How to refinish guitar

Refinishing a guitar is a great way to give a new life to an old instrument or to customize the look of a new one. However, it can be a daunting task if you don't know where to start. In this article, we will guide you through the process on how to refinish guitar, so you can achieve a professional-looking finish on your own.

How to Refinish a Guitar

Step 1: Disassemble the guitar

The first step is to disassemble the guitar. Remove all the hardware, including the strings, pickups, knobs, and bridge. This will make it easier to work on the body and prevent any damage to the hardware during the refinishing process.

Step 2: Strip the existing finish

The next step is to strip the existing finish. There are several methods to do this, such as using a chemical stripper or sanding the finish off. Chemical strippers are the most common method and can be found at most hardware stores. Follow the instructions on the product carefully and make sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from the fumes.

Step 3: Prepare the body

Once the finish has been stripped off, it's time to prepare the body for the new finish. Sand the body with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots and remove any remaining finish. Fill in any dents or scratches with wood filler, and sand it down until it's flush with the rest of the body.

Step 4: Spraying

Now it's time to apply the new finish. You can use either spray paint or nitrocellulose lacquer, which is the traditional finish for guitars. Spray in thin, even coats, and wait for each coat to dry before applying the next one. It's important to spray in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask to avoid inhaling any fumes.

Step 5: Fine sanding and buffing

Once the final coat has been applied and dried, it's time to do some fine sanding and buffing. Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand down any imperfections or drips in the finish, and then use a polishing compound to buff the finish to a high shine.


Q: Can I refinish a guitar without stripping the existing finish?

A: It's possible to refinish a guitar without stripping the existing finish, but it's not recommended. The new finish won't adhere properly to the old finish, and the final result may look uneven or bubbly.

Q: How long does it take to refinish a guitar?

A: The time it takes to refinish a guitar depends on several factors, such as the size of the body, the type of finish, and the number of coats applied. Generally, it takes about 2-3 weeks to complete the entire process.


Refinishing a guitar can be a fun and rewarding project, but it requires patience and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve a professional-looking finish on your own. Remember to take your time, work in a well-ventilated area, and wear the appropriate safety gear. With a little practice and patience, you can transform your old guitar into a work of art.

Read More

0 ratings
Lewis Harris
Lewis Harris
I'm a singer/songwriter originally from Sacramento, California. I've been playing guitar and writing songs for most of my life, and I've been performing professionally for the last few years. I currently live in Austin, Texas. I'm passionate about connecting with people through my music. I believe that music has the ability to touch people's hearts and change their lives. That's why I pour my entire heart into every song I write. In addition to writing and performing my own music, I also enjoy making videos. I see videos as another way to connect with people and share my music with the world.