Tutorial : how to paint a guitar ?

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Below, we present the different steps and products that allow to paint a guitar, with professional paints from Stardust.

Whether you are painting a car body, a bike, a battery or whether you want to paint a guitar, the processes and the rules of the art of painting are identical.

Automotive type finishes are acrylic polyurethanes, which are the only modern products offering this level of resistance and gloss.

To summarize, a complex paint is done in 3 steps (base / paint / varnish) while a simple paint (a lacquer) can be done in 1 step.



How much paint for a guitar?Candy paint guitar

It depends on the paint. However, we will simply say that the minimum packaging available for all products on the STARDUST website is more than enough.

Specifically, it is about 125 to 250 ml, for all products.


Can you paint any STARDUST paint on a guitar?

Yes, clearly. Whether it’s a chameleon, glitter, candy, rust, glow-in-the-dark, or any other effect, anything is perfectly possible.

The rule is to prepare the surface well.



Guitar paintHow to apply Stardust paints over a guitar ?

Only by spraying, i.e. with a gun or an aerosol. All Stardust products are available in aerosol or can versions.

The preparatory phases are essential :



We consider the nature and condition of the background. A painted background is considered as paint.

One can therefore find raw wood (obtained by sanding, which is not recommended) or wood / various materials painted, lacquered or varnished.

Most effect paints and paints in general need a solid color background. It is not suitable to paint on a background with multicolored decorations.

Therefore, a background is applied, often black, which can be a paint or a primer.

A black background is used for chameleons, glitters, metallics, pearlescents, crystallizers or marbled…


In the case of a painted surface :

No primer is needed, we will simply allow the adhesion by sanding lightly, then we start to paint. Sanding is done with P500 abrasive. This also smoothes and removes superficial scratches.

We will paint with a black or white base (a 1K basecoat) available in 125 ml or 500 ml, or spray :


In the case of a raw base (sanded wood) :

Apply a black filler primer. The product is available in a can to apply :

This serves to fill the pores of the wood and create a smooth, closed surface.



The different effects of common “Custom” paintsGuitar peint metal flakes

Creating a “Metal Flakes” effect on a guitar 

The flake paint can be sprayed with 0.2 mm metal flakes. Metal Flakesand also by airbrush with a mini flakebuster.


For the background, you can use a black background (for a dark and deep effect) or an aluminum or flake tone paint, to create a background under the flakes.

Aluminum and metallic paints are available in 125 ml or 250 ml.


Applying polyester flakes in an aerosol can is not possible.

The flakes are mixed in transparent binder or varnish and applied with a spray gun. The ratio of flakes in the binder is unrestricted.

The flakes are painted, or rather sprayed, in successive veils until the background is covered.

This very rough and uneven flake surface then needs to be varnished and this is done with at least 6 coats of UHS body topcoat.

Another option for varnishing is the application of a very thick epoxy glaze resin.

This is explained at the end of the article.


Note : you can use colored flakes, then varnish, or you can do more interesting: use silver flakes and use a colored “Candy” varnish. This is presented in the section of Candy paint.


Painting a guitar with a chameleon, crystallizer, pearl paint, etc…

Once the black or white background is in place, you can apply any special color effect.

There are many possibilities to be discovered on the website.

The special effect paints are perfectly adapted to a guitar and it is simple to read, study and respect the detailed instructions on the product pages.

It is important to respect every point of the application, especially the drying and covering periods.


All paints must be varnished. The varnish represents the finishing coat that will protect the paints and the instrument, but also create the shine and the wet look.



Guitar paintThe varnishing of a guitar

For the varnishing, we use a clear topcoat.

You can apply a very nice topcoat with a spray gun as well as with an aerosol can, provided you use the two-component car body topcoat in aerosol 

All ceramic type varnishes, ST6000, ST8500, UHS830, are suitable for creating high gloss and hard finishes. However, they are only available in large kits.





The smallest body topcoat kit is offered in 850 ml all inclusive


The alternative solution is to glaze with an epoxy resin.

This consists of pouring the product and spreading it with a spatula. It will quickly self-smooth. A spray application is impossible with such a thick product.

It is a very thick varnish that can reach in 1 coat a thickness of 2 to 10 mm.




Related products

This thinner is suitable for cleaning or diluting for each step

Abrasives and adhesives are available in all sizes and grits

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