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PAINT, OR NOT TO PAINT

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  • PAINT, OR NOT TO PAINT

    I purchased this Korina husk from a well known Luthier in East MI. Its currently raw wood, ready for finish.

    I have never "painted" a guitar before. I dont have a spray booth. I would have to do the painting in my garage. If i were to attempt to finish this husk, I would have to do it with Graceys Nitro in a can. I want to do it in a light amber tint.

    From the research I've done so far, I would have to buy....

    2 cans of sealer.....$40
    2 cans of amber.....$40
    3 cans of clear........$60
    1 can of black........$20
    Plus multiple pieces of sandpaper and masking tape.

    Another big problem is that i dont have a buffing wheel. I could probably buff it with a buffing wheel attached to my cordless drill...which i have done before to buff out haze and light scratches on other guitars in the past.

    OR

    I could just pay to have it finished!!!!


    WHAT WOULD YOU DO????

    s-l1600 (1) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr


    s-l1600 (2) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr


    s-l1600 (3) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr


    s-l1600 (4) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr


    s-l1600 (5) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr


    s-l1600 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr

    I'm just a few hundred lessons away from being a great guitar player.......

  • #2
    Give up and send it to me for disposal.

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    • #3
      Nice! Hey, I say go for it. Once upon a time, I was ambitious with a black korina body. I had 0 experience finishing a guitar. This was in 2008, but still, that is no excuse. I definitely did not do a great job though. I still have the guitar, in fact, I truly love this guitar and it is one of my best sounding guitars for some reason... but I used Minwax products.

      The rest is epic DIY failure history, but again, I truly love this guitar:

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4


        It's impossible to do a professional finish the first time.

        There's so much to learn that you only see how you should have done it right, after you've made the mistakes!

        I'd keep it very simple. Maybe just do a natural finish.



        Sand the wood to perfection and then use a tack cloth to clean the dust from the wood.

        It would be nice if you had an air compressor to blow the dust out of the wood pores.



        Using sanding sealer is the secret for getting a pro finish.

        You'll end up sanding most of the sanding sealer off but don't sand through it or you'll have to spray that spot again.

        If you're doing a natural finish without a stain, you can just spray sanding sealer on that one spot you sanded through with no harm done.

        You'll sand with Scotch Brite pads and "wet or dry" sandpaper and move through finer and finer grades until the finish feels like silk.



        Then you do your clear coats.

        You'll sand the last coat, hopefully lightly, using very fine grades of "wet or dry" sandpaper, again until the finish feels flawless.



        Then you buff it back up to whatever degree of gloss you're after. You could do it with a cloth unless you are needing a high gloss mirror finish.

        You'll use finer and finer grades of polish like they sell at Stew-Mac or at Automotive Paint stores.



        I've never sprayed tints. I guess that would go over the sealer and under the clear coat. You wouldn't want to sand through a tint so maybe no sanding or an absolute minimum of sanding before applying your clear coats.

        Black for the peghead would go over the sealer and you'd spray your clear coats over it.



        I'd use blue painters tape to tape off the fingerboard before spraying sealer and not peel it off until after my final clear coat. I'd round the edges of the fingerboard just a bit to blend it all together and make it feel nice.



        Last edited by Lewguitar; 08-01-2020, 06:37 AM.
        “Practice cures most tone issues” - John Suhr

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        • #5
          Yeah I would practice on a bunch of stuff first if you do decide to spray it

          but also no guts, no glory

          chk out Brad Angove on youtube
          My Bands -
          https://kamikazechoir.hearnow.com/
          www.instagram.com/kamikazechoir
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          Just some fun guitar stuff from time to time
          GUITAR KULTURE

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          • #6
            Another thing is I think of Korina as being an open pored wood. Big pores, like mahogany.

            It's going to take a lot of coats of sanding sealer to fill them.

            In a few months after the finish cures and shrinks, they'll show up again.

            I'd tape only the top of the fingerboard, not the edges. I'd clean those up after the paint is dry.
            Last edited by Lewguitar; 08-01-2020, 06:51 AM.
            “Practice cures most tone issues” - John Suhr

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brentrocks View Post

              2 cans of sealer.....$40
              2 cans of amber.....$40
              3 cans of clear........$60
              1 can of black........$20
              Plus multiple pieces of sandpaper and masking tape.

              This is crazy talk.

              You should buy a compressor and an air gun. You can get good air guns cheap from Harbor Freight. Then you dont have to buy the finishing supplies in aerosol.

              Then buy a cheap chinese wood body for $50 to practice the finishing technique. To get the color, I believe you can rub in a dye. Then you are just dealing with spraying clear which you will practice on the cheap body.

              About the same cost, but you end up with an airgun and compressor.

              https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/in...?topic=28511.0
              Last edited by Top-L; 08-01-2020, 07:15 AM.

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              • #8
                DIY. I have a korina tele I finishing right now.

                I'd do this. http://www.wudtone.com/product/finishing-kit-amber You can buy it through byoguitar.com

                ​​​​​​I've never finished or painted anything before in my life. So far it is coming out fantastic. Plus you don't need any equipment.
                Last edited by Wonker; 08-01-2020, 07:19 AM.
                Originally posted by Lucid_Lunatic
                If you think an Epi is as good as a Gibson, you're probablly not old enough to find the clit yet.

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                • #9
                  If you MUST finish it, buy a bottle of TruOil - you can apply it easily with a rag, and it will be fine.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lewguitar View Post
                    Another thing is I think of Korina as being an open pored wood. Big pores, like mahogany.

                    It's going to take a lot of coats of sanding sealer to fill them.

                    In a few months after the finish cures and shrinks, they'll show up again.

                    I'd tape only the top of the fingerboard, not the edges. I'd clean those up after the paint is dry.
                    Indeed. Korina drinks sealer or wood conditioner like it is thirsty Thursdays.
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                    • #11
                      Is 4 pounds, 10 ounces super-light for an unfinished body and neck?

                      Figure the hardware adds at most a pound, so its a <6 pound guitar?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Top-L View Post
                        Is 4 pounds, 10 ounces super-light for an unfinished body and neck?

                        Figure the hardware adds at most a pound, so its a <6 pound guitar?
                        It is probably a matter of opinion. However, in my opinion, anything at 4.0 pounds or under as an unfinished body would be considered a light body.
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                        • #13
                          While I think it is a noble thing to learn to paint a guitar (I have no idea how), I don't think this project is where you start that. Get some quotes on places that have the right tools to finish properly, and if you want to learn to finish, do it right, working your way up to a project like this.
                          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan
                          Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                            While I think it is a noble thing to learn to paint a guitar (I have no idea how), I don't think this project is where you start that. Get some quotes on places that have the right tools to finish properly, and if you want to learn to finish, do it right, working your way up to a project like this.
                            This is really good advice. As somebody who failed on an expensive carved top Korina body, I should have practiced on several inexpensive bodies first. Now, I happily pay professionals to finish my guitars every single time. They do such a fantastic job, way better than I ever could in my wildest dreams.
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                            • #15
                              I finished my Korina explorer. Will need a lot of grain filler to get it level. That’s not really complicated, just time consuming. I did reranch tinted amber finish and it came out great. You just have to be super patient

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