How To Paint An Acoustic Guitar?

There are quite a few reasons to paint your acoustic guitar. We can all live with a few minor scratches. But those nasty ones, it needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, you cannot paint just a spot. You will need to paint the whole body of your guitar! That’s quite a lot of work and maybe you are asking yourself where to start on how to paint an acoustic guitar.

Well, I can help you with that! But, do note that this will be quite a long and tedious process. It takes precision and patience to finish this! Are you ready? Before you go crazy, make a list of the things that you need to prepare. Then, buy it all at once so you won’t have to visit the paint store several times.

Why Paint Your Guitar?

Scratches, dings, and dents can be removed by repainting your acoustic guitar. Aside from removing the scratches, it would also make your guitar look brand new!

How To Paint An Acoustic Guitar

But for some, maybe you’re just tired of the way your guitar looks and, perhaps, changing its color is a good idea.

For others, you may want to customize your guitar’s paint. That’s a whole lot of new level and would require more than just canned spray paints. It requires some art and imagination!

Things You Need

  • Guitar (Of course!)
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Cleaning cloth
  • 600grit sandpaper
  • 1200grit sandpaper
  • Spray primer
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Acrylic paint (Your choice of color)
  • Acrylic paint (Clear)
  • Patience!

Step 1

The very first thing you need to do is remove the guitar strings. Go ahead and do it properly. Don’t cut the strings without loosening it first or it might result to injury!

Step 2

Clean the guitar surface using the denatured alcohol and cleaning cloth. Carefully rub the guitar surface with a cloth moistened with the alcohol. Denatured alcohol is an effective spirit that thoroughly cleans the surface of your guitar.

Step 3

Cover all the parts that you will not be messing with. Use your masking tape to cover the neck of the guitar. You don’t have to tape the neck all the way to the headstock. You can use some newspaper to cover most parts of the neck and headstock.

You can use the blunt edge of a knife to make sure that the edges and crevices of the neck and bridge are covered with tape. Don’t forget to cover your electronic parts with tape too! Again, use the blunt edge of the knife to reach the edges.

How To Paint An Acoustic Guitar

If your guitar has a pick guard and you don’t plan to remove it, you better cover it with masking tape too! Tape the pick guard past the edges. Using a sharp razor knife, trace the edge to remove excess tape.

Step 4

Using your 1200grit sand paper, sand off the surface of the guitar body carefully. Do not use circular motions when sanding. Stick with one direction and follow the grain of the wood. Sanding your guitar before painting would increase the adherence of paint.

Step 5

Hang your guitar on a well-lit, moisture free area. Now, here’s the fun part! Evenly apply your primer all over the guitar surface. All you need to do now is cover the guitar with two layers of primer. Do not overdo it! Wait for at least an hour before proceeding to the next step.

If you will not be changing the color of your guitar, skip this part and proceed to step 11.

Step 6

Now, paint the guitar with your desired color. Black is a safe choice and is a good medium to layout your designs if you are planning on customizing your design. Choose whatever color of paint you desire. Cover the surface of your guitar with a single coat of your paint.

Wait for at least two hours before doing another layer of paint. Make sure that the first layer is thoroughly dry before applying another layer.

Step 7

Give the paint at least overnight to thoroughly dry up because the next step is sanding. Using the 600grit sandpaper, sand the surface of your guitar using one direction only. Move on with your 1200grit sandpaper to smoothen out the guitar surface.

Step 8

Now, repeat step 6 and 7 until you get six coats of paint.

Step 9

After coating your guitar with about 6 layers of paint, you would need to apply a clear coat to protect the paint from scratches and dents. But before applying the clear coat, you should sand the imperfections of the paint with a 600grit sandpaper.

Step 10

If you will be customizing your guitar design, now is the right time to draft your template and layout your design. Muster all your artistic skills and pour your heart out.

Step 11

You would want to seal that design on your guitar. Use your clear coat paint and apply a layer. Wait for about an hour or two before applying the second layer. Set your guitar aside and let it dry overnight.

How To Paint An Acoustic Guitar

Step 12

Using your 1200grit sandpaper, sand off the rough finish lightly and apply another layer of clear coat. Let it sit for about an hour or two and apply another layer. Repeat the process until you get 6 layers of the clear coat paint.

Step 13

Finally, after sanding with 1200grit sand paper, use 2000grit sand paper to leave a smooth finish.

Step 14

This is the moment of truth. Remove all the tapes to reveal the bridge, neck, electronics, pick guard, and headstock. Take them all away and appreciate the beauty of your creation!


You see, repainting your guitar is a tedious task and requires a lot of work. It involves sanding and waiting. It will take you a few days to finish this project, but it will be well worth it, and it will be satisfying.

Customizing the design is one of the most fun part. You can unleash your creativity just the way you want it. However, be prepared because it would really take a lot of your time. Now that you know how to paint an acoustic guitar, would you care to post a picture of your finished product at the comments below? Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you!


How To Paint An Acoustic Guitar?
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