Repainting my RG... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-30-2000, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Italy
Posts: 20
Repainting my RG...

I have decided to change the the finish on my RG550.
Before I give it to somebody that will charge me a ridiculous price for the job, is there any chance somebody could tell me how to do it myself?

I want the new finish to be matte black, almost dark grey plastic, the type of colour you see on black pickup covers...

Do certain paint jobs affect sound?

How do I get the existing (very thick and hard) paint job off, without ruining my guitar?

Any ideas?

Thank you.
DD is offline  
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-30-2000, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Howell, Mi.
Posts: 915
Repainting my RG...

First, welcome to the "Do-it-yourself" club .

Now, to get the finish of your 550, you're going to hear all kinds of advise on stripers. While a chemical soloution is faster, I have found that half a day and a sanding block to produce the best results.

I would recommend this, because it sounds as though you are going to re-paint. You will not need to strip the body to bare wood. All you'll need to do is remove the clear coat layer.

Start with 100 grit. The sides and cut aways will have to be done by hand and this will take some time.

Once the clear coat is removed, switch to 200 grit and spend some time with it applying light pressure. You will notice in some spots that you are removing some color. Don't panic....there is still a sealer coat beneath that. It's OK.

Then switch to 300 grit as a final sanding before applying the new color. Again, let the weight of the block do most of the work.

As for the color you describe, try satin black. will you be clear coating? I would let the pros do that, but some here have done it with great results.

Good luck and show us some pics :biggrin:


(Edited by Jimm VeuCasovic at 9:30 pm on Dec. 30, 2000)
Vaibanez is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Italy
Posts: 20
Repainting my RG...

If I understand correctly, I should sand down the "clear coat" (this is presumably the layer on top of the paint which seems to be a sort of hard varnish) and then paint OVER the existing paint job?

Am I right?

Don't I have to put some sort of primer layer down beforehand, and what kind of paint should I use?

Do I spray paint?

How many layers?

Note that my guitar is a screeming fluorescent yellow colour now, I wonder if the "satin black" will cover that?

Excuse my ignorance, but I have never done this kind of stuff before....

Thanks agian.
DD is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Howell, Mi.
Posts: 915
Repainting my RG...

That's ok DD, it's what we're here for.

Painting over the existing factory paint is the easiest way. They've done all the hard work for you, like sealing and priming.

I would spray a primer coat if the original color is bright. But that would be up to you. Spray paint is OK, but the trick to a really good finish is a dust free (Or as close to it as possible) invironment.

You'll want to use a polyurethane if possible. Check with your local body shop supply store for this. I have had luck finding products from them that hardware stores just don't carry.

Spray as many, or as few coats as you need. You will be the judge of what looks good and what doesn't.

Let each coat dry overnight, and then let the poly cure for atleast 3 days before re-assembling the guitar.


(Edited by Jimm VeuCasovic at 9:01 am on Dec. 31, 2000)
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 3,422
Repainting my RG...

I did a Strat a few years back. *It was a Black Jap Strat with a white pickguard. *The purpose of this guitar was to be just a "beating on" guitar, so I didn't mind going in uneducated. * Keep in mind, that nothing like this forum (or even a mainstream internet) existed at the time, so I didn't have the benefit of friendly advice from strangers.

My intention was to strip the paint down to the bare wood and put a black pearloid pickguard on - this was before all the Mexican ones started coming stock with them - it was strictly found on custom shop strats. *I had to special order it.

I'll get right to the points...

Yes, people told me of all kinds of paint strippers and acetone, etc. *It was all expensive and didn't get me the result I wanted. *I borrowed an electric sander and some wood clamps from my next door neighbor and finally started to make some progress. *I was working in a basement and the residue from all the paint and varnish POLLUTED the place - so beware of that. *If you're in a warm climate, try to do it outside.

Jimm mentioned that you'd have to do the edges by hand...When I got done sanding the front and the back of the body down to the bare wood I was just completely exhausted and didn't want to be doing it anymore. *BUT...what I found was that the electric sander left an absolutely perfect edge of black around the edges and the body cutaway in the back.
I decided to keep the black edge on it - Unfortunately, all of the chemicals I'd used on it had stripped away the laquer, so it was a dull grey. *I bought a can of black stain from Home Dopey and borrowed a can of laquer from my neighbor. *I put a few coats of stain on and laquered it, so the guitar now has a natural wood (oiled) body with a perfect dull-black edge around it. *

It's pretty unique. *I guess the *moral of my story is, if you can make the yellow edge work with the paint you're using, you might come up with a cool result and you won't have to put the effort into sanding by hand (it can't possibly be fun or easy).

and hey - you might even be able to join Stryper!

Happy new year!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Italy
Posts: 20
Repainting my RG...

I think I get the idea now...sounds like hard work but "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do".

I am not sure how to go about the guitar to have a non shiny finish, plastic like...

Don't I need some special paint for that?

Thanks for the help.
DD is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-31-2000, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Alabama
Posts: 334
Repainting my RG...

I have refinished a few guitars but I have made the mistake of stripping the finish down to bare wood. As stated before, just remove the clear coat and sand down the paint until you have a smooth surface (fill dents if needed).
My two cents is to be careful sanding around the edges of the body ! Avoid *flattening the edge radius of body. I have done this and it was tought reconstructing the radius so it would blend well.
Since your guitar is a RG, the radius is very small so the clear coat will probably be very thin in this area, so it should not take much sanding.
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clear coat , custom shop , pearloid pickguard , pickup cover , white pickguard

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