D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job? - How is it done? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2001, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job? - How is it done?

With the seemingly small (2?) number of custom shops that can produce a swirl paint job, it leads me to ask the following questions.

How is the swirl paint done? Can it be done at home?

The only thing I've been able to find about this, is that the guitar is submerged into a tub of water and paint is applied on top of the water (acrylic, I think). *The guitar is slowly pulled up through the paint.

I'm scratch-building a guitar, and want to explore this as a finish *option. *If anyone can provide insight, or specific details, please do. *

If nothing else, it would be interesting to learn how this fantastic finish is created.


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2001, 01:06 AM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

I've been doing some tests and have had very good success so far. *It's taken me 11 years to figure this out (granted I haven't tried anything until last year) so I'm not telling everything but.........
I will say, I'm not using acrylics, any water soluble paint won't do what you need I've concluded.
I've been using PPG concept paints with good success.
I have no plans on doing swirls, I don't have the time or desire really, I tried it for personal reasons only and for the same reasons that ATD and Herc won't tell the secret, I'm keeping my mouth shut too. *That and I told Darren if I figured it out I wouldn't say anything.
Good luck with the swirls!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2001, 01:31 AM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

Here's the secret:

Call Darren at About Time Designs (or call Herc). *
Have it done by a pro. *Save yourself the headaches and the $$$ you'll spend experimenting.

How good is Darren? *Well...he just swirled a prosthesis. *
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2001, 03:16 PM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

I've actually seen Darren do a swirl. It wasn't on a guitar. It was on a boogie board. I'm not going to say how he did it out of respect for the artist, but I will say that the concept is extremely simple. The hard part is truly the artistic part. Anybody can run through the motions, but the only way you are going to get a really good swirl, and this is almost exactly what Darren told me, is to experiment. It took him a long time to figure out what makes a successful swirl. Good Luck.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2001, 05:42 PM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

thanks AB drop me a line dude the number is on the site or e-mail me and I will send it to you
Thanks again
P.S. It's not terribly hard to do, the thing is all the time it takes to get the heart of it . The swirl is in my blood and has been ever since I figured it out *that *is why *I dedicated my life work to it . I feel that if your into trying
to swirl go for it ,it will be messy and the paints may cost you alittle bit . Like I said if you get it down it is fun and every thing you do is exciting. My latest thing I just did was a prosthisis for a woman a knee joint from a fellow Jemster who works for the company that makes them. I did it for free just to see how it would turn out and the fact that this woman has already paid enough . Also I just shipped out a Harley ,split tanks, front fender *and rear fender my god they turned out killer I will have pictures up on the site within the next week or so please check it out . I also will have picture of the knee joint . I am in the process of finishing up five guitars this week and will have open time for new project so if you get upset at doing it please feel free to drop me a line and send it in .
All the best and keep rockin
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2001, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

Actually the paint I was thinking of was urethane....

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a pro do it. *With all of the money and effort I'm putting into this project, I don't want to ruin it by me applying a shoddy paint job .

It's just that the stories about eight month+ turn around times, and $400+ prices are a bit off-putting. *I don't mind paying for quality and professionalism, but I'm not sure at this point that this project merits that.

In general, however, what state does the body need to be in to send it off to be swirled? *Does it have to be sealed? Just finish sanded? Grain filled? *Having it done is a very real possibility that I will consider.

Thanks in advance for all of the advice and help.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2001, 11:00 AM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

Silly the United States lmao!! The body would either have to be sanded to wood or you could leave the original paint on if you dont want to go through the hassele of stripping . We seal the body then prime it then base white and swirl and then clear and if the body has minor repair to be done before we start those processes we fill any chips or dents unless it is totally screwed we dont charge extra for that . I under stand what your price and time gripes are but you will under stand them soon also if you do a proffessional job you will surely understand .
Darren A.T.D.
If you need to have it cleared or do want it done please give me a call I will be glad to help you out .
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2001, 01:52 PM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

What about using oil-based paints? I guess the point is that the paint floats on the water and does not get mixed or diluted in any way.

Darren...if i may call you by name...how close can you replicate EXACTLY a swirl you've done? I'm referring in particular to Vai's personal prototype [i've been dreaming about that ever since i saw her on the namm photos].

I'm arguing iwith myself n my head wether i should swirl my rg520.

(Edited by keith at 7:59 pm on Mar. 17, 2001)
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-2001, 06:45 PM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

I can get them pretty close but never exact it's just the nature of the beast. That proto was one of my fav's also
but as I did the run many became my favs it was so hard picking out one . As it was I walked around the factory with about five of them the first day then four the next and so on till I did the one I kept. I knew she was the one but I still had one more that I wanted and I have not seen her turn up yet . But I told this gentelman over there if he was going to keep any of them for him self that that should be the one . It was unreal also it was the last day I was there picking up my equiptment and getting ready to go to the airport before I made my final choice . and the other one stayed in the office so I bet that one is in the Ibanez top guys possession now and we will never see it .
Darren( the two I was freaking over some of the people over there didnt think they were the best but it is all in the eye's of the beholder im just glad to be one of the lucky people to be holdin her 001/300 !!!!)
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-01-2001, 07:37 AM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

I just wish I had your dilemma :biggrin: !!

BTW, tnx for the reply man.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2001, 11:37 PM
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D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job?

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2003, 05:30 AM
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Can anyone Ū a way to make art???
Swirl/Marbelizing/Boraxing or what you prefer to call it, is just a way to achieve a sertain pattern of colour on an object.
Itīs like I would register and trademark the use of a brush or airbrushing, isnīt it???

You can perhaps register the final art but can U register the way to achieve it?

Iīve found the basic way how I can swirl my own products, guitars e.t.c, and will try it out ASAP, since I feel itīs a cool way to redecorate most of my old junk here at home

Rock On.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 08:05 PM
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instructions for swirl painting *SIMPLE*

looked on google for "guitar swirl paint" and one of the first ones that came up gives instructions as well as pics on how to do a DIY swirl paint job.

here's the link


i'm gonna do this on my rg470 in a month or so and post some pics on how it turned out. maybe some of the mystery to the swirl paint job will be revealed to some now.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 04:57 AM
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hope all goes well man. Lets hope it doesnt chip off as easy as the standard 470 finish does (i am that soldier)
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 09:38 AM
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Re: D.I.Y. Swirl Paint Job? - How is it done?

theres also a really simple explanation of how its done here

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custom shop , herc fede

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