How To Add Custom Paint Designs to Acoustic Guitars

Music is a form of self expression, so do the designs that you add to your musical instrument. An acoustic guitar is a musical instrument that can be designed according to one’s taste and personal passion. Adding a custom design to an acoustic guitar makes it more unique, reflective of your personality and can be a focal point of interest while you are performing. Here are some tips on how to add custom paint design on your acoustic guitar.

  • Decide on the design that you want to put on your acoustic guitar. You can look at design sites on the Internet that have artworks that are free to download and use. It is best the your use a design that is free to copy or better yet have an artist make an artwork for you. If you are artistically-inclined so much the better since you can create your own personal artwork for your acoustic guitar.
  • Resize the image to the actual size that you want to place on the acoustic guitar and print it in black and white to use as a template. Print out a smaller copy of the design in full color to use as a guide when you begin painting.
  • Remember that an acoustic guitar is coated with several layers of polyurethane so you need to prime the area the will be covered with the design for it to accept the paints that you will use. If the design will cover most parts of the acoustic guitar body it will be necessary to remove the strings as well as the other components at the front surface of the guitar body. Use a water-based primer and allow it to dry overnight.
  • Trace your design lightly over the primed surface. Your guitar should be placed on a flat surface. Protect the back of the guitar with a soft cloth to avoid scratching the surface. Your chair should be raised higher to accommodate the thickness of the acoustic guitar and make it easy for you to apply the paints.
  • Use acrylic paints when painting your acoustic guitar. These will be more manageable and easier to paint on and the adhering quality of acrylic paints makes them more suitable for this type of design job. Use a brush made specifically to be used with acrylic paints. Apply the paints on larger areas first. Allow the paints to dry for about four hours before you apply another coat or if you are painting adjacent areas with different colors.
  • Apply the outlines and repair the areas with paint gaps after all the paints are dry to the touch. Allow to dry thoroughly before moving to the next step.
  • Apply three coats of polyurethane to the painted surface. Allow each layer to dry first before applying the next coating. Use a face mask to minimize inhalation of the polyurethane fumes. The place should have adequate ventilation but there should not be air directed on the surface you are painting to remove the risk of bubbles forming. Make sure that each application is done evenly. Using an air brush will ensure that you have an even coating of polyurethane. Allow it guitar to air dry for several hours or a few days. Make sure that you do your painting when there is good weather as humidity and cool air can affect the painting job.

The ways to add custom paint designs on your acoustic guitar is limited by your imagination. Decide first on what design you actually want to add to your guitar, as it will be almost impossible to remove it once it has been done. Practice first on a piece of wood and get your own technique perfected, including the application of polyurethane before attempting to add custom design to your acoustic guitar.


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