Painting guitars - Jemsite
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 554
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Painting guitars

For those builders out there, I was wondering what type of gear you use to paint a guitar, and what type of paints. I realise that it is possible to do a good job with rattle cans, but I'm not sure that one can do a really good job with them.

I have one to paint, and am considering buying an HVLP touch up gun to do the work. Would I need a full-on HVLP gun, or would the smaller one do? And will a cheap gun work, or should I pop for a lower-end Devilbiss?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plainfield, IL
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Re: Painting guitars

I currently use a Devilbiss I got from TCPGlobal for like $120 or so? It came with 2 guns, and sprays my clears like glass, base coats, and primes! They definately work great - but I also have never used anything else. I'm sure if I played with a $500 SATA I'd know the difference.

The big question here is : Do you have a compressor powerfull enough to run an HVLP. When I got mine, the CFM requiremetns for my HVLP pretty muich required a 60 gallon compressor. Ic ouldn;t find anything smaller with the output necessary to run them.

A touchup gun probably won't spray your clear as nice either. I use a regular size, and when clearing, I have that sucker mostly full of clear. I like to really lay it on. You will be limited with the touchup gun - you could always mix up more, but if you run out mid spray - that sucks.

Then after you clear it, paint it etc. you have al lthe different sanding, cutting, buffing, etc. that needs to be done. This stuff isn't cheap.

If this is a one-off your going to do - it would probably be cheaper for you to have someone do it for you...

Just my opinion - I was once where you were, and now here I am thousands of dollars later, able to do it! Aside from thousands of dollars, lots of instruction too from a local painter.

Hope this helps some. Feel free to ask me anything else - I can give you some good info.
Rodzo is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-09-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 554
Reviews: 6
Re: Painting guitars

This might not be a one off.....I have designs on possibly doing some other guitars as well.

As for the buffing, et al, I have a good amount of experience with that. I sprayed the entire side of one of my cars with rattle cans of single stage automotive paint, then colorsanded and buffed -- it came out great. Obviously a guitar is a bit different, as one is dealing with smaller surfaces and different materials.

The compressor I have doesn't sound strong enough, from what you say. It's older, and while it still works, it doesn't work well. Perhaps I would need to upgrade. That might take me to the rattle cans again, but I am not sure how good of a cleear I can get in a can. I'd want something with a fairly high solids count. I guess one option would be to get the body done as far as I can, and get a body shop to hit it with some clear on the side.

I guess another question would be what to use as a sealer after sanding. The one I am painting is made of ash, and would need some sealing, otherwise the grain will show through.

Last edited by Philboski; 01-09-2010 at 12:10 PM.
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