PAINT YOUR OWN GUITAR

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I've been told by the guitar tech down at my local guitar shop that you CAN'T get a factory finish with spray cans. Is he right?

A: Your guitar tech has no idea what he’s talking about. In fact, he’s flat-out wrong. Has he ever painted a guitar, or does he just string them up? My guess is he’s just a “stringer-upper” and “polisher.” If he had any knowledge whatsoever, he’d know that it IS possible to create a factory finish with spray cans. I’ve been painting guitars professionally for over 25+ years. I can achieve professional results whether I use my spray GUNS or spray CANS – it doesn’t matter.

All of my books teach you how to create a factory finish with nothing more than ordinary store-bought spray cans. The final results are a result of the finishing steps! Not the spray gun or spray can.

Just follow the steps in the book, pay attention to details, and you can expect amazing results.

Q: This looks and sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?
A: There is no catch. I’ve laid out the exact steps I use when I paint a guitar and backed that up with good, thorough explanations, and quality photos and video footage. If you’re willing to put the work into it, you can expect amazing results – better than you ever imagined. However, do a half-assed job on the things that really matter and expect a half-assed paint job.
Q: Are finishes that are done with spray cans as durable as those done with industrial/automotive paint?

A: Yes. However, there is a curing process that needs to happen for ALL guitars painted with lacquer. Although lacquer dries very quickly, it cures slowly – meaning, it takes a while for it to harden completely. That’s why MANY guitar manufacturers have gone to painting their guitars with a 2-stage polyurethane rather than lacquer. The additon of a catalyst added to the clear coats allow polyurethane finishes to dry in a matter of days, not months.

Once your finish has completely cured, it is extremely durable.

Q: I don't really want to paint any of these designs that you feature on my guitar. Will your book still help me?
A: Absolutely. The book deals with ever aspect of painting your own guitar; the design steps are just a couple in a series of 20 steps. Whether you want to do a 1-color paint job, or you want to learn how to do your own designs, my book will help you.
Q: You have several books available. Which one should I start with?

A: Good question. They all teach you how to create a factory finish. However, I’d recommend that you get the main book, “HOW TO Create A Factory Finish With Just A Couple Of Spray Cans!,” first. It contains 4 project guitars, so it covers a lot of stuff. If, after doing a few guitars, you think you’d like to attempt one of the other projects featured in one of the other books, then by all means, go ahead.

Q: Do all of the books contain the same info?
A: All of my books teach you how to do a factory finish with spray cans. But, as for the designs, the main book doesn’t teach you how to do a flames finish or how to paint the Tiger design or stripes – those require slightly different techniques.
Q: I don't live in the U.S., so I'm wondering whether I'll be able to buy the products you recommend in the book?
A: Most, if not, all of products I use in the book can be bought in any hardware store. As for paint, if the paint that I use and recommend is not available where you live, then simply buy a suitable alternative. Just make sure it’s the same TYPE of paint… the brand can be different.
Q: How do I know that my guitar will look like yours?

A: Once again, it comes down to you putting what I say in the book to work FOR YOU. If I say, “Wait three days before doing X,” you wait three days before doing X. The things I write about in the book are things that I have learned over the 25+ years I’ve been painting guitars. If you decide NOT to follow what I write in the book, I can’t predict what’s going to happen.

Follow what I say in the book, and you SHOULD EXPECT amazing results. As you continue to paint guitars, you’ll no doubt develop little tricks of your own – but that only comes with experience.

Q: How did you come up with all of this info? Did you read it somewhere on the net?

A: HA! – That’s funny! I was painting guitars long before there was a WORLD WIDE WEB (I began in 1983). Everything I teach in my books are things I learned the hard way – through trial and error while painting my own guitars. Eventually, I started painting guitars for other people. By the end of the 80’s and into the early 90’s, I probably painted over 500 guitars.

Q: Can I find the info from your books for free on the web?

A: The first version of my main book was released in 2004 and the truth is – at the time, NO ONE was discussing the techniques and methods that I had put forth. In 2006, I began writing a column for GUITAR WORLD magazine called, FINISHING SCHOOL. In that column, I took on a couple of projects and taught my techniques in the magazine over a two-year period.

Zoom ahead 10 years, and YES – you will find many people teaching my techniques and discussing my methods online. How do I know they’re mine? Because I developed them over a 5-year period starting way back in 1983 through trial and error.

Although they’re NOT free, I consider my books to be the best $30 investment you could ever make if you want to really learn how to paint guitars professionally. If you’re the investor type, you’ll know that this is a worthy investment.

Q: Do any of your books teach you how to do a sunburst finish?
A: M-1 Tiger contains a variation of a sunburt. However, doing a traditional sunburst, which is transparent, is very tough to do with spray cans. It can be done – it’s just tough due to the transparency of the paint.