It’s been about four weeks since the last time I sprayed lacquer, so the body and neck of the LED Guitar should be fully cured.  It is important to wait a good amount of time, of else wet sanding will do nothing but mar and gouge the soft finish.  One way to judge if the body is dry, is to smell it.  Over the course of a few weeks, you will begin to notice the smell of lacquer disappearing from your guitar body.  This means that the volatile compounds are evaporating, and the finish is hardening.

I’ll save you the dull action shots of my wet sanding the body, but I’ll give you a quick rundown.  I leveled the surface of both the guitar body, and neck, with 500 grit sandpaper.  This was by far the most time consuming  part of the finishing process.  The goal is to sand, until the surface is completely even, and no shiny spots are left.  A few notes on this process:

  • If your sandpaper starts to feel like grits of “sand” are scratching around while sanding, stop and rinse your sandpaper.  These hardened bits of residue can actually scratch your finish more than you had intended.  
  • Be careful when sanding the edges of the guitar body.  Due to the nature of the spraying process, the lacquer is actually thinnest and so it is very easy to sand through the finish.  
  • When you are sanding, work in opposite directions for varying degrees of paper.  This will help you to see if you are removing the sanding marks from the previous paper.
  • I used the following levels of sandpaper: 500, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2500.  This works for me, but I encourage you to experiment and develop a technique that suits you best.
Here’s a shot of the finished guitar body!  It took me four months to get to this point. Hopefully the next one will only one or two if I don’t make the same rookie mistakes. 

Here’s another angle, and you can see the top of the headstock.  I neglected to take pictures of the finished neck, so I’ll have to post those later. 

 I don’t have an expensive buffing arbor, so I used these drill mounted foam pads from Stewmac.  They come in varying sizes to make it easier to get into the guitar’s tight spots.
 Here’s a larger foam pad that makes buffing the guitar body faces much easier.
I started with Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound.  This removed almost all of the scratches from the sanding process.
I then used Meguiar’s Swirl Remover to give it a more professional shine.  Lastly, I used Meguiar’s Show Car Glaze, to brighten and protect the surface.  I’ll add a picture later.