How to Repaint Guitar: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you're a guitar lover, you know how important it is to have a guitar that not only sounds great but also looks great. However, if your guitar has seen better days and is in need of a new paint job, it may be time to take matters into your own hands. Repainting your guitar can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and some patience, it's a project that you can easily tackle at home. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to repaint guitar.

Here’s what you’re going to need to get into your repainting project

  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips)
  • Allen wrenches
  • Sandpaper (60 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit, and 400 grit)
  • Orbital sander
  • Grain filler
  • Mineral spirits
  • Paint or stain of your choice
  • Primer
  • Clear coat
  • Polishing compound
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloth or newspaper
  • Vacuum

How to Repaint Guitar

  1. Begin to disassemble your guitar

The first step in repainting your guitar is to disassemble it. This means removing all the hardware, including the pickguard, tuning machines, control knobs, and output jack. Be sure to keep all the screws and nuts in a safe place, so you don't lose them.

  1. Take the neck off of your guitar

If you're going to be repainting the neck as well, you'll need to remove it from the body of the guitar. This can be done by loosening the screws on the neck plate and gently pulling the neck away from the body.

  1. Remove the hardware from your guitar

Using a screwdriver, remove all of the hardware from your guitar, including the pickups, bridge, and tailpiece. Be sure to keep all the parts in a safe place.

  1. Consider removing your Guitar Bridge Studs

If your guitar has bridge studs, you may want to consider removing them. This will allow you to sand and finish the guitar body more easily. If you decide to remove them, be sure to mark their location so that you can reattach them in the same place later.

  1. Organize your hardware

Once you've removed all the hardware from your guitar, it's important to keep everything organized. You can use small plastic bags to keep the screws and nuts for each part together.

  1. Remove the old guitar finish by sanding

To prepare the guitar for a new paint job, you'll need to remove the old finish. This can be done by sanding the guitar with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. Start with 60 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 400 grit.

  1. Use an orbital sander

To speed up the sanding process, you can use an orbital sander. This will help you to remove the old finish more quickly and evenly.

  1. Take hand sandpaper to get in fine crevices

After you've used the orbital sander, take some hand sandpaper to get into the fine crevices of the guitar body.

  1. Get out your finer sandpaper

Once you've removed the old finish, use finer sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots.

  1. Vacuum up your mess

After sanding, be sure to vacuum up any dust and debris from your work area.

  1. Use a grain filler

If your guitar has an open-grained wood, like mahogany or ash, you'll need to use a grain filler to fill in the pores of the wood. This will give you a smoother surface to paint on.

  1. Apply mineral spirits

After applying the grain filler, wipe down the guitar with mineral spirits to remove any residue.

  1. Get your guitar ready for repainting

Before you start painting, make sure that your guitar is clean and free of any dust or debris. You can use masking tape to cover any areas that you don't want to paint.

  1. Figure out what paint (or stain) you want to use

Decide on the paint or stain that you want to use. There are many different types of paint and finishes available, so make sure to choose the one that's right for your guitar.

  1. Apply primer

Before you start painting, apply a coat of primer to the guitar. This will help the paint to adhere better and also provide a smoother surface for the paint.

  1. Before you start painting

Make sure that your work area is well-ventilated and that you're wearing a respirator mask. It's also a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands.

  1. Start painting your guitar

Once the primer has dried, you can start painting your guitar. Apply thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

  1. Apply a clear coat

Once you've finished painting, apply a clear coat to protect the paint and give your guitar a glossy finish.

  1. Polish the finish

Once the clear coat has dried, use a polishing compound to buff the finish to a high shine.

  1. Reassemble your guitar

After the finish has dried completely, you can reassemble your guitar. Be sure to use the screws and nuts that you kept organized earlier.


Q: Can I repaint my guitar without disassembling it?

A: It's possible, but it's much more difficult to get a smooth and even finish. Disassembling the guitar will make the process much easier.

Q: Can I use regular spray paint to paint my guitar?

A: It's not recommended. Regular spray paint can be too thick and can affect the sound of the guitar. Use paint that's specifically designed for guitars.

Q: How long will it take to repaint my guitar?

A: The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how much work needs to be done.


Repainting your guitar can be a fun and rewarding project. With the right tools and some patience, you can give your guitar a new look that will make it stand out from the crowd. Remember to take your time and follow each step carefully, and you'll be playing your newly painted guitar in no time.

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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.