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How To Build Guitars


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Cheep / Quick / will work but it not the proper method is simply Scuff the clear coat using scotch brite pad. (make sure to do this evenly) If you want you can also use 600-800 grit sand paper, something for the paint to bite too.

The correct way is Long and Boring , but it will look a nice at the end!.. is to remove all of the old finish!. Guitar’s will lose some of there sound if to much paint is applied, I truly beleve that you need to have a pristine foundation to build off of and I know from past experiences that prep is 90% of the final product.. If you spend your time here, people will pay for it later..

Start out with the old reliable used for the initial stripping of old finish off wood ie. Jasco (paint and epoxy remover) gel.. This stuff is nasty.. please wear gloves, eye protection and a mask..

After letting the Jasco soak I washed it all off and dried it

Here I’m using sandpaper, I started with 80 grit sand paper, then went to 100,150 & 220 grit. The key thing here people!.. Don’t overdue it with the 60-80 grit paper, you don’t want to change the shape of the body, you only want to remove the old finish.

Once all sanding is complete, wet wipe your project and then blow compressed air on it to remove any and all dust.. AGAIN the key here is to remove all of the dust before spraying your initial coat.

Wood sanding sealer for foundation of this project, I applauded 3 light (light) coats of sanding sealer then when it was dry I sanded it down with 1000gr paper.. This took off all of the overspray from the sealer and now provides me with a butt baby smooth surface to start from.. Again it PREP.. I can not stress that enough..

Applying your first layer of paint.. auto color
Now that I have applied and sanded down the sealer it’s time to start on my base coat.. Here I’m laying down 3 light coats of custom mixed Grey (Black and White) I’m looking for something that will help me achieve that old airplane look (grey / light silver).

First layer of paint is on and dry now it time to re-install the scratch guard and begin on my layout of the teeth.. Since I’ve using the P-40 Shark teeth as my focal point I’ll be starting here and building the rest of the design around it.. Right or wrong this is just how I do it..

Laying out my design..
This is where you have to cut out life size objects and randemly place them through your project piece, looking for any and all size and shape modifactions nessasary to move to the next step.

Starting on the mouth..
Remember the main rule of thumb when painting is start out with your lightest coat first, in my case I’m laying down a good base for the teeth. I’m getting a little fancy here I’m laying down the first few light layers with Perl white then going back over it transparent white, this should help give me depth to the teeth. You can and most will just use white at this point..

Now that I’ve cut out pattern for the teeth and let the color dry I’m now ready to mask off the teeth and install the second lightest color (red) for the tongue.

Now that the tongue is sprayed (looks pretty good) it’s time to cut in my definition line and paint up the roof of the mouth black.. This is easy.. see pics

Ok now that the paint has dried it’s time to remove the masking and see what we have..

Cool.. a few touch up areas to address but nothing to serious at this point.. so it’s time to move on (I’ll touch it all up at once at the end of the project)..

(Masking off the tongue and working the upper part)

This is where I’m separating the body into two different half the lower part of the plane and the upper.. My plan is to lay down some stripes (brown and green) above the mouth and carry the lower portion grey. Lets see how it works out..

I’m not really masking off between the stripes as I want to give the appearance of old used painted metal here.. I’m using a method I call (light masking tape) ie I’m just holding a paper edge over the line and spraying down, this will provide me with the illusion of a defining line. IMO..

I changed the brown and green and I’m happier (but not stoked) on the new brown and green, I also paint up the nose of the plane, for this I’m simply painting up the top point for the guitar in red to simulate the front / nose cone on a P-40. I’m also laying down the initial panel seem lines and starting on the shark eyes.

Layout the plan of attack.

What it looks like in the middle of it all

Here it what this bad boy looks like with completed rivets!..