How to spray paint guitar

Planning to replace an old and out-of-date guitar? Maybe you have a guitar from your friend which you have borrowed and you are looking for a way to return it to its original state.

Or maybe you simply want to give a new look to your old guitar. In order to do so, you will have to make sure that you know how to paint it properly.

spray painting guitar

This guide is for those newbies who wanted to give their guitar a new look but didn’t want to mess up the surface of the guitar.

So, in order to achieve the best, result out of your work then follow each step explained in this guide religiously.

Refinishing and repainting a guitar is actually pretty simple, if you know what you’re doing.

Here’s a quick guide to the basics of refinishing a guitar, along with some tips that will help you get the best results.

Tools you need to spray paint guitar

These are some tools which you need in spray painting process of guitar. With these tools you will be able to give your favorite guitar a new look.

  • Sanding paper
  • Vacuum cleaner for cleaning of residues
  • Primer
  • Spray cans or paint
  • Spray gun (if you decide to use spray cans)
  • Dust mask and eyeglasses for protection
  • Screwdriver for unscrewing guitar
  • Masking tape for covering
  • Clear coat

Disassemble the guitar first

You will need to unscrew all the screws. Use the correct screwdriver to do so and remember where they came from.

When you remove the screws, remove the parts but leave them in the same order. Don’t mix them up or you will have to remember how they were and put them back together again.

The bridge and the frets should be removed as well. Hint: The bridge is at the top.

Remove the Neck of the guitar for painting

First of all, you will have to remove the strings from the guitar. Then unscrew the truss rod cover on the headstock.

Then loosen the truss rod. Let it stay loose for some time. Next, loosen the tuners and take them off completely.

Then remove the neck screws. Some of these screws may be hidden behind the truss rod cover. Take them out as well.

Then turn the guitar over and push the neck inwards, thus exposing the neck joint. Loosen and unscrew the neck screws. Then remove the neck.

spray painting guitar surface

Sand the surface

We recommend that you lightly sand the surface first, because the guitar body has some oil on the surface, which will affect the coating effect.

Many of the guitar users sand the surface of the guitar, but I think it will take a lot of efforts to do so.

More importantly, the guitars of different brands have different material, and sanding can’t make the guitar body with the same thickness.

Besides, the surface of the guitar body is not flat and the corners are not round, and the surface will be changed after sanding.

You can use the polish before you spray painting. It can make the surface gloss, and it will not affect the spraying effect.

After sanding use vacuum cleaner for collecting the dust and other particles.

Apply Primer on guitar

Before spray painting, you need to apply primer on your guitar. Primer helps the spray paint to stick your guitar better.

Mask the surface you don’t want to paint with a masking tape. Spray paint on a thin coat of primer in one direction, then remove the tape.

Spray paint on a thin coat of primer in the other direction, then remove the tape. Wait for 15 minutes, then spray paint the color you want.

Start spray painting guitar surface

When applying a spray paint, make sure you’re applying thin layers and allowing each thin coat to dry before applying another coat.

Before applying your clear coat of paint it’s best to wait and allow the colored coat of paint to completely dry for a week before moving on.

Apply clear coat

There are several ways to apply a clear coat.  Some spray paints are already clear coats.

But for the most part it is easier to use a two-part clear coat. To apply, you can run the clear coat through a spray gun, or apply it with a paintbrush.  

Applying a clear coat is a very involved process, and also might require some sanding or bodywork to achieve the desired look.

The clear coat should be applied in thin layers so that the base coat paint can still be seen, and in different directions so that the clear coat layer blends into the base coat paint.

After all the process reassemble your guitar and check it properly.


Well, it really depends on the intent. If you want to paint it for art, then use oil-based or acrylic-based paints. If you want to paint it as a permanent alternative, then use lacquer-based/acrylic paint. If you want to patch some damage on your guitar, then use good quality spray paints. Yes, spray paint will do the trick. The only thing is that the spray paint cannot be used on guitars with the celluloid elements. The celluloid will melt if the lacquer-based spray paints are used.

Yes, you can spray paint a guitar without sanding it, but it won’t look at good as it could, but you could use filler primer, and then spray paint it, and then sand it, then paint it again.

Yes, you can spray paint the guitar without taking it apart. How?  Simply remove the strings, clean the body and the neck of the guitar using rubbing alcohol and ammonia and you are ready to spray paint.  Turn the guitar body upside down so that the neck is facing up. Check the guitar for any defects and make sure it is clean from any dirt or dust. You need to hold the guitar firmly when you spray as the tail resonates with the strings and may get sprayed with spray paint.  You can paint the body and the neck of the guitar with spray paint. After the coat dries, you can spray the guitar with the clear coat. This will give the guitar a shiny look. You can spray your favorite spray paint in any color at any hardware store. If you want to cover the whole guitar with a certain color, then you can use spray paint.

Acrylic paint is more of a medium than a paint. It is much more transparent than other paints because the color is suspended in a water-based fluid rather than solid in a paint medium. It would be too thin to adhere permanently to an object. You would need to use a primer first, then paint over it with a more permanent paint.

Final thoughts on How to spray paint guitar

Thank you for reading our blog post, we hope you enjoyed learning more about how to paint your guitar.

If you’re interested in learning more about guitar painting, please visit our blog anytime. As always, we love to hear from our readers.

So please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about painting your guitar by contacting us in comments section and we will help you out and clear your queries from your mind..

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