At this point in my build, I decided my white lacquer base-coat had dried enough for me to paint the multi-colored striping. Per my previous article, I finished a bare wood guitar body with a white tinted nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Since there were no major catastrophes to deal with, I didn’t have to do any additional prep work. On a side note – The surface has that wavy “just sprayed” lacquer texture to it, onto which I am simply going to paint the stripes. Everything will even out when I lay down the top coats of clear, to seal everything in.
White is the perfect blank canvas for a guitar body! Too bad I didn’t prime first, or else I would have gotten to this point weeks ago.
Unlike finishing a full guitar body and neck, I decided to use my HVLP touchup gun to spray the stripes. This gun uses MUCH less material, and sprays a much smaller (and more controllable) pattern.
In order to achieve my desired lacquer tints for not only the red and black striping, but the neck as well, I ordered some different tint shades. For this step, I used both red and black ColorTone Liquid Pigment
. Also in this picture is ColorTone Liquid Stain. This will be demonstrated in a later post covering the neck finish.
Wow – You may be saying to yourself that you must have missed something, right? Well, you didn’t. I forgot to take pictures of my first masking run, to outline the black stripe. So what you are looking at is an exposed are, on which I’m going to lay down coats of black tinted lacquer until it is good and dark. In order to achieve a perfectly straight line, I simply placed a strip of masking tape on the guitar body (which was the same width as my desired line). Using that as a guide, I put two more strips of masking tape on the guitar body – one directly above my guide strip, and one directly below my guide strip. Once I had those two outline pieces in place, I was able to remove the guide tape in the middle, and have a perfectly straight, bare line. Some sheets of newspaper later, and you have the picture above!
Off to the garage! Since it was about 19 degrees Fahrenheit outside on my spraying day, I moved my operation from the shed to my garage. It isn’t heated, but is insulated and retains enough of the ambient heat from the house to maintain about 35 to 40 degrees F. Oh, and I sprayed about four coats of black lacquer to achieve the dark black stripe.
Well I really $hit the bed again, as I neglected to take any intermediate pictures. I guess we’ll have to use our imaginations here! After letting the black lacquer dry for about 12 hours, I removed all masking tape and ended up with a perfect black line! At this point, I gave the line about one week to dry, because I would have to mask over THAT line to produce my red line.
In the picture above, I used a very think automotive detailing masking tape to tape a guide line directly below the black line. This will help me to get an even white space between the black and red lines. Below that guide line, I taped a slightly thicker line using a wider automotive detail masking tape. This will eventually end up as the area where the red line will be painted. Beneath that guide tape, I used a standard wide masking tape to mask off the area that will end up directly below the red line (wide yellow tape at the bottom of the guitar body).
At this point, I masked off the top guide line, as well as the black stripe, to create the outline of where the red line will end up. To finish it off, I removed the guide masking tape line, mentioned in the step above, to produce the area where I will spray my red. In the picture above, you can see the white stripe, in between the top and bottom guide lines.
Here’s a closeup of the uncovered strip.
Now tape and mask the whole thing, and it’s ready for some red lacquer!
Same deal as with the black, this needed about four coats of red tinted lacquer in order to achieve a deep red line.
And after giving that about 10 hours to dry, I removed all masking material and ended up with two perfect lines! Next up, finishing the guitar neck.