an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
sndansby
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an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by sndansby » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:45 am

Hi all,

I just bought a 2008 MIJ 65 reissue that has Duncan Antiquity II's in it. It's on the way. I have been looking far a while and I was able to get a good price, plus I really wanted a block inlay Jazzmaster and the nicer pickups are a big incentive. What I do not like about it is the color and pick guard. I wish all guitars came in black and this one is red with a white pick guard. Well what I want to do it paint it and I cannot find a good somewhat inexpensive place to have it painted so I was thinking of doing it myself. There are many issues with this, one being that I live in an apartment with me lady in Brooklyn so I do not have much space to do the work. I also have zero experience doing jobs like this. I like the relic look with checking that comes with a nitro finish and I don't think this would be too difficult.

So the question is, am I crazy to consider doing this myself? Is there a good inexpensive place that could do this job? Any and all responses are welcome even if you just want to say that I have mental issues for considering doing this.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by Danley » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:22 am

I'd leave it alone and keep an eye out for the guitar you want, rather than (to be a bit harsh) create a bastard out of a guitar that is now perfectly serviceable. I'd also not consider spraying indoors in an apartment.

I would just play it and keep an eye out for what you really want, flip the red one when the time is right since it sounds like you got a deal.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by mbene085 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:31 am

The space to work isn't the issue. The ventilation is. You can't spray indoors in an apartment. It's just not safe.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by otis » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:13 am

What the others said; apart from the hazardous fumes of paint, I wouldn't ruin a perfectly good finish and devaluate the guitar by spraying it.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by NICQ » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:12 pm

I've sprayed 8 bodies this spring/summer and I'd strongly advise you to not try this on a perfectly good body without any experience
just get a body with black finish off ebay, MJT or something if you like the relic lok and sell the red one...
you shouldn't have too much loss financially and black bodies are quite easy to come by
Spraying it is possible but not really indoors, not in an apartment and not in winter...
even diy refinishing costs money and it is difficult to accomplish something good looking without experience
I'd spray it if you want some rare colour that isn't available otherwise but not black...
also more so if it was a Squier body or in rough shape but not if it's new
worst case you'd ruin a perfectly good red body that you could've sold for an ok price and lose money, time and nerves while doing that

You could also try and find someone who'd be interested in a trade

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by oid » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:32 pm

Spraying in an apartment indoors is not that hard, stick a fan in the window, hang up some drop cloths/old sheets and have at it.. Or take it onto the the roof or into the alley, quick spray, bring it back in and hang it up, you can even do that in the winter as long as it is not horrifically cold and the wind is down. If you do it in your apartment be aware of the wind, you do not want the fan to blow all the fumes and over spray out the window and right back into your neighbors. You can also talk to artists, they generally know of some places where such things can be done, most cities tend to have some big communal studio spaces and the like, some of the maker spaces may have spray booths as well.

You can also brush on lacquer which makes life easier for apartment dwellers, still need a fan and a window while applying if you do not want to go loopy. Spraying is fairly new to lacquer and it was brushed on for centuries prior, just look at all that fine Japanese and Chinese lacquer work. Main thing is consistency, you can buy it thinned for brushing, just need to make sure it stays that consistency, if you leave the can open while you work it will thicken as the lacquer thinner evaporates out and by the final coat you will likely have brush marks that you will have to sand out. Pour what you need for a coat into a jar and close up the can, you will be fine.

As long as you are determined to get it right and do not give up you will not ruin the guitar, it make take alot of sanding and extra coats to get it right, but most anyone is capable of doing a good job here with a little perseverance.

Personally I think the guitar market would be greatly improved by more people spending the time to make their instruments their own.
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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by Danley » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:55 pm

I wouldn't be comfortable or confident in a nitro guitar drying/offgassing anywhere near where I lived - whether sprayed or brushed. I'd think neighbors might even smell it and complain. I mean I guess it's possible if you keep fans going, never need to close windows etc., don't mind being 'that guy' spray painting in a back alley in New York City and lugging a wet guitar body up an elevator. To me that sounds like the definition of misery.

Someone's good point on black being common.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by sndansby » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:34 pm

I was going to paint it outside when the day is optimum so painting inside isn't as big of an issue.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by oid » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:54 pm

If doing it outside things are easy, just do a coat and hang it up in the bathroom with the door closed and a fan in the window. Do it after everyone has completed their morning routine and you will have no issues with smell, hanging in front a a window fan will take care of the bulk of the off gassing in short order so it can be moved out of the bathroom and hung up out of the way to finish drying.

This is my standard winter finishing routine for when the garage becomes to cold for anything to dry, pop outside, spray a coat and hang it in the bath room for an hour or two, then I move it somewhere out of the way. Even in my small 400 square foot house this keeps the smell to barely noticeable, completely unnoticeable if I do some cooking or the like.
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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by leokula » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:53 am

Man you're in NYC! Isn't it very unlikely that there's nobody to do that job for you?

That's not the most expensive guitar in the world, but it's a pretty nice one, I wouldn't do that myself, removing the paint is also a pain, and, correct me if I'm wrong, polishing is a big part of making it look great, and that's not easy at all.

I'd spend a little money on getting it professionally done, I think your guitar diserves it ;)
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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by parry » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:07 am

Alternately, you could remove the existing finish and use something less toxic like milk paint, or speedball black ink. To finish it, you could always rub on Danish Oil. Lots of instructional vids out there about those techniques and all the materials would be easily available in NYC.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by tribi9 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:12 pm

Stop giving the guy shit for wrecking a factory finish with a home job.

He said it himself:

an idiot with a new guitar blah, blah... At least hes admitting it.
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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by sndansby » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:02 pm

Thanks Tribi9, you get it.

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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by mackerelmint » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:15 pm

Go to a body shop. ask if they'll spray a body next time they do a black car. A cool shop should be willing to work with you and give you a good price.

Red guitars with white guards are an affront to good taste. Then again, black guitars with white pickguards aren't much better. Hope you get a new guard.
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Re: an idiot with a new guitar, spray can, and a dream

Post by sndansby » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:27 pm

Yeah a new pick guard is in the works as well.

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