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OK -- I got all of the red paint off of the guitar, but that bullet-proof poly was just too much.  I sanded a lot of the poly off, and even tried my Wagner Heat Gun, but no luck.  After a good cleaning with mineral spirits and naphtha, I sprayed the body with a coat of shellac-based BINS primer.  Here is a shot of the body drying.

Be careful with this stuff.  It runs and is difficult to work sometimes.  However, it gives a great base for any kind of paint.

Safety Tip:  If you get a run in this paint, let it dry completely before you attempt to scrape or sand the run.  If it is still damp, it will form a horrible depression that is hard to cover up.  Practice on scrap!

Here is the first coat of the Paintscratch paint on the body.  When the first coat went on it was clear that this was the proper color.

That original red paint would have made our OCD kick in and made us hate this guitar.

Safety Tip:  Always make sure you use a quality, OSHA-approved mask when spraying this paint.  It is very smelly and powerful.  Make sure you read and comply with the safety data for the paint.

Step 3.  Start on the Graphics

Once we got some paint on the body and it was drying, attention turned to starting the graphics.  We decided to start on the pickguard while the body was still being prepped.

We copied some graphics from the internet, and imported them into CorelDraw.  We measured the pickguard, set up the measurements as guides in CorelDraw, and stretched the graphic to match the exact size of the pickguard.  Once stretched and trimmed, we printed the graphic on regular paper.

With the printed graphic in hand, we placed carbon tracing paper, available at craft stores, over the pickguard and taped it into place.  We then placed the graphic over the pickguard, lining it up in front of the window (as a back light), and quickly and securely taped it down.  Once secure, we started tracing.

Here is a shot of the pickguard with the traced graphics.  Note how clean the graphics are on the pickguard.

Safety Tip 1:  Make sure you clean the pickguard with naphtha prior to tracing.  You have to get all of those fingerprints and other contaminants off.

Saftey Tip 2:  Use a sharp pencil for tracing, and take your time.

Once the pattern was transferred, GuitarAttack's Michele started painting.  She is a great artist, and quickly produced this pattern with acrylic paints.  She used FolkArt brand paints by Plaid.  The turquoise color is "Calypso Sky #524", and the black is "Pure Black #479."

Sometimes you can find these paints at Wal-Mart in the craft section.  A safe bet is Michael's or Hobby Lobby.

Here is the finished pickguard, ready to be loaded with electronics.

After Michele finished the painting, I sprayed the entire pickguard with Krylon Gloss Acrylic Clear coating.  I tested the spray on a back plate with some of the same paint applied.  When I was satisfied the spray wouldn't lift the paint, I started with mist coats on the graphics.  The color of the turquoise turned out great!


Next up...get the body ready for the artist!



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