How and why I painted my 12 string guitar with spray cans (captions on please)

How and why I painted my 12 string guitar with spray cans (captions on please)

Early 2016 I started having
problems finger picking so I thought I would try
a classical guitar. I bought a new Ibanez AEG10NII
because it was very similar to.. My 2003 Taylor 614ce. See how similar they are. I had recently bought an Ibanez
SRX360 bass. So I now had… 3 matching guitars. This made my old Yamaha RGX312
stand out so I bought a used… 2014 Ibanez RGIR20FE-BK
similar to my SRX360 bass. See how similar they are. So I now had… 4 matching guitars. This made my old S&P 12 string
stand out so I bought a new… Ibanez AEL2012E-TKS 12 string. So I now had 5 matching guitars. But, I was never happy with this
dip in the top so I returned it. I was back to my old 2001 S&P
12 string which has been fine But…. Hmmm…… Time to make it 5 matching
guitars again. I played this a lot from 2001
till I got my Taylor in 2005. It just has a few small
scratches and dents. But at this time was only worth
about 100GBP. So no problem to try painting it Ok intro over. I will start by
taking off the scratchplate. All head cam footage : Mobius
actioncam with wide lens. Other footage/images : Panasonic
GH2 with 14-140mm or 20mm lens. My mobius kept resetting the
time so sometimes it shows 2012 Even with the time wrong you can
still see how much time passes. That loud noise lifted a small
piece of wood from the top. Isopropyl alcohol. 600 grit wet and dry sandpaper. Cheap wood filler applied with
a feeler gauge. The time will be correct if the
date shows as 2016 like here. I removed/sped up loads of video
out of over 30 hours worth. So you might see the time jump
even during speeded up parts. Card to protect the bridge. This area was going to take a
while so I decided to use…. the feeler gauge as a scraper. Scotch-brite pad was intended
for getting into edges but was good for overall sanding Most of the sanding done. Now
overall de-greasing with alcohol Another wipe with alcohol before
some final filling then masking. 6mm wide 3M 471 fine line
vinyl masking tape. Using the feeler gauge again to
push the tape into the edge. This noise is from the GH2 using
the proper power adapter. Ready for painting. The last time I used spray cans
was 23 years ago to spray….. This. That was cellulose paint in cans
that had a fan spray nozzle. For this I used acrylic spray
cans which have a round nozzle. I wasted this whole can trying
to get used to the spray flow. The paint came out faster than I
expected so I am moving too fast The paint is almost dry when it
hits the guitar. Here spraying back up again as I
had no coverage. Painting this way created lots
of spray mist so I moved outside I had bought paint from halfords
I returned it and tried simoniz. It sprayed the same way but it
was a lot cheaper. These glasses steamed up easily. But I didn’t get paint in my
eyes here because of the wind. Later I used a swimming mask
which worked very well. Inside to dry. That’s safe. WOW! Let’s see that again. That could have been bad. Car passing at 30mph. Car passing at 300mph. Primer spraying finished. I came up with my own idea for
an accurate masking tape edge. Keeping a round pen gently
pushed against the guitar side. Letting the pen push the tape in
to the edge… while pressing the tape onto the
guitar with my thumb. 3mm wide 3M 471 blue fine line
vinyl masking tape. Now using my index finger to
press the tape down. I took a while to realise the
finger pressing the tape down should be positioned closer to
where the pen touches the guitar So here I curl my finger round
to the far side of the pen. The technique had to change
slightly depending on the curve. 6mm wide tape for the sides.
Close to my Taylor binding size. The same pen technique in a
different position. There could be a tiny gap where
the front and side tape meet so I’m sealing the corner edge
with more 3mm tape. Wee test spray. Wow, that was bad. It was important to get the
inside edge of the sound hole. My new Ibanez classical has some
bare wood visible on this edge. I think those small details
affect the overall quality. Grey primer is recommended for
black. I gambled to save money.. using white primer for the edge.
The black covered it easily. I had no problems seeing the
spray working with gloss black so I have better speed/distance
than the first can of primer. I’m just aiming for decent
coverage here with one can then sanding/polishing lacquer
later to get a good finish. Doing the edges of the bridge. I made this guitar hanger using
a PA speaker stand and… a guitar wall hanger which
can turn 45 degrees each way. I had recently got 6 of these
wall hangers cheap on ebay. Mistake coming up soon. The guitar touched this part of
the paper rubbing some black off Nice recovery there. Spray flow becoming a bit
irregular here. Putting the can back into hot
water for the next coat. You will see where the paint was
rubbed off by the paper. Finished spraying black. Removing the 3mm tape that
sealed the corner edge. The front and side tape worked
great leaving a sharp line. A very nice white edge but as
expected an orange peel finish. This needed sanding with wet and
dry before spraying with lacquer The rosette came in segments
which had to be placed together. I had to figure out how to do
this and keep it central. This was better, allowing me to
place and adjust the parts. It worked out as needing an 11mm
gap from the soundhole edge. I had sanded down the black
paint before this. I had to be careful as it
was just two coats. This joint caused me lots of
trouble and not just here. 11mm Looking. 11mm 11mm 11mm 11mm 11mm Having a look. 11mm 11mm 11mm 11mm 11mm Just joking. Pressing down the
stickers. Using the saddle edge There was a tiny wedge shaped
gap left near the neck. This was my second attempt but
it ended up fitting exactly. Listen. There. That joint still not ok. I had
maybe forced the ends together making them want to lift a bit. Rosette finished. Touching up tiny spots and
scratches with a cocktail stick. Wait……. GO! I thought it would be safer to
remove the masking tape now. In case black flakes of paint
stuck to the wet lacquer later. As you can see, this could have
been a disaster. Removing the neck and bridge is
the proper way to spray a guitar I didn’t want to move the action Since new it’s always had nice
low action so it’s easy to play. This edge left a small white bit
but all the edges were very good Nice and precise. Remember this
for later on after the lacquer. Here we go again. Better technique pushing the
tape down and inwards. The GH2 was filling the sd card
and stopping without me noticing So I filmed more on the headcam
which is not as good because, as you might have noticed,
my breathing is far too loud. Ready for lacquer. Lacquer spray was also easy to
see for adjusting speed/distance Here again I missed the edge and
created a drip by over spraying. Here I change the spray angle to
get the edges of the bridge. Down. Right. Left. Up. Second coat. An idea I had for keeping it
level and covered. To stop runs. Computer desk, book and dpa mike
box. Wood placed on the bridge. Then mount board close to the
top to block dust and hairs etc. Third coat. I use a new spray can soon. You
will hear the difference…….. Now. The masking tape was sticking to
the wood in my levelling set up so here I hang it up to dry,
risking runs and dust. Fourth coat. Around 15 minutes between coats. Fifth coat. Onto the third/last can soon.
You can see it in the sink. Sixth coat. One more coat on the front only. Spraying finished. This was the worst part of the
project. The lacquer affected the tape,
making it soggy and like rubber. The tape worked great earlier
but here it leaves a bad edge. All my careful re-masking was
wasted. It now needed more work. I left it covered in my
levelling set up for a day. I felt bad here but it was in
better condition than I thought. There was now plenty of lacquer
to sand smooth then polish. Each rosette segment joint had
lifted a bit. Tape on a blade so the cutting
edge is flat when pressed down. then sand paper to smooth the
raised rosette segment joints. Two days after lacquer spraying. The lacquer soaked right through
a lot of the masking tape. Isopropyl alcohol again. Trying out dry sand paper
on the back first. I was being careful to keep
water away from the wood. 600 grit wet and dry sand paper. Hard pieces of lacquer were
causing scratches and the paper was constantly
getting clogged up. Cooling fan on now. Only now I start gradually using
water. First on a damp cloth. The paper was cutting better
and clogging up less. After washing the sand paper, it
is now very wet. This works much better. I should
have used it wet from the start. For a lot of this project I was
learning as I went along. I was also keeping to a tight
budget and using what I had. The total cost for paint, sand
paper, wood filler etc. came to 58 GBP which is about
half of what the guitar is worth This worked well. At the end all
of the paper was still useable. This new sheet of paper
really gripped the surface. I had to use two hands to move
it around. Now getting good results quickly
after learning on the back. Being careful here as it’s easy
to wear through the corner edge. I touched up the neck edge by
hand after the masking problem. It was tidied up later. The bridge edge was also bad
from the masking tape. Going over any areas that are
still shiny. PRESS! Wait for it….. No more orange peel finish. Onto 1200 grit wet and dry to
remove the 600 grit scratches. Trying meguiar’s scratchX to see
if it removes the 1200 scratches It does start to shine but 1200
grit is too much for this. Onto 2000 grit. Nice toilet paper technique
there. It does better after 2000 but I
really need to use a buffer. So I carry on doing the whole
guitar with 2000. “Aye”. A sigh of frustration in
Scottish. That was easy. Squeaky clean and starting to
shine from the 2000 grit. Ready for buffing. Scratch X is not meant for use
on this borrowed buffing wheel. I just tried out what I had. The wheel kept gripping the
surface and veering off. Checking for heat which
could warp the wood. Though it was shining, it wasn’t
removing all of the scratches. Back to 2000 grit. Now moving one way. Looking only
for scratches in that direction. I had used a circular movement
for each grade of paper earlier so I couldn’t see the previous
grade scratches being removed. Now moving at 90 degrees to the
last scratches. I get better results after the
2000 grit. Doing the rest of the guitar
with 2000. That was easy. I got cheap rubbing compound
which is coarser than scratch X. Scratch X is more for very fine
polishing after cutting paste. This furry buff was easier to
control than the sponge one. You can see the buff threw paste
out all over the place. The cutting paste dried quickly
so I had to keep it wet. You can hear how rough the
paste is here. Scratch X to see if it removes
the cutting paste scratches. It works good. You can see the
difference here. Back to buffing with scratch X. It was only at this late stage I
got used to using the buff. I positioned a light where I
always saw its reflection. I saw the buff could take out
deep scratches by moving slowly. Getting water from the sink
drainer. I think this was caused by a
dried piece of cutting paste. Buffing finished. Onto scratch X by hand doing
one section at a time. After scratch X and polish this
part was barely noticeable. I set a deadline of playing the
guitar on this evening. So I needed to get to the
final polish stage. There are still lots of fine
scratches to remove here. But I can do that with scratch X
every time I change the strings. Removing the tape to clean the
cutting paste splatter off. Nice tape spitting technique
there. Trying to remove tape residue
with new tape. I had used this cloth to wipe
off cutting paste before so it was slightly abrasive and
good for cleaning here. Good Edgar Wright type video
cut there using unedited sound. I had filled the bad edges with
black paint on a cocktail stick. Now carefully removing the
excess to leave a cleaner edge. Again this cloth was good here
using my thumb nail. This was overspray from the
primer so needed more paste. Pretty good eh? I kept that last edit in because
it was good but after masking, my mobius battery ran out before
I finished polishing the guitar. I played the guitar that night
and over the next few weeks. We now skip forward to repair
and touch up of bad edges. My GH2 battery was great for
precise sanding near edges. I couldn’t work out how these
grooves appeared near the bridge I used my thumb to polish into
the edges. My nail caused it. Wiped with alcohol and filled
with lacquer on a cocktail stick Then sanded/polished. I did this
twice before I found the cause. The bridge edge had high and low
spots also filled with lacquer. This left an edge that needed
tidied with the scalpel blade. I didn’t notice till later I had
smoothed the wood grain ridges. Showing my blade/tape idea that
keeps the blade edge flat. This is now 7 weeks on from the
mobius battery running out. I had recorded another 6 hrs of
repairs in the previous days but I’m doing the same again
here so it wasn’t worth showing. Carefully scraping hardened
lacquer off the bridge edge. 600 paper on the GH2 battery. 1200 to remove the 600 scratches This is when I noticed I had
smoothed the wood grain ridges. so I decided to sand the whole
front again by hand. 1200 over the whole front. Wet brush on parts still shiny. Fan on to dry water and to cool
myself as this was hard work. 2000 to remove 1200 scratches. 2000 again. Rubbing compound. Those edges still not fixed. Scratch X pressing very hard. Scratch X again pressing hard. I was breathing harder here than
in any other part of the project but the GH2 mike is further away
so my breathing is much quieter. This speeded up part covered
around 3 hours. I lost about half a stone. And the wood grain ridges came
back after final polishing. So I could have just polished
the small repaired areas. I was pleased how quickly I did
this taping for final polish. This is nine days later going
over small parts with scratch X Actual final polish (or is it?) I fitted new strings after
finishing the painting, but.. I preferred the strings on the
Ibanez 12 string that I returned so these are the same D’Addario
EXP 36 coated strings. Cooling fan off soon. So… How does it sound? Terrible. The hardened paint has
stopped the top from vibrating. It’s muffled/dead sounding but I
can still use it as an ornament. Oh, hold on… There’s a strategically placed
cloth damping all the strings. I’ll explain what’s on my finger
at the very end of the video. This is the main guitar part
from my song “Egyptus”. It’s on my “Nothing music” album
from 1999. This is just a short demo song.
It will end soon. I needed fortitude when working
on the guitar and the video. So I chose my song “Fortitude”
from the “Nothing music” album. It’s a new version playing this
guitar recorded for this video. Along with my best footage of
the finished guitar. Here’s the 2 second version of
this video. And again. So the guitar painting/polishing
took about 2 or 3 weeks… but the video turned into a huge
project lasting 16 weeks. At the start of the video I said
I had problems playing. I’ve since found out that I have
musician’s dystonia. My index finger straightens out
when finger picking. That’s why I’m wearing a splint. Maybe if I found out earlier, I
wouldn’t have bought a classical But I’m pleased with my matching
set and will make videos soon… where I play them all. Thanks for watching.


  • Samurai Nagakami says:

    dude… so much work put into 1 vid and you`ve got only 435 views?

  • Paul Ocampo says:

    great job i wanna do this to mine but seems like a hardcore project

  • CRT-Isidoro Hernández says:

    Nice job. Inspiring!!!!!

  • Nevezla says:

    You done such a great job I'm interested in doing the same but I'm scared I'll stuff it up along the way. You are brave and your music is very fascinating., You really made my stomach turn when you said the head wasn't vibrating and it was basically all done for nothing! Tricky man you are! good luck friend I enjoyed the video

  • Peter Duguay says:

    How many coats of black did you put on ?

  • Juan Siegers says:

    Hi looks great! 😀 what kind of spray did you used for the last coatings??

  • Cecil O. Almonte says:

    I enjoyed your video very much.

    I'm looking into one day venturing into painting one of mine. It's an eye sore right now, but it's my first guitar.

    I also think you should have move views, so I pinned it on my Pinterest.

  • Lars Richard Sørbø says:

    omg,,you m hero 😉 Nice work ..and Nice Music ,Peace and love from Norway

  • francis begbie says:

    well done craig .that was a sair fecht . might paint mine but not putting in that amount of effort lol

  • blottoinchcago says:

    Bravo dude! I'm refinishing an ovation guitar in my collection that is rather sentimental to me .. But workshop, no clamps, no frills. This was the best DIY guitar paint job at home that I've seen and watching your technique , wet sanding , rubbing compound , etc was super helpful. Luckily I only have to paint the top of my guitar and patch two holes that my nephew put through the spruce. We still don't know how he did it . I'm going with Ohio Valley Nitro Pelham Blue along with a primer and vinyl sealer. Thank you for sharing this and your music bro !

  • Jocelyn Richard says:

    Crazy job! Well done.

  • Kenny Davis says:

    Great job with the guitar and video! I listened to the music twice, lol. Thanks for all of the work you put into this.

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