How To Finish A Guitar Body
Page Update 3/7/2016
How To Finish A Guitar Body With Stain And Lacquer
When staining, painting, or lacquering a guitar body make sure that your up to the difficulty of finishing
This can be a time consuming and frustrating task if you don't have the
patience involved to do it. It may be good idea to read some guitar
maintenance books as well to help you with your task. We are
merely providing some tips to help you finish your guitar body. It is also a good idea to try any finishes on a piece of scrap wood before you
work on your guitar project.
- Use Masking tape to cover your neck pocket and edges. This
will prevent any problems with attaching the guitar neck at a later
- Wipe down your Guitar Body to remove any particles etc.
- You may want to hang the guitar in your finish room using an old
hanger or hook of some sort.
- Apply your finish of choice (Stain, Paint, etc). In our
example we use a See Thru Transparent White Stain. The Tele style
body below that you will see has approximately 10 coats of white stain
on it. This stain did not cover as well in the 1st few coats so we
had to do a number of coats in order to get the desired outcome.
Hopefully, you will be able to see the transparent stain in the picture
below. We applied this stain with a rag and let the coat dry for
at least 3 hours before applying any further coats. Click Pic to
enlarge. Always apply stain etc. per the manufacturers
- Some people say after 3 or more finish coats have been applied to
wet sand with #400 grit wet / dry sand paper. Just a warning, it's
still easy to sand through the finish at this point so be extremely
careful NOT to sand through the finish. Edges can be difficult to sand
as well and you must be careful here as well. Use your best
discretion whether you need to sand at this point. I had some
trouble with this as I sanded though the finish and had to re-stain.
This took many coats to repair the damage, so be aware that this could
- You will want to repeat finish application and sanding as necessary
at this point. Again, this is a matter of your personal
preference. Please be very careful with any sanding at this point.
- Once you have applied your stain, paint, or finish of choice you may
want to lacquer your guitar body at this point. Lacquer can
protect your finish. There are many options for lacquer.
There are spray lacquers or paint on type lacquers. Read the
instructions carefully before applying lacquer. Also, Lacquers
have a strong smell to them as well so wear a respirator when applying
- Now that your guitar body has dried (usually 2 weeks to a month),
you can now remove the tape from the neck pocket.
- Buff your guitar body by hand with a glossy polish, and your guitar
body should be finished.
Please consult a guitar technician in your area if your unsure about
any guitar assembly or maintenance techniques.
Sanding an Electric Guitar Body (Unfinished)
Sanding a Guitar Neck
How To Finish a Guitar Neck