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How To Build Guitars

PAINT AND POLISH Starting on the neck

Ok now the body complete (without touch ups) I’m starting on the neck.. (DON’T PUT TO MUCH PAINT ON IT)  They advised me that to much paint will have a dentening in the overall sound of the instrument.. So I ditched my idea of completely painting it up and went with a more subtle aproach.. I just lined the neck with bullet holes and added a Felix to the head..

(Final touch up)
This is where you have the opportunity to go back through your project with a fine detail EYE and fix everything that you need to / or can live with depending on how you look it at.. This is where I spend a LOT OF TIME.. I believe the devil is in the details and although I have a lot to still learn I’m really happy with how this project is turning out.. I personally spent 2-3 days in this phase, paint needs to dry a fresh eye will always point out something that needs to be fixed.. Just spend some time looking at it to make sure that your happy with it..

Step 17: Applying a finish..
As with may things in life you have a few choices here to chose, you can use a clear (matt) finish go with a simi or high gloss clear coat.. IMO firearms are done in (Matt) but instruments / art should be in gloss.. After researching the different types of finishes that are used on solid body guitars
A. Nitro
B. Poly
C. Lacquer
D. Wax

I decided to go with a Poly (Auto body in a can) MAX 2k Glamour High Gloss Clear Coat.


So that I’ve decided on the type of finish is was time to actually apply it. I stated by performing a final clean on the instrument and cleaning up my shop . Then I hung everything up so I can get to everything independently of each other and installed the clear..

This is how I applied the clear coat.
I started out with a light mist and waited 15 min, then I applied 4 more medium coats allowing 20 minuets to dry between coats (its 80 degrees here so the heat helped it all dry out). I then waited approximately 8 hrs before removing them from there hanging area.

Wet sand (or don’t!) / apply final finish..
Again just in life you have a few choices here too.. You can either
A. leave it as is and simply reassemble it
B. you can wet sand it

I like to go the extra mile and know it will pay off so I’m wet sanding everything. Start out with water with dish soap added to it and 1000 grit paper, Then moved up to 1500 grit paper and eventually ended up with 2000 grit paper.. Leaving me with a baby butt smooth finish.. In order to obtain the high gloss look I’ve used a light rubbing compound and then finished it up with some polish… PLEASE NOTE.. I did not say wax.. you can not!… I repeat you can NOT use wax on this product (max 2k) you must wait 90 days first!.. Wax won’t let the new paint’s solvents escape, thus resulting in a hazy finish. and yes there is huge difference between wax and polish..

Before wet sanding:

After wet sanding:

Re-install it all.
Ok.. now (gently) put it all back together. Spend some time here and polished up my chrome pieces, painted the knobs to match there surroundings,  It’s all done

A Few builder side notes / Tips:
• When working with masking (templates) always start painting on it and move in towards the center and apply the paint in light even coats this will really help cut down on your paint buildup when you remove the masking away..
• Allow ample time for the paint to dry between coats