Frankie & 5150 Pair

I received an email from a customer who has used my lacquer create tributes to a couple of Van Halen style guitars. Here’s what he wrote: Hi Steve, I finally finished my Van Halen guitars, painted with Nitrocellulose lacquer that you supplied. I attach a couple of pictures, as I promised I would when they …

Close-up of the disressed pickguard

More as an experiment than anything else, I decided to have a go at relicing the body I finished in August. The first job is to add a few knocks and scrapes. I dropped a set of keys on the front and back and gently knocked the edges in a few places. Any damage on …

Clear coats sprayed

Preparation Finishing alder is much easier than painting an ash body as the wood is more tightly grained. The reduction in finishing costs is why Fender used alder bodies for their solid colours and sunbursts from the late fifties. As with any wood however, preparation is absolutely fundamental to achieving a good result. If you …

Wet sanding the front of the body

I’m often asked how to spray a butterscotch guitar body so thought I’d put together a bit of a tutorial. Please note that I do not offer a refinishing service. The body I’m using is by Guitar Build who offer a range of CNC machined guitar bodies. I’m very impressed with the accuracy of the shape, which …

Applying grain filler to the front of the guitar body

When painting a guitar, preparation is critical to success. At every stage, it’s important that you get the body as smooth as you can. A bit of work early on saves a lot of work later. Open-pored woods such as ash must be grain filled before lacquer is applied otherwise the lacquer will sink into the …

Preparing to paint Unless you have a purpose-built spray booth, paint outdoors. Lacquer fumes are toxic and explosive. Even if you are outdoors you should wear a dust mask to avoid breathing the spray. The Saga kit bodies are already sealed with a coat of polyurethane sealer which gives a good surface for your top coats. …

Shaping the headstock Because the Telecaster headstock shape is a trademark of Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) then all modern kits come with a blank or “paddle” headstock from which you can cut your own design. Any similarity to a Fender Telecaster headstock on this page is purely coincidental! The first job is to decide …

Finish Repair A customer had had an accident with his Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 5-string bass. He had dropped it and knocked a large piece of the finish off the lower edge of the guitar. I filled the damage with matching lacquer so that the damage was no longer noticeable. Sunburst Gibson L6-S finish repair …

This was also refinished by a customer. It’s a mid 90s Mexican Fender DuoSonic re-issue with a 22″ short scale neck. David writes: “Results are great! Again I thank you for the paint – clearly excellent quality, and for the advice both on your web site and via email – invaluable. There is no way …

A re-creation of Fender’s 3 colour sunburst over alder. This uses my Clear Amber, Clear Red and Black aerosols, with a Clear Satin top coat.