a plan!)..I simply cannot stress that enough people. Without a plan the project will fail. If you need to Please (Write out the steps) first if you have too to get a clear path on which to follow. You do not want to get to the middle of the project and forget where you want to go with it. It’s extremely frustrating and of course time consuming!

    Me.. I’m golden, I already know what I want to do.. I’m refinishing this gautier in a WWII theme (rite up my ally) so I’m going to wing it as I go, but to the untrained eye I might actually appear as really knowing what I’m doing.. Again sometimes it’s just good to me.. hahahahaaa..


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    Step 2. = Dismantle
    Fully disassemble the guitar by taking off all of the hardware, removing the neck, the scratch plate, etc, Just take everything off..


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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  2. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Step 3. = Label everything..
    Don't skip this step people.. I use small plastic sandwich bags, separate everything and put each item it is own bag.


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    Step 4. = Removing the old finish and Prepping for new:
    There are two different schools of thought on this step..


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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010

  3. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Cheep / Quick / will work but it not the proper method is simply Scuff the clear coat using scotch brite pad. (make sure to do this evenly) If you want you can also use 600-800 grit sand paper, something for the paint to bite too.

    The correct way ie Long / Boring / but will look killer at the end!.. is to remove all of the old finish!. That’s correct people IMO.. again IMO only, a guitar’s will lose some of there sound if to much paint is applied, call me old school but I truly belave that you need to have a pristine foundation to build off of and I know from past experiences that prep is 90% of the final product.. If you spend your time here, people will pay for it later..

    I stated out with the old reliable used for the initial stripping of old finish off wood ie. Jasco (paint and epoxy remover) gel.. This stuff is nasty.. please wear gloves, eye protection and a mask..

    After letting the Jasco soak I washed it all off and dried it

    Here I’m using sandpaper, I started with 80grit, then went to 100,150 & 220 grit. The key thing here people!.. Don't overdue it with the 60-80grit paper, you don't want to change the shape of the body, you only want to remove the old finish.

    Once all of the sanding is complete, wet wipe you project and then blow compressed air on it to remove any and all dust.. AGAIN the key here is to remove all of the dust before spraying your initial coat.

    Since I’m / we are working with wood I used wood sanding sealer for foundation of this project, I applauded 3 light (light) coats of sanding sealer then when it was dry I sanded it down with 1000gr paper.. This took off all of the overspray from the sealer and now provides me with a butt baby smooth surface to start from.. Again it PREP.. I can not stress that enough..

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  4. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Step 5. = Applying your first layer of paint..
    Now that I have applied and sanded down the sealer it’s time to start on my base coat.. Here I’m laying down 3 light coats of custom mixed Grey (Black and White) I’m looking for something that will help me achieve that old airplane look (grey / light silver).

    First layer of paint is on and dry now it time to re-install the scratch guard and begin on my layout of the teeth.. Since I’ve using the P-40 Shark teeth as my focal point I’ll be starting here and building the rest of the design around it.. Right or wrong this is just how I do it..


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  5. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Step 6. = Laying out my design..
    Ahh the fun part!.. this is where you have the opportunity to cut out life size objects and ramdely place them through your project piece, looking for any and all size and shape modifactions nessary to move to the next step.



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  6. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Step 7. = Starting on the mouth..
    Remember team the main rule of thumb when painting is start out with your lightest coat first, in my case I’m laying down a good base for the teeth. I’m getting a little fancy here I’m laying down the first few light layers with Perl white then going back over it transparent white, this should help give me depth to the teeth. You can and most will just use white at this point..

    Ok now that I’ve cut out pattern for the teeth and let the color dry I’m now ready to mask off the teeth and install the second lightest color (red) for the tongue.


    Cool now that the tongue is sprayed (looks pretty good) it’s time to cut in my definition line and paint up the roof of the mouth black.. This is easy.. see pics

    Ok now that the paint has dried it’s time to remove the masking and see what we have..

    Cool.. a few touch up areas to address but nothing to serious at this point.. so it’s time to move on (I’ll touch it all up at once at the end of the project)..



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    (First light coat)
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    (Second light coat)
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  7. tdc57

    tdc57

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    (Third and final coat)
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    (Masking off the tongue and working the upper part)

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    OMG.. This is looking killer!...
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  8. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Step 8.
    This is where I’m separating the body into two different half the lower part of the plane and the upper.. My plan is to lay down some stripes (brown and green) above the mouth and carry the lower portion grey. Lets see how it works out..

    I’m not really masking off between the stripes as I want to give the appearance of old used painted metal here.. I’m using a method I call (light masking) ie I’m just holding a paper edge over the line and spraying down, this will provide me with the illusion of a defining line. IMO..


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    IDK???? It just doesn’t feel right..
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  9. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Step 9.=
    I changed the brown and green and I’m happier (but not stoked) on the new brown and green, I also paint up the nose of the plane, for this I’m simply painting up the top point for the guitar in red to simulate the front / nose cone on a P-40. I’m also laying down the initial panel seem lines and starting on the shark eyes.


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    Step 11. = Work it with the nose art!..Got to love it or at least where its heading.
    This is where I adding in some (beloved) nose art, kill symbols finishing up the shark eyes but I still need to name it!?.. All planes had names and this bad boy needs one.. Any suggestions for the team??? I need a NAME??..


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  10. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Step12. = Installing the panel rivets


    Layout the plan of attack.
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    Here is what it looks like in the middle of it all

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    Bam!.. Here it what this bad boy looks like with completed rivets!..


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  11. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Just for fun or a before shot / depends on how you look at it..

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    Ok… this is where I’m stuck and really need the teams (2 cents).. before I proceed forward..

    I want to add bullets holes BUT I’m afraid that it will start to make it look to busy!..
    I plan on writing on the name above the girl (left hand side) but other than that I just don't know??? I want to add them, I know I can make them look killer but will it be too much!?? I think I’m already there / on that line and the bullets holes will simple put me over the edge??

    TEAM.. Your thoughts please!...


    PS.
    Please stay tuned for the rest of the project.. I still need to add the name, clean up the girl and few rivets, add some rust and grease marks (maybe??, I’m still debating) plus I have really started on the other side yet either and then I need to install everything back up.. Ooo by the way I called the pickup manufacture and was told that I’m ok to paint up (certain areas of the pickup’s) So I’m looking to the forward the final product..

    Step 13 – 17
    TBD..


    Thank you for your time team and have a great one

    Link..

    P.S.
    Also you must come back and see what I do the neck!.. Yes this gets a complete make over to mach its new body..
     
  12. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    This has been fun to watch as it unfolded over the past few minutes.

    I once started a guitar refinishing project. A Peavey T-60. Once I disassembled it, I gave up.

    Like your first post says, "Have a plan".
     
  13. wolf19r

    wolf19r Problem Solved!

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    I really like this project! It's really cool.
     
  14. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    How well will that paint hold up on that pickguard?
     
  15. El_Ron1

    El_Ron1 AAAAAAAAGHHH!!!

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    Shoot us a Zombah Guitahhhhhh! :rock:
     
  16. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    Oh, I guess a dead pirate's ghost isn't good enough.

    I see how it is.
     
  17. tdc57

    tdc57

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    Thanks Sir, I’m glad you like it..

    It was a fun project.

    TDC




    Thanks Sir.. I’m glad you like it..





    Well… when it’s all done I’ll aply 3 coats of clear and it should be good to go.. the clear might get scratched, but that just buffs out..





    Hahahaaaa.. that should be coming in a week or two.. :supergrin:
     
  18. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    What kind of clear are you using? Some sort of epoxy?
     
  19. tdc57

    tdc57

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  20. kestrou

    kestrou Pin Member #4

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    A Peavey T-60? Was this back in the 80s? I had a Peavey T-40 bass at one point then, and my cousin (a 6-string twanger) had a T-60. Not bad instruments for their day! :thumbsup:

    kestrou